Top academics and policymakers propose new policies for Africa’s macroeconomic and agricultural growth post-financial crisis
· Academics from across the world presented policy recommendations at the African Economic Conference in collaboration with the African Development Bank, UNECA, and the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
During the recent African Economic Conference (AEC) in Ethiopia, top international and African researchers convened with African policymakers to develop new strategies for Africa's agricultural growth and macroeconomic development for a post-global economic crisis environment. The session was held under the auspices of the International Growth Centre (IGC), an international network of economic growth experts, hosted by the London School of Economics (LSE) and Oxford University.
The agricultural growth panel looked specifically at how Africa's agricultural sector can play a role in stimulating Africa's economic growth and transformation. There was a clear consensus that agriculture plays an important but subtle role in the growth process. A main reason is the low labour productivity in the sector: more than two-thirds of the African labor force works in agriculture, but agriculture produces less than one-third of total output. Sustained growth in both farm and nonfarm incomes requires rapid urbanization, so a successful growth strategy must focus on economy-wide resource allocation rather than a simple “agriculture-first” approach. (Please see notes to editor for extract of main messages during this session).
IGC research teams from Tanzania and Ghana also discussed macroeconomic policy responses to the global financial crisis and the extent to which these protected long-term growth strategies in the two countries.
Whilst relatively favourable movements in the terms of trade (for example, rising gold and cocoa prices and weakening oil prices for Ghana) helped both countries weather the worst of the recent crisis, Tanzania and Ghana entered the crisis under very different macroeconomic circumstances.
The presentations focused on some of the macroeconomic management challenges faced by the two countries in their attempts to support a resumption of the high growth rates recorded before the global crisis hit. In Ghana, these centre on stabilizing the economy to establish a sound basis for resumed growth, and establishing an institutional framework capable of managing the expected surge in oil revenues. While in Tanzania the key challenges are to restore the monetary and fiscal anchors that have served the economy well in the last decade but to do so in a manner that sustains the public and private investment required to deliver rapid growth in both aggregate income and employment. (See notes to editor for more detailed analysis of macroeconomic perspectives).
Please see IGC's website to download the presentations - www.internationalgrowthcentre.org
For more information about IGC and their plans for future research in Africa as well as the outcome of the sessions, please contact Camilla Flatt, [email protected]; +44 207 209 7504 +44 207 209 7504.
Development / Accra / Ghana / Africa / Modernghana.com