Researchers Focus on Policy and Institutions during the African Economic Conference

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As part of the African Economic Conference taking place from November 12-14, 2008, in Tunis, a two-part workshop was held on Wednesday on Policy and Institutions.  The first part focused on Economic Success Stories in Africa, with Tunisia serving as a central example, and the second part on the definition and measurement of economic emergence.

Speaking during the workshop, the African Development Bank (AfDB)Group Lead Economist, Ferdinand Bakoup, presented a study on Tunisia and its successful economic policy.  While emphasizing the lack of research on African success stories, he highlighted the key objectives of Tunisia’s economic policy which were primarily economic growth and job creation through  intermediate objectives of strengthening the productive base of the economy and strengthening demand addressed to the economy.  He listed a number of operational objectives which included, infrastructure, human resources, macro-economic stability, and financing to consumers and producers.  In concluding his presentation, he noted the importance for Tunisia to continue its progress by finding new sources of growth.

Similarly, Professor Moubarack Lo of the Universite Gaston Berger de Saint Louis, Dakar, Senegal, presented a study on the measurements and necessities of an emerging economy.  He questioned the grouping of states like Sierra Leone and Singapore within the same category of developing nations, and presented an index on measuring and classifying an emerging economy.  The presentation examined the characteristics that defined an emerging economy, stressing the importance of attracting investments, developing exports, a competent public administration, adaptability to new technology, macro-economic stability and a necessary national consensus on the economic policies, among others. 

 Messrs. Ahmed Moummi and Hamacire Dicko of the AfDB complemented the discussion with additional comments and critiques of the presentations. Mr. Dicko, however, underscored the central place the ‘enterprise’ in Tunisia’s political economy.  The session was chaired by AfDB Water and Sanitation Department Director, A. R. Rakotobe.

effort to find solutions to the crisis, Mr. Janneh made the following three proposals: First that Africa should avoid panic actions since the crisis is not due to failures of policy and economic management in Africa. Second, that there should be no delay in taking the short-term actions judged necessary for ameliorating the impact of the crisis, and third that Africa should pursue the establishment of international economic, financial, monetary, and trade systems that enhance global economic governance to ensure the protection of African countries from future financial turbulence.