Seminar: Can African countries successfully implement industrial policy?

Book cover Lindsay WhitfieldDespite rapid growth in many African countries, there has been very little economic transformation, which is the key driver behind increasing incomes and raising the standard of living. Economic transformation is the cumulative outcome of successful industrial policies. African governments generally have been less successful in implementing industrial policies, historically and in the contemporary period, compared to other developing country regions. This presentation sets out to understand why. Drawing on theories within the comparative political economy of development literature, it creates a new Politics of Industrial Policy framework for understanding the conditions under which industrial policies are successfully implemented and identifying the politics that make those conditions possible. The framework is applied to explain the design, implementation, and outcomes of industrial policies in four African countries: Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda. The presentation explains the generally limited success with implementing industrial policies in these countries, but also variations in success across the four countries and across sectors within the same country.

Prior to Dr Whitfield's position as Associate Professor in Global Studies at the Department of Society and Globalisation, she was a Senior Project Researcher in the Politics and Development research unit at the Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen. Before that, she was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Global Economic Governance Program, which is based at University College and the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, UK.
Her book The politics of African industrial policy; A comparative perspective will come out in May 2015.

Date, time and location

04 June 2015
15.30 - 17.00
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Room 3A06 (third floor)