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Africa and the Perversities of International Capital Flows

April 19, 2012
Room 1A27 (first floor), Pieter de la Court building, Wassenaarseweg 52, Leiden.

During the 1980s and 1990s many African countries embraced financial globalization on the promise of accessing flows from developed countries. They removed restrictions on capital accounts, opened up to FDI, privatized state assets often selling off banks to foreign owners and built stock markets. Perversely, capital flowed to the rich developed countries from some of the poorest African countries. Among other things, countries like Nigeria parked billions of dollars of reserves on Wall Street, foreign-owned domestic banks augmented their assets abroad, and stock markets were used as vehicles of capital export. And net lending from international banks also frequently turned negative. Funds generated from FDI have seldom been reinvested with profits rapidly exported out of the country.

This seminar will not only document and criticize this impact but draw on institutional economic tools to try to explain the outcome and generate an alternative framework for improved financial-development linkages.


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