As the World Bank shifted its focus from the much debated Structural Adjustment Programmes towards good governance in the reports "Sub-Saharan Africa:From Crisis to Sustainable Growth:A Long-term Perspective Study" in 1989 and "Governance and Development" in 1992", the focus today concerns mainly the Millennium Development Goals.
The thesis explores the World Bank's programmes for assistance in Africa south of the Sahara. More specifically, it looks at what makes that part of the world special concerning choice of path to development by looking at the Bank's assistance stratgies in three countries. To be able to draw conclusions about the Bank's work in the region, I have used selected theory on Economic Growth, Structural Capacity, Social Capacity and on African politics. These four Approaches, as they have been called, represents possible paths to development each with its own main focus. Using these Approaches has given me the chance to answer this research question: To what extent are the World Bank's country assistance strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa shaped by the continent's distinctive political reality and legacy?
I have then used the theory-Approaches to investigate the Country Assistance Strategy papers (CAS) of Zambia, Kenya and Chad, to then determine the most dominant Approach. Using pattern-matching as a method to compare essential terms in theory with essential terms in the CAS-papers, I have found that it is the Social Capacity-Approach that is the most dominant in the way that it is this approach that is represented with the most essential terms. However, the research question notes that it is the peculiarites of African politics and political tradition that is to be tested. So, the Appraoch to be "judged" is the African Uniqueness-Approach. I have argued that the CASes lack evidence of the deficits the countries have regarding transparency, and the problems they have with corruption and inefficiency in state institutions. I am, however, not able to dismiss the fact that the Bank's Country Assistance Strategies are to some extent shaped by the political reality and legacy I have called African Uniqueness. There is no doubt the Bank is aware of the problems of patrimonialism, boundaries of state and transparency create in African countries. However, this thesis argues that it is difficult to approach such challenges without giving firm evidences to their existence and to perhaps give reasons for why they do exist.