[Least developed countries] In most of the least developed countries, the crisis in the manufacturing sector is difficult to resolve, without regional or subregional harmonization, because the sector is highly dependent on foreign factor inputs, in particular raw materials and expertise. In Africa in 1982, for example, more than $62 billion (about 47% of the region's total debt) had been spent on importing major industrial commodities which could in fact have been produced within the region. In this region the major obstacles to integration are structural rigidities, poor policy coordination, continuing external dependence and serious payments difficulties, and moving beyond market integration to the integration of production. The implication is that the scarcity of foreign exchange with which to purchase raw material inputs for industrial development will continue to give rise to widespread under-utilization of capacity or outright plant closures with undesirable consequences for output, employment and income. Furthermore, such countries are unable to develop significant inter-sectoral linkages which would increase the multiplier effect of domestic investment, reduce overall import content of domestic expenditures and enable each economic sector to contribute more significantly to economic development.
2. Development cannot proceed when inflation is high, the exchange rate overvalued, farmers overtaxed, vital imports in short supply, prices and production heavily regulated, key public services in disrepair, and basic financial services unavailable. A more fundamental form of restructuring is then required, which may include a democratic adjustment.
3. One of the first lessons economists teach their graduate students is the importance of lags: it takes twelve to 18 months before a change in monetary policy (raising or lowering interest rates) shows its full effects. The most important work is forecasting where the economy would be in the future, so we could know what policies to recommend today. To play catch-up is the height of folly.