Rethinking Credit Between Cultures
This chapter presents concluding remarks on credit programs conducted for the betterment of poor people, and discusses how histories of African finance, like histories of African economy in general, have looked pretty dismal. Typical have been financial credit unmatched by saving, loans delivered tardily and in amounts that shrink as they proceed from city to countryside, subsidies set too high and gobbled by elites, agronomically inappropriate packages of farm inputs, gender biases in loan allocation and extension services, culturally inappropriate requirements about loan collateral, low and falling repayment rates, and rising disaffection and debt. Often, both borrowers and lenders have, paradoxically, felt burned. The chapter also attempts to draw together some lessons, adds some broader reflections about development aid over the past half-century, and discusses how it might be reconceived in the light of what else we know about entrustment and obligation.
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