Development Centre

DevTalks - Africa’s Transformation in the Age of Doubt



Monday, 16 September 2019 - 14.30-16.00 – OECD Conference Centre, Room D

Within the OECD Development Centre "DEV TALKS" Series

Mario Pezzini, Director of the Development Centre and Special Advisor to the OECD Secretary-General on Development, is pleased to invite you to a discussion on:

Africa’s Transformation in the Age of Doubt

With Carlos Lopes, Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance and Visiting Professor at Sciences Po Paris

Over the last twenty years, African economies have registered five per cent growth, more than doubling their gross domestic product. Progress in areas such as education, health and governance along with the acceleration of intra-African trade owing to the ratification of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), have won the continent a privileged position as the world’s second most attractive region for foreign investment. Yet, despite its rapid growth, why does Africa lack enduring economic and social transformation? And why has Africa missed out on previous waves of industrialisation?

In his latest book, Africa in Transformation: Economic Development in the Age of Doubt, Dr Carlos Lopes maintains that Africa should revisit its current development models if it wants to thrive on the positive socio-economic outcomes of its recent growth, which is mostly propelled by internal consumption. To this end, he lays down a blueprint for eight of the most transformative issues facing the continent: 1) development policies, 2) reform of policy space, 3) respect for diversity, 4) agricultural productivity, 5) revitalisation of the social contract, 6) climate change, 7) structural transformation through industrialisation and 8) the Africa-China partnership. Dr Lopes’ unique vantage point offers a historical perspective of the transformation process. He challenges the concept of “premature de-industrialisation” and re-examines the definition and measurement of otherwise loosely used concepts such as productivity and performance.

Dr Lopes will join us to examine some of the contemporary and counterintuitive perceptions on Africa, particularly how the absence of quality data on fiscal policy has led to inaccurate diagnoses and poor policy recommendations, and how the relatively low cost of renewable energy in Africa could be leveraged to achieve green industrialisation.




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