Inclusive Growth in Africa

Captura de pantalla 2012-10-17 a las 15.04.35

In our previous post, we talked about our participation at the World Forum for Democracy of the Council of Europe. The discussion focused on the threat that the current crisis creates for social cohesion, and Club de Madrid Member Kim Campbell mentioned some good examples of countries that have succeeded in avoiding division by fostering Shared Societies, such as Botswana and Ghana.

Africa understands that the way forward for economic growth is to create deliberate policies in order to reduce inequalities and promote inclusion.

The aim is to boost agricultural production, create more decent jobs and fiscal policies, strengthen democracy and have more accountable governments. Promoting this Inclusive Growth will ensure political stability and avoid risks of political uprising as we have seen in the not so distant past across North Africa.

The concept of inclusive growth reflects the Shared Societies Project (SSP) on Making the Economic Argument for Inclusion. The main argument here is that

if sections of society are marginalised they will contribute less to the economy. They will have poorer education and limited skills to contribute and less capital to invest. They may also be less willing to contribute to a society that they feel does not respect them or treat them as full citizens.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) works alongside its Regional Member Countries to unlock Africa’s potential by focussing on economic growth that results in, and conversely is a result of, widening of socio-economic opportunities for all members of society, especially the previously marginalized groups. It seeks to do so by providing fair environments, equal justice and political plurality. Proper consideration needs to be given to the fact that the majority of Africa’s population lives in rural areas and is depending on agriculture, which as a sector has been lagging behind in growth. Therefore, it is important to protect the vulnerable and marginalized groups from adverse shocks.

Inclusive growth focuses on four interrelated spheres: economic, social, political and special, which tackle issues such as young and unskilled labour, access of poor people to assets, poor quality of institutions and providing equal access to basic infrastructure.

SSP believes that building shared societies encourages economic growth and there is a strong case for making the Economic Argument for Inclusion and Shared Societies.

More info:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201210101318.html

http://www.oecd.org/economy/designpoliciestoensuregrowthissociallyinclusivesaysoecd-worldbankreport.htm

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-10-14/chandigarh/34448148_1_higher-education-knowledge-clusters-universities

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