The Reasons for World Bank Support of Infrastructure Privatization in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Critical Overview

This article explores the reasons for World Bank support of infrastructure privatization in sub-Saharan Africa. The author offers a critical review World Bank (WB) policies in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), questioning the utility of these prescriptions. Infrastructure privatization is defined as a large range of actions involving the private sector in the management, financing, and ownership of a public firm. The author conducted an empirical analysis of 270 infrastructure privatization cases in SSA between 1960 and 2009 in order to test a number of hypotheses. The author contends that foreign and G10 firms benefit more from infrastructure privatization when it is supported by the WB than when it is not. A more striking finding is that the WB provides greater support to privatization in the sub-sectors of infrastructure that offer the most benefit to G10 firms. Specifically, World Bank privatization in the water and electricity sectors benefit foreign and G10 firms more than World Bank privatization in the transport sector. The author concludes by calling for a more balanced investment of World Bank funds into all infrastructures equally, as all are useful for the development of African economies.


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  • Accession Number: 01531939
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 29 2014 9:08AM