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Issue 493 -- 9th - 15th July 2011
World Bank Analysis Sheds Light On Policies Behind Africa’s Development Successes
As countries across Africa seek a path to greater prosperity after the global financial crisis, a new World Bank publication gives examples of proven, home-grown solutions that could serve as an inspiration to many.
Titled , the book gives insight into what worked and why, drawing from 26 cases studies, of which 20 are national in scope, while six involve multiple countries. The case studies cut across themes, programs, and sectors. They include well-known success stories such as visionary investments in human capital and economic diversification in Mauritius and Botswana as well as those that are less famous for example, Somaliland’s quiet emergence as a reliable trading post along the Gulf of Aden.
Overall, the case studies show that success was driven by collective action, usually but not always led by government, to either overcome or avoid the failures of the past.
The case studies fall into four broad categories.
Case studies under this category relate to instances where governments successfully reformed existing policies that had become an impediment to growth. Notable examples include the revival of the cocoa industry in Ghana after near collapse in the 1980s, as well as efforts to overcome bad policies in the power sector through independent power producers after a long legacy of publicly financed utilities. This category also includes coffee sector reform in Rwanda; fertilizers liberalization in Kenya; breaking away from overreliance on cotton exports in Burkina Faso; sweeping economic reforms in Tanzania; post-conflict economic revival in Uganda and Mozambique; and savvy investments of diamonds proceeds in Botswana.
This category encompasses three national case studies of post-conflict reconstruction economic governance reform in Liberia, decentralization in Sierra Leone, and the empowerment of traditional structures for conflict deterrence in Somaliland.
Case studies under this category highlight the catalytic role that the state can play in spurring economic growth and job creation. The book surveys Lesothos capture of the lions share in African exports of clothing to the United States; forward-looking investments spurring mango exports from Mali; Mauritiuss crafty retooling of its economic base to adapt to a changing global context; Malawis experimentation with agricultural input subsidies; Rwandas innovative foray into ecotourism; liberalization of the telecom industries, and the successful containment of malaria across Africa.
category chronicles examples of bottom-up participatory approaches that
proved effective in policy interventions. A prime example is how
Ethiopia resorted to a community-based health system to address a
shortage of doctors and nurses to care for its population of 80 million
people. Likewise a series of failed attempts to generate a high-yield
variety of rice led scientists in West Africa to crowd-source their
research by bringing ordinary farmers into the selection process. This
resulted in the rapid identification of new varieties of high-performing
hybrid rice that are now cultivated in some 30 countries. Other case
studies in this group include: performance-based financing in the health
sector in Rwanda; free universal primary schooling in Uganda;
multi-country family planning programs; the use of portable
micro-irrigation pumps in a dozen countries; and M-PESA, Kenya’s
well-known mobile money transfer platform.
Gouahinga, +1 202 473 0696,