Yeah - I wouldn't say "this essay". You could certainly start with "The origins of the debt cri....", as long as it flows with the other text around it. Also, I would probably chose to say "trace" instead of "retrace". I'm not sure if I have a concrete reason for thinking that, but I think it sounds more concise. Also make sure that your thesis isn't hard for the reader keep in mind. Personally - I have no idea what SAPs of the IMF are - maybe you're writing to a different audience, and/or you've already explained that thoroughly. But it was just a thought.
should I not say "this essay" and just say something like "The origins of the debt crisis can be retraced to the actions..." instead?