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Saturday, January 5, 2013
Economic mirage Development consultant Rick Rowden argues that despite all the breathless reports of Africa’s rapid economic rise, “increased growth and trade are not development”:“Though African countries desperately need the policy space to adopt industrial policies, the rich countries are pushing loan conditions and trade and investment agreements that block them from doing so, all the while proffering a happy narrative about ‘the rise of Africa.’ The very idea of industrialization has been dropped from the official development agenda. Yet there’s a reason why we all regularly refer to the rich, industrialized countries in the OECD as ‘industrialized.’Despite the important gains in services industries and per capita incomes, Africa is still not rising, and services alone will not create enough jobs to absorb the millions of unemployed youth in Africa’s growing urban areas. Instead, steps must be taken to revise WTO agreements and the many trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties currently being negotiated so that Africa has the freedom to adopt the industrial policies it needs in order to make genuine progress.”
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