Managing Economic Development in Africa: Proceedings of the M. I. T. Fellows in Africa, Annual Conference, Aevian-Les-Bains, France, August 12-24, 1962

Managing Economic Development in Africa: Proceedings of the M. I. T. Fellows in Africa, Annual Conference, Aevian-Les-Bains, France, August 12-24, 1962

Managing Economic Development in Africa: Proceedings of the M. I. T. Fellows in Africa, Annual Conference, Aevian-Les-Bains, France, August 12-24, 1962

Managing Economic Development in Africa: Proceedings of the M. I. T. Fellows in Africa, Annual Conference, Aevian-Les-Bains, France, August 12-24, 1962

Excerpt

Carroll L. Wilson Professor of Industrial Management Director, M. I. T. Fellows in Africa Program

This book records the proceedings of the 1962 Evian Conference of the M. I. T. Fellows in Africa Program. The Conference offered an opportunity for fifteen young Americans who had been working for the last twelve to twenty-four months as employees of African governments to present and discuss their ideas, conclusions, and experiences in the field of economic development with ten new Fellows on their way to Africa, and a number of officials of United States, African, and international organizations concerned with the problems of Africa's development.

Planning economic development in ways that will stimulate the private sector and achieve a good return on increased resources from public plus private investment is a relatively new kind of exercise. Experience is brief, and results to date are confusing. It is only in the past fifteen years that large-scale attempts have been made. Yet every newly independent country embarks upon such a course. Resources are scarce and undeveloped, money and help are limited, and initiative by government seems essential. There are few useful guidelines and few wise counselors.

Plans must become the directions and schedules for actual performance of tasks. It is easier to make plans than to carry them out. All of the planning to which increasing attention is now being given will merely result in more explicit frustration if a companion effort is not made in the field of development management. Perhaps this is just public administration. Yet it is closer in content and method to industrial management than it is to the conventional functions of government. Investment and return must be continually under review and a balance struck between short- and long-term returns. Services must be thought of as overhead and their maintenance kept within the earning power of the country to maintain. The return on invest-

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