The Policy Paradox in Africa: Strengthening Links between Economic Research and Policymaking

The Policy Paradox in Africa: Strengthening Links between Economic Research and Policymaking

The Policy Paradox in Africa: Strengthening Links between Economic Research and Policymaking

The Policy Paradox in Africa: Strengthening Links between Economic Research and Policymaking

Excerpt

It is becoming increasingly clear that without sweeping changes to domestic policies and international ones we well, Africa will not reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. This is probably why so many recent international development initiatives focus on the continent—the Commission for Africa launched by the United Kingdom with its plan for debt cancellation for the poorest countries and the declarations in 2005 by the incoming president of the World Bank, Paul Wolflowitz, that he wants to focus on Africa.

Donors also say they will favour democratic countries that adopt sound development policies. This raises several questions. What constitutes a sound development policy? And who is making that policy? What role does economic research—and economic researchers in Africa—play in the existing process of policy development on the continent? Are policy-makers and political leaders cognizant of the research on-going in their own countries and that being done by research networks across the continent when they formulate policies intended to promote sustainable development in Africa? And if they are not taking research findings into account when deciding on key policies that can make—or break—developing efforts, how can the relationship between research and policy be strengthened to remedy this weakness in the links between the research and policy process?

During the 1980s and 1990s, a majority of countries in Africa and in Latin America implemented structural adjustment programs (SAPs) . . .

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