Day 2 of the “Understanding Economic Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa” conference featured presentations highlighting similarities and constrasts in how individual countries are responding to structural transformation: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana, and, of course, Ghana. (The country case study presentations and some discussant presentations are linked on the agenda page.)
Sessions also included new perspectives on this economic transformation, including an overview of migration in Africa by IFPRI’s Alan de Brauw, an explanation of the importance of the informal sector by Louise Fox of the World Bank, and an illustration of the transforming affects of hosting large numbers of refugees, by IFPRI’s Jean Francois Maystadt.
The conference ended with insights from IFPRI Director General Shenggen Fan on research issues and challenges — including the need for good data, the importance of using a range of methodologies, and a suggestion to look further into the effect of the changing global landscape and emerging economies in Brazil, China and India — and encouragement to continue this important research.
In Shenggen’s words,
“Transformation should therefore be treated as a dynamic and multi-dimensional process that has the potential to support poverty reduction and food security. However, more research is needed to learn why countries transform as they do, and what can be done to facilitate better development outcomes.”
Notes from Shenggen Fan’s speech can be found on the agenda page and here.