“Africa needs to focus on economic growth going forward. That growth needs to be strong, shared and sustained,” Says AfDB Chief Economist, Mthuli Ncube

21/10/2010
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“Africa needs to focus on economic growth going forward. That growth needs to be strong, shared and sustained,” Says AfDB Chief Economist, Mthuli Ncube, in an interview ahead of the 27-29 October African Economic Conference in Tunis.

Question: To what extent can knowledge play a role in supporting Africa’s development?

Answer: Africa needs to focus on economic growth going forward. That growth needs to be strong, shared and sustained.  I think the demands for making this growth clean which really focus on climate change will become a paradigm going forward. All of these require knowledge generation and, therefore, designing a strategy. Such a strategy is key to knowing what it takes for Africa to become the next global growth pillar.

In order to design a strategy to achieve this type of growth, we need to do research and that requires not only knowledge generation, but also dissemination. We also need to share knowledge with other regions at the global level to expect a high rate of growth.  

Question: In the aftermath of the financial crisis, what are now considered by the AfDB and other institutions as the best roadmap options for Africa’s sustained growth?

Answer: Africa has learned a lot from the financial crisis and it did quite well during the crisis. This is largely due to two main reasons: One, certain countries have diversified their economies. Secondly, certain economies were well managed, which means they were able to institute counter-cyclical measures in order to deal with the crisis, built around monetary  policy expansion and fiscal accommodation. So it is quite clear that the way forward is to make sure that economies are well managed.  Last but not the least, we will need to focus again on economic growth and whatever required strategies to make that growth sustainable and shared.   

Question: What are the main features and characteristics of the upcoming African Economic Conference and the expected key outcomes?

Answer: This is a very rich conference that we are hosting this year. But again, the central message is around “Strong economic growth for Africa.” In a sense, the conference is focusing on the pillars that are required to support that economic growth. It is mainly around “How can Africa use its new partners such as China, Brazil, and India to support its economic growth?” Secondly, “What is the appropriate fiscal policy that Africa can adopt and what is the proper monetary policy that it should adopt in order to support its strong economic growth? There are also sessions on financial inclusion: “How can Africa begin to include the disadvantaged  parts of the population to support economic growth?”  

There is also a session on “Strategies for developing private sector development”. The only way growth can be sustained is that it is supported by private sector development. There is a session on Resource mobilization and another session on Capital markets. It will be a wonderful conference.