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Good Growth and Governance in Africa: Rethinking Development Strategies

April 9, 2012

United Nations   New York, New York, United States

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Good Growth and Governance in Africa

  • Oxford University Press
  • Howard Stein
    Professor, School of Public Health
    University of Michigan
  • Joseph Stiglitz
    Co-President
    Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)
  • Akbar Noman
    Senior Policy Fellow
    Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)
  • Kwesi Botchwey
    Professor of Practice in Development Economics, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
    Tufts University

Edited by Akbar Noman, Kwesi Botchwey, Howard Stein, and Joseph E. Stiglitz

  • Includes chapters on governance; industry, trade, and technology; and employment and human capital
  • Offers policy alternatives based on lessons from successes in economic development, especially in East Asia
  • Contributions by leading scholars including Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz

Why has the economic growth performance of Sub-Saharan Africa been disappointing on balance over the past 50 years? More importantly, what can be done to reverse that trend and to sustain and improve upon the accelerated growth experienced in recent years? What are the possibilities and policies for Africa to reduce poverty and achieve sustained, rapid economic growth? What are the lessons of success in both Africa and elsewhere? Could some of the policies that proved so successful in East Asia help reverse the deindustrialization of Africa in the past three decades and be the basis of its structural transformation?

These were the questions posed to a diverse group of experts on development convened by the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD). This volume reflects the highlights of their deliberations. It broadens the policy debate, expands the policy options, and proposes alternative development strategies. This book captures the lively, and sometimes contentious, debate, and provides a note of optimism for the future. Though success is not assured, this volume argues that there is good reason to believe that policies based on lessons of successes, notably in East Asia, can be adapted successfully in African contexts.

JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Research Institute has funded the Africa Taskforce of IPD, and contributed to this volume on the discussion on industrial policy by drawing lessons from East Asia for the development context of Africa. As a following-up to this outcome, JICA has already initiated several programmes in support of development in Africa.

Opening remarks by H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishida

Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
on the occasion of the Panel Discussion on
“Good Growth and Governance in Africa –
Rethinking Development Strategies”

Monday, 9 April 2012

Excellencies,
Distinguished Panelists,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I would like to welcome you all to this panel discussion on “Good Growth and Governance in Africa – Rethinking Development Strategies”. I am privileged to co-chair this event with my colleague Ambassador Zinsou of Benin, in his capacity as the holder of the African Union Presidency, and would like to thank his team who have undertaken the task of preparing for today’s discussion. On this occasion, I would also like to thank Mr. Diarra, Under-Secretary General and UN Special Advisor on Africa, who has agreed to take the important role of moderating this discussion. My thanks also go to all the panelists who have come from near and far despite their very tight schedules to present to us their wisdom and enlighten us on how we may perceive African development.

African development is still one of the major challenges that the international community is confronted with. Despite notable progress in the reduction of poverty and hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa, there are still several MDG targets that show slow progress in Africa, in particular the generation of employment, improving sanitation and maternal health, and reducing child mortality. The international community, including Member States and UN Organizations, should pay the special attention to the overall development of this region.

In the early 90’s, when “aid fatigue” was setting in after the Cold War, Japan launched the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in order to refocus international attention on the importance and urgency of African development issues. Japan has stressed the importance of “Africa’s ownership” of its own development as well as the importance of “partnership” between Africa and the international community. One of the main features of TICAD is cooperation between Asia and Africa.

Indeed, the recently published book titled “Good Growth and Governance in Africa – Rethinking Development Strategies” edited by Professors Noman and Stigliz and others, specifically highlights this question of how the East Asian experience of the “developmental state” can be relevant to provide policy alternatives for development in the African context. I understand that the panelists will be presenting to us the essence of the 18 thought-provoking articles contained in this book. From Japan’s perspective, I am encouraged to see that intellectual work is now beginning to converge with Japan’s original intention when we initiated the TICAD process 20 years ago, in terms of how we are to approach African development.

The Fourth TICAD Ministerial Follow-up Meeting will be held in Marrakech, Morocco from 5-6 May. This is the last annual follow-up meeting prior to and also the starting point for the preparation process of TICAD V, which will be held from 1-3 June, 2013 in Yokohama, Japan. Japan will continue to faithfully implement all the TICAD IV pledges, which include doubling the amount of Japan’s ODA to Africa by 2012; a goal we have already achieved. We will continue to be “the” reliable partner of Africa, and at the same time, we are determined to pioneer approaches that better support African countries’ various development strategies.

Lastly, I would like to encourage all the panelists to challenge us with refreshing perspectives on how to approach African development. Deliberations in the United Nations on development are often confined within traditional perceptions. We all need to catch-up with the emerging realities of the present world, as well as with the latest academic findings. I hope that this panel discussion will contribute to pushing our thinking forward in the right direction.

On that note, I now would like to ask Mr. Diarra to commence this exciting discussion.

Monday - April 9, 2012

Time Location Description
10:30 am - 10:40 am United Nations, CR 2 NLB Opening Remarks
  • Zinsou Jean-Francis
    Permanent Representative of the Republic of Benin
    Government of Benin
  • Tsuneo Nishida
    Permanent Representative of Japan
    Government of Japan
10:40 am - 11:25 am United Nations, CR 2 NLB Panel Discussion
  • Akio Hosono
    Senior Research Advisor
    Research Institute, Japan International Cooperation Agency
  • Akbar Noman
    Senior Policy Fellow
    Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)
  • Yaw Ansu
    Chief Economist
    African Center for Economic Transformation
  • Joseph Stiglitz
    Co-President
    Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)
  • Cheick Sidi Diarra
    Under-Secretary General and UN Special Advisor on Africa
    United Nations
11:25 am - 11:55 am United Nations, CR 2 NLB Interactive Session
11:55 am - 12:00 pm United Nations, CR 2 NLB Closing Remarks
  • Joseph Stiglitz
    Speaker
    Co-President
    Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)
  • Akbar Noman
    Speaker
    Senior Policy Fellow
    Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)
  • Yaw Ansu
    Speaker
    Chief Economist
    African Center for Economic Transformation
  • Akio Hosono
    Speaker
    Senior Research Advisor
    Research Institute, Japan International Cooperation Agency
  • Cheick Sidi Diarra
    Moderator
    Under-Secretary General and UN Special Advisor on Africa
    United Nations
  • Jean-Francis Zinsou
    Speaker
    Permanent Representative of the Republic of Benin
    Government of Benin
  • Tsuneo Nishida
    Speaker
    Permanent Representative of Japan
    Government of Japan

Event Information

Type Book Launch
Program Africa