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Policy Recommendations from the Africa-Asia Nexus

5 Feb 2008



UNRISD Director, Thandika Mkandawire, will present a paper with the title “From Maladjusted States to Developmental States in Africa” at the International Workshop for the Stocktaking Work on Asian Experiences of Economic Development and Their Policy Implications for Africa on 6 February 2008 at 1.30pm. The workshop takes place at the International Conference Hall, 10-5 Ichigaya-honmura-cho, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, and is conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

The event, at which scholars specializing in Japanese, Asian and African developmental issues participate, is meant to produce research-based policy recommendations to be presented at the fourth round of the International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV), to be organized by the Japanese Government in May 2008, in partnership with UNDP and the World Bank. Intended as a forum of mutual learning for African and Asian scholars, the workshop investigates the government’s role for promoting sustained economic growth, challenges the usefulness of concepts like “developmental state” and “industrial policy” for Africa, and asks what lessons and practices African countries can learn from the developmental experiences of Asian countries.

Thandika is one of six visiting international scholars giving a presentation at the workshop. In his paper he argues that policy reforms during the 1980s and 1990s left African states maladjusted and unprepared for carrying out tasks of developmental states. While cautioning against the use of success formula for the establishment of a developmental state, Thandika makes suggestions for African development based on the Asian experience.