Syndicate content

Oh no, not another economist's blog

Shanta Devarajan's picture

When I started my first blog on ending poverty in South Asia, my good friend Dani Rodrik, while announcing the blog , added “it does begin to feel awfully crowded in here…”. So why am I starting yet another economist’s blog?

The short answer is that I have changed jobs. I am now the chief economist of the World Bank’s Africa Region, so it would be difficult to sustain the South Asia blog (which will however continue under new leadership). 

The longer answer is that the experience with the South Asia blog, as well as my impressions and previous research on Africa, have taught me that a forum for discussing ideas about economic policy reform in Africa is extraordinarily useful, if not essential, in the quest to end poverty in Africa. For the first time in 30 years, Sub-Saharan Africa is growing at the same rate as the developing world (save India and China). For more, see the book “Africa at a Turning Point?. If African countries can sustain this growth and make it more widely shared, the dream of a continent free of poverty can become a reality. What will it take? First, an understanding of what went right and what went wrong with Africa’s economic performance. Second, a consensus around what needs to be done going forward. Both will require a vigorous public debate. Change does not occur by the finance minister waking up one morning and deciding to reform import tariffs. It also will not occur by someone from the World Bank whispering in the finance minister’s ear. It emerges from an open and evidence-based debate among Africans and those concerned about Africa, so that the policies are tailored to country circumstances and, more importantly, so that the decision maker finds it in his or her interest to undertake the reform. These debates are going on already. For instance, I have been fortunate to be associated with one forum, the African Economic Research Consortium, which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this month. This blog is aimed at nourishing that debate.

Comments

First thank you for blogging :) In the past the World Bank has played an important strategic role in tobacco control helping determining the most effective policies and debunking myths about the suggested negative impacts of certain decisions (for instance about taxes). Tobacco control can contribute to Africa's development but there is a big need for more data and more collaboration between countries. Can the World Bank help? Thank you in advance Philippe Boucher PS: I am asking in the context of work I am doing for ATSA a joint program of IDRC and the Gates Foundation.

Submitted by bankelele on
Welcome to the African blog world. I feel that the more blogs written about business, finance economics, and investment in Africa, the better for the continent.

Submitted by Solomon on
i am doing a presentation on Ghana's economic goals. i would like some information on correlation between manpower and infrastructural growth. precisely ratios between population, infrastructural requirement and development.

Well, its nice to see that Africa too is developing in a quick rate. The base of under development can be illiteracy and this can be the first and last point of under development, if the citizen of any country is literate, at least they can be capable to earn livelihood for themselves and if this happens than the future of such country will be bright.

Submitted by Prestito on
Hey its nice that you have become an economist of the world bank of Africa region, Now your economic view can become more broaden.

Submitted by FL DMV on
Up till now, Africa has not been viewed as a priority focus area within the global tobacco control movement. One reason is that high rates of cigarette smoking are a more recent phenomenon across much of the continent contrary to the case in most other parts of the world. Other contributing factors are the dearth of tobacco-specific data (regarding health and economic factors, particularly) in the region, and the perception that tobacco control cannot realistically be a priority of resource-limited governments and civil society groups grappling with other deadly epidemics.

Submitted by HGH on
The reason is that high rates of cigarette smoking are a more recent phenomenon across much of the continent contrary to the case in most other parts of the world. Other contributing factors are the dearth of tobacco-specific data (regarding health and economic factors, particularly) in the region, and the perception that tobacco control cannot realistically be a priority of resource-limited governments and civil society groups grappling with other deadly epidemics.

viewed as a priority focus area within the global tobacco control movement. One reason is that high rates of cigarette smoking are a more recent phenomenon across much of the continent contrary to the case in most other parts of the world. Other contributing factors are the dearth of tobacco-specific data (regarding health and economic factors, particularly) in the region, and the perception that tobacco control cannot realistically be a priority of resource-limited governments and civil society groups grappling with other deadly epidemics.

Very informative and trustworthy blog. Please keep updating with great posts like this one. I have booked marked your site and am about to email it to a few friends of mine that I know would enjoy reading.

After reading your into "When I started my first blog on ending poverty in South Asia, my good friend Dani Rodrik, while announcing the blog , added “it does begin to feel awfully crowded in here…”. So why am I starting yet another economist’s blog?" I am glad you did it's a very good read.

Add new comment