After a decade and a half of above-average growth, the confidence of African countries and their leaders has increased markedly. As in the optimistic 1960s, the continent is searching once again for a model to transform its economy and eradicate poverty. The donor-driven policies that African countries have pursued for decades have yielded few results. They now look at the “developmental states” in Asia and Latin America as possible role models. The new thinking emphasizes an enhanced direct role for the state in the economy, including public-private partnerships and supporting “national champions.” However, implementation is a challenge, especially for small and fragile economies, and in light of the much-changed global economy. The lecture discussed the plausibility of the developmental state model in African countries, given their geography, socio-economic diversity, fiscal constraints, and implementation record.
Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa, Ph.D., Africa House Visiting Scholar
Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa received his Ph.D. in Economics from Gothenburg University in Sweden in 1988 and became Associate Professor at the same university in 1994. He worked as a Senior Economist at the IMF in Washington, DC., Project Director and Fellow at the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) of the United Nations University, Helsinki, and most recently as Director of Strategy, Director of Operations and Director of Research, respectively, at the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Tunis and Abidjan. His last post at the AfDB, which he left at the end of 2015, was Acting Chief Economist and Vice President. He has collaborated with many international and national institutions and has been an external examiner of doctoral students in Africa and in European countries. He has been a consultant for the Swedish International Development Agency, the World Bank, the OECD, and the UNDP. He considers the policy dialogue which he undertook with government leaders from across Africa, during his years at the AfDB, as the height of his career, and is planning to write a book about these experiences.
He has researched and published widely in the areas of macroeconomics, international economics, and development economics, focusing especially on Africa and other developing regions. His most recent publications include a co-edited volume on Urbanization and Socio-Economic Development in Africa (Routledge, London, 2014). A volume from his work at WIDER entitled Reforming Africa’s Institutions: Ownership, Incentives, and Capabilities” (United Nations University Press, Tokyo and New York), was used as course material in development at leading universities.
Steve is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for African Development at Cornell and is also Adjunct Professor at the University of Cape Town. Aside from analyzing the political economy of African institutions, he is also studying, with colleagues at a number of African institutions, the “war to peace” dynamics in the Great Lakes Region of Africa–including Uganda, DRC, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Burundi.
Steve was born and raised in Uganda but also holds Swedish nationality.