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“Pathways for African Shared Prosperity in the New Technological Reality” with Professor Benno J. Ndulu

  • NYU Africa House 14A Washington Mews New York, NY, 10003 United States (map)

On July 25, 2018, NYU Development Research Institute and Africa House presented a lecture by Professor Benno J. Ndulu, the former Governor of the Bank of Tanzania. Professor Ndulu, now at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, discussed economic growth in Africa over the last few decades, as well as any implications for future growth. The focus was primarily on discussing growth in Africa within the context of ever-changing technology that has redefined the process of industrialization. Following the lecture, guests had the opportunity to participate in a Q & A session.


The last two decades have seen a large number of African countries post rapid growth by the region’s historical experience. In contrast to the past, the region managed to ride through three shocks with reasonable resilience – the global financial crisis, the Euro crisis, and, more recently, commodity price shocks – with some variation across countries. About 100 million Africans were lifted out of poverty and some improvements in life expectancy were registered. In contrast to the Asian emerging economies, however, this progress was made without significant structural transformation or creation of modern jobs. The advent of artificial intelligence and data technologies have made industrialization increasingly jobless as robots “take over.” Has the region missed on the opportunity to get on the escalator that helped Asian economies catch up and reduce poverty very significantly? What alternative escalators for structural transformation, catching up income-wise, and poverty reduction are available to the region? How should the region position itself to take advantage of disruptive technologies to make progress toward prosperity? The presentation will offer some ideas in response to these questions.


Professor Benno J. Ndulu just completed a 10-year term as Governor of the Bank of Tanzania, the country’s Central Bank, and is now the Mwalimu Nyerere Professorial Chair on Development at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. He is best known for having served as one of the pioneers for the most effective research and training network in economics in Africa, the African Economic Research Consortium, where he served first as its research Director and then as its Executive Director. Having begun his career in academia at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, he later served in the World Bank as a Research Manager in Development Economics (DEC) and Advisor to Vice President Africa Region. He has published widely on growth, governance, and trade. He is currently co-directing the Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development anchored at Blavatnik School of Government.

Photo Credit: ©Goldman: Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau