Legal reforms for economic development in Africa: How effective? A comparative investigation of legal reforms to improve public debt management in Nigeria and Rwanda

Ifeyinwa Ogo

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared

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The ‘Rule of Law’ and ‘Good Institutions’ are considered necessary preconditions for economic development, and International Finance Institutions have promoted models of legal and institutional reforms that are often adopted by governments worldwide. High levels of borrowing by African governments in the 1970s led to the debt crises of the 1980s and 1990s. From the 1990s, a concerted campaign for debt relief by scholars and activists, alongside a push for global development by international institutions, led to the availability of debt relief for debtor countries. Debt relief was predicated on the implementation of reforms which led to adoption of good policies and good institutions in borrower countries. The Governments of Nigeria and Rwanda implemented economic, legal and institutional reforms to obtain debt relief in 2005. These reforms incorporated the enactment of public finance legislations to regulate government borrowing practices and manage public debt portfolios. This thesis evaluates the effectiveness of these legislations through the observation and analysis of the effect of law on the behaviour of public institutions between 2005 and 2015, and the impact on public debt portfolios, which continue to increase. In addition, the thesis considers the extent to which public finance legislations have led governments to use borrowings for developmental purposes. Thereafter, recommendations are posited towards enhancing the instrumentalism of law as a tool for economic development.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Faure, Michael, Supervisor
  • van den Bossche, Peter, Supervisor
Award date24 Jan 2018
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs978-94-6159-795-3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Public Debt
  • Institutions
  • African Economic Development
  • Legal Reforms
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda

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