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The G8 and Africa: Will it happen? Will it work?

Date
Time (GMT +01) 08:30 10:00

Speakers:
Simon Maxwell
, Director, ODI

Steve Wiggins, Research Fellow, ODI

Karin Christiansen, Researcher, ODI

David Booth, Research Fellow, ODI

Ian Gillson, Research Fellow, ODI

Chair:

Tony Baldry MP

ODI experts spoke on five issues that are crucial to advancing the international development agenda on Africa: the Big Push, Agriculture, Fragile States, Politics; and Trade.

On the big push, Simon Maxwell argued that although it is important to tackle Africa's problems holistically, not everything can be done at once. Choices have to be made about what should happen first. On agriculture, Steve Wiggins outlined key policy proposals including adapting responses to local circumstances, moving beyond macro-economics to address public investment and other key shortfalls, and resolving land tenure conflicts in flexibly.

On fragile states, Karin Christiansen argued that donors need to be much more coherent across all their objectives and with all actors, should focus on coherence at the country level, and should stop putting in place parallel systems that undermine national state building.

On politics, David Booth said that the North should provide aid in ways that do less harm, contribute actively to political reform in African countries, and find ways to incentivise state-building. Among other things, African elites should start an open debate on the institutional reforms and mechanisms needed to change political and administrative incentives, and develop political projects that build developmental states.

On trade, Ian Gillson argued that even if significant liberalisation happens, it will not be a panacea for African growth. Countries must deal with the outstanding issues themselves, and the European Union and U.S. should stop allowing domestic agendas to drive their international trade policy.

Description

At this meeting ODI experts spoke on five issues that are crucial to advancing the international development agenda on Africa: the Big Push, Agriculture, Fragile States, Politics; and Trade.

Boothroyd Room