3. Revisiting and Confronting the Challenges of African Development


Economic Development Working Group

Despite significant global economic advances, many African countries have experienced economic divergence with the Western world since independence. The issues faced by these countries range from political and economic dependence, reliance on primary commodity exports, poor infrastructure, weak health systems, capital flight, and weak political institutions. 

Debates continue between scholars of various persuasions, focused on the role of institutions, colonial legacies and policy frameworks in shaping development across Africa. So many questions remain unanswered and are continuously echoed in economic development discourses. What constitutes economic development anyway? Can it be universalised? What is the role of the state, foreign governments, international organisations, and social movements, in Africa’s development processes? What is to be learned from the positive development experiences that have taken place on the continent, including efforts by the state and non-state actors to alleviate poverty and bring about economic development? It is within this context that the Economic Development Working Group is inviting papers that seek to engage with these broader questions related to African development. The themes include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Alternative theories of development
  2. Gender and economic development
  3. Religion and economic development
  4. Institutions and development
  5. Natural resources and development
  6. Aid and development
  7. Economic growth, inequality and development
  8. Technology and economic development
  9. Health and economic development

Questions regarding this call can be directed to: Susan Ziki (susaanziki@gmail.com), Ruvarashe Masocha (ruemasocha@gmail.com) or Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven (kvani263@newschool.edu) from the Economic Development Working Group.