The Bretton Woods institutions and the quest for development in Africa

Zekeri Momoh


The role of the Bretton Woods Institutions in Africa has been subjected to intense debate in the literature of International Relations. This is so particularly because of the implications of the Bretton Woods Institutions on the political and economic activities in Africa. The data for this study were collected from secondary sources such as textbooks and journal articles while content analysis was used to analyse the data collected. The "False Paradigm Model," propounded by Michael Todaro which is a variant of the Dependency theory, was used for this study. This study revealed mechanisms put in place by the Bretton Woods Institutions in its relationship with African states and it also undertook a critique of the Bretton woods institutional approach to Africa’s development using the false paradigm model. The study further revealed that in spite of experimenting with external development methods and initiatives by the Bretton Wood Institutions, African Economies have not advanced much in terms of development. It implies that African nations must turn within to find it rather than focusing on the Bretton Woods Institutions requirements.


Bretton Woods institution; debt; poverty; policies

Full Text:



Action against Bretton Woods, (1994). Women for a just and healthy planet. Economic and Political Weekly. 29(27),16-18.

Arie Reich. (2010). Bilateralism versus multilateralism in international economic law: Applying the principle of subsidiarity. The University of Toronto Law Journal. Vol. 60(2), 263-287. DOI: 10.3138/utlj.60.2.263

Bird, G. (1994). “Changing Partners: Perspectives and Policies of the Bretton Woods Institutions”.Third World Quarterly, 15(3), 483–503.

Bordo, M. D. & Eichengreen, B. (1993). A retrospective on the Bretton Woods System. Chicago and London. The University of Chicago Press. p.9

Bordo, M.D. (1995). Is there a good case for a new Bretton Woods international monetary system? The American Economic Review, Vol. 85, No. 2, Papers and Proceedings of the Hundredth and Seventh Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association Washington, DC. pp. 317-322

Codesria-Twn-Africa Report (2002) Africa and Development Challenges of 21st Century being a Conference on Africa’s Development Challenges in the Millennium Accra 23-26 April 2002. (Council for Development and Social Science Research in Africa) and the Third World Network-Africa (TWN-Africa)

Cohn, T.H. (2000). Global political economy: Theory and practice. New York: Longman.

Eiras, A. (2003). “{IMF} and World Bank Intervention: A Problem, Not a Solution”. The Heritage Foundation: Leadership for America, 4999(1689)

Fox, J. A., & Brown, L. D. (Eds.). (1998). The struggle for accountability: The World Bank, NGOs, and grassroots movements. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Gavin, M., & Patrick, D. (1995). The World Bank in historical perspective. The American Economic Review, 85(2), 329–334.

Geoffrey M. Hodgson (2006) What Are Institutions?. Journal of Economic Issues, 40(1),1-25, DOI: 10.1080/00213624.2006.11506879

Georg Schwarzenberger. (1948). “The province and standards of international economic law” The International Law Quarterly, 2(3), 402-420

Gerber, J. (2014). “International Economics (6th ed.)”. Boston: Pearson

Helleiner. G. K. (1984). An agenda for a new Bretton Woods. World Policy Journal, 1(2), 361-376

Herbert Morais and Alvaro de Soto. (1996). The Bretton Woods Institutions: Coping with crises. The Proceedings of the Annual Meeting American Society of International Law, 90, 433-442

John W. Pehle. (1946). Bretton Woods institutions. The Yale Law Journal, 55(5), p1128

Joseph J. Norton. (2009). Comment on the Developing Transnational Network(s) in the Area of International Financial Regulation: The Underpinnings of a New Bretton Woods II Global Financial System Framework. The International Lawyer, 43(1), 175-204

Karsten Nowrot. (2011). Transnational corporations as steering subjects in international economic law: Two Competing Visions of the Future?. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 18(2), 803-842.

Keynes, J. M. (1971). The collected writings of John Maynard Keynes. London: Macmillan p.10

Kunibert R. (2008). Bretton Woods Institutions and the rule of law. Economic and Political Weekly, 43(38),49-55.

Kwagyang, U.G., Ghide, B.H., & Haruna, L. A (2015). Bretton Woods Institutions: Their evolution and impacts on the field of international economic law. Journal of Law, Policy and Globalization, 35,42-55.

Mahnaz, F, (1998). Alternatives to dependence on Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs): Pakistan Horizon, 51(3), 21-32

Moggridge, Donald. (1980). Activities 1941 - 1946: shaping the post-war world, Bretton Woods and reparations. London: Macmillan Pp.12 -13.

Momoh, Z. (2016) African Solutions to African Problems: A Critical Appraisal Journal of African Union Studies Volume, 5(1), 39-62.

Obiozor, A.G. & Ajala, A. (2008). Africa and the UN system: The first fifty years Lagos. NIIA

Potter, R.B., Binns, T., Elliott, J.A. and Smith, D. (2004). Geographies of Development. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited

Rogoff, K. (2003). “IMF Strikes Back”. Foreign Policy 134 (Jan/Feb): 38-46

Saka, L. and Momoh, Z. (2015). New partnership for Africa’s development and Africa’s development. Presented at the International Multi-Disciplinary Academic Conference on African Transformation and Development organized by Cambridge Publications and Research International at the University of Ilorin March 12th-13th 2015

Shihata, I. F. I. (1995). The World Bank in a changing world. London: Martinus N. Publishers.

Todaro, M. P., & Smith, S. C. (2012). “Economic Development” (11th ed.). Boston: Addison-Wesley.

Woods, N. (2006). The globalizers: The IMF, the World Bank and their borrowers. Cornell University.

Zoellick, R. B. (2012). “Why We Still Need the World Bank: looking beyond aid”. Foreign Affairs, 91(2), 66–78.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Otoritas : Jurnal Ilmu Pemerintahan

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Creative Commons License

Otoritas : Jurnal Ilmu Pemerintahan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
View My Stats