n Africa Insight - Poverty reduction or induction? A critical appraisal of Lesotho's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper

Volume 35, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


The objective of this paper is to interrogate the viability and practicability of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) in Lesotho in the context of development policy informed by earlier Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs). The central thesis of the paper is that the wake of neo-liberalism in development thinking in the 1980s informed the imposition of SAPs by the World Bank and IMF as pre-condition for lending to Third World countries. Central to neo-liberalism and SAPs is the necessity to roll-back the state in preference for market-led development involving production of goods and provision of services. This move has led to unprecedented social deprivation, vulnerability, marginalisation and exclusion of the majority in the Third World due to the removal of social protection measures formerly borne by the state. In a sudden policy turn-about, the IMF and World Bank now advocate the adoption of poverty reduction strategies as viable policy instruments to recapture the inclusion of the masses in development. The paper agues that this is both theoretically and practically inconsistent and unsustainable. Lesotho is used as a case study to support this thesis.

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