Tag Archive for Inclusive Growth

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.

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Inclusion & Growth – European Development Days 2012

European Development Days

One of the main topics at the upcoming European Development Days (Brussels, October 16 &17) is Inclusive Growth. Meeting at a critical time, participants will experience a unique opportunity to meet a wide range of stakeholders from around the world and debate, take stock, and make recommendations. Six panels will tackle the issue of how to empower the populous for inclusive growth:

  • Building a Social Contract for Health
  • The Perspective of the Working Poor in the Informal Economy
  • Placing Social Protection at the Heart of the Development Agenda
  • Confronting Inequality
  • Responding to Youth Unemployment
  • Making Finance Work for Inclusive Development

By examining countries that are faring well after many years of crisis, we can look to find a path towards social inclusion. The Shared Societies Project believes that leaders will make greater efforts to achieve a shared society once they and their communities understand and communicate the economic benefits of building a shared society. We have therefore been keen to explore how to make this case and how to ensure that the economic argument for building a shared society is internalized and acted upon by leaders.

The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Financial Corporation (IFI) all agree that rapid growth is key to reducing poverty, but for the growth to be sustainable, it should beincreasingly broad-based across sectors, and inclusive of the majority of a country’s labor force. However, inequalities that disempower and exclude the poor persist across developing and developed countries. Youth unemployment is skyrocketing worldwide, which undercuts economic and social development andcreates disillusionment, disenfranchisement, and social and political unrest. Moreover, inequality fuelled the Arab Spring, which indicates that economicgrowth without jobs and social cohesion can be politically explosive.

For the aforementioned reasons, the upcoming meeting organized by the European Commission is especially relevant. In a crucial year in which many EU countries are working to improve their economies, designing and implementing new policies—we cannot forget social inclusion. EU development policy should promote a ‘green economy’ that generates growth, creates jobs and helps reduce poverty by investing in natural capital through supporting market opportunities for cleaner technologies, energy and resource efficiency, as well as low-carbon development. At the same time, this could spur innovation, the use of ICT and a reduction in the unsustainable use of natural resources. Development policy should also contribute to improving the resilience of developing countries and to combating climate change.

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