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Time to reappraise Africa's growth prospects

Written by Dirk Willem te Velde, Massimiliano Cali

Press Release

Time to reappraise Africa's growth prospects: New ODI/IPPG essays examine the role of state-business relations in growth

Leading Overseas Development Institute (ODI) economist Dirk Willem Te Velde is calling for a reappraisal of Africa's growth prospects following findings published in a joint study with the international research consortium Improving Institutions for Pro-Poor Growth (IPPG).

Writing in an ODI blog, Te Velde states that the upturn in African growth can be traced back to the mid 1990s and that the credit for welcome recent growth across the continent belongs to African institutions and not just rising commodity prices and Chinese investment.

The blog draws on a newly published set of essays which showcase views from leading thinkers on state-business relations, industrial policy and economic growth.

"Our study shows that when the state and business interact effectively, they can promote more efficient allocation of scarce resources, conduct a more appropriate industrial policy, remove the biggest obstacles to growth and create wealth more efficiently," says te Velde, who also contributes a ten-point conclusion on state-business relations and economic performance. "But when the two sides fail to cooperate, or engage in harmful collusion, economic activity centres on wealth creation for the few rather than the many."

Edited by Dirk Willem te Velde, this collection of essays by internationally distinguished scholars, including Justin Yifu Lin from The World Bank and Kunal Sen from Manchester University, discusses the nature of state-business relations (SBRs), and the links between SBRs and economic performance.

The study, a joint publication from research consortium Improving Institutions for Pro-Poor Growth (IPPG) and ODI, also showcases the results of IPPG’s research work on state-business relations in India and sub-Saharan Africa 2005-2010.

Contributors to the collection include:  
Abla Abdel-Latif, American University, Cairo
Tilman Altenburg, German Development Institute
Massimiliano Calì, Overseas Development Institute
Karen Ellis, Overseas Development Institute
Justin Yifu Lin, The World Bank
Hubert Schmitz, Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
Kunal Sen, Manchester University.