Book launch: Beating the odds – tips for jump-starting developing countries

22/05/2017
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A book, highlighting pragmatic tips that “developing countries can follow to spark economic growth, without waiting for global actions”, was launched Monday, May 22, 2017 in Ahmedabad, India, on the first day of the 52nd Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group.

Titled: “Beating the Odds : Jump-Starting Developing Countries”, the book is co-authored by two development economists – AfDB’s Vice-President and Chief Economist, Célestin Monga and the Director of the Center for New Structural Economics, Peking University, Professor Justin Yifu Lin.

The book will undoubtedly contribute to the history of Africa’s development. It is a detailed strategy that comes as “tips for jump-starting developing countries”, at a time think-tanks from around the globe and key policy-makers, businesses, academia, civil society as well as media representatives are reflecting on a new paradigm that will effectively help create wealth in the continent, through agricultural transformation. The book demonstrates how African countries would aptly move their development agenda “out of the low-income trap regardless of their circumstances.”

Why was the book written? The authors affirmed that poverty is not predestined: it can be changed, provided the right policy is implemented. For them, there is a good window of opportunity for African countries to transform. There is a for countries to be pragmatic in the choice of policies, the authors argued, adding that growth always starts from a poor business environment.  

Building on the successful experiences in Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Ethiopia and Rwanda, the authors said, “By attracting foreign investments, poor countries would improve their trade logistics and increase the knowledge and skills of local entrepreneurs. That would also help gain the confidence of international buyers, and gradually make local firms competitive.” They also underscored that the strategy needs not be limited to traditional manufacturing, but can also include agriculture, the service sector, and other activities.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Board Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, congratulated the authors for producing a comprehensive and pragmatic book that encourages less privileged nations “to swiftly jump directly into the global economy.” She also said she was attracted by the content and the fundamental lessons learned from the book. However, she pointed out that institutions are the missing links in Africa’s development. “Our countries need strong institutions,” she said. 

Book launch : “Beating the Odds: Jump - Starting Developing Countries”, AM 2017

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