WHAT ARE AFRICANS DOING?

A recent AID study lists these policy changes in selected African countries (containing almost 60 percent of sub-Saharan African populations):

* 16 countries have begun reducing government spending and increasing taxation.

* 16 have boosted incentives to farmers by paying higher prices for crops.

* 15 have devalued currencies.

* 10 are trying to reform semi-governmental bodies with restrictive monopolies on grain trading and importing.

* 7 have reduced subsidies keeping food prices artificially low in cities.

* 7 have lifted energy/utility prices to generate revenue.

* 7 have increased interest rates.

* 6 have decontrolled all or some consumer prices.

* 6 have loosened up trade or foreign exchange policies.

* 5 have lowered subsidies to agriculture.

* 5 have reformed monetary policies.

* 3 have begun to try to control population growth.

''But let's keep all this in perspective,'' cautions one veteran AID official. ''Even if all these changes actually work, they will only help stop the various economies from deteriorating. After that, you still have to get food production up again.''

Tomorrow; Meeting the Challenge

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