Economic Development in Africa 2007

Reclaiming Policy Space - Domestic Resource Mobilization and Developmental States

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The 2007 Report examines domestic resource mobilization for growth and poverty reduction in African countries. It analyses how African countries can increase domestic resources and channel them into productive investments. The Report also examines how African countries can reclaim development “policy space”, and give true meaning to, “ownership” of development strategies that respond to their own priorities within the framework of a “developmental State”.

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One of the most prominent objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000 was to have member States halve their levels of absolute poverty by 2015. While some regions of the developing world have made sufficient progress towards achieving this goal, sub-Saharan Africa has been singled out as one region that is unlikely to meet the target by 2015 if current trends continue. Indeed, halfway through to the target year, the latest data on poverty shows that sub-Saharan Africa is the only developing region where the absolute number of poor people has been steadily increasing, even if the relative number declined from 47 per cent to 41 per cent of the total population between 1999 and 2004 (Chen and Ravaillon, 2007). One of the reasons why sub-Saharan Africa might miss the 2015 target is its relatively low rate of economic growth. Indeed, despite the recent gains made by a number of countries in terms of export revenue, thanks to high prices of some major primary commodities, the growth rate in sub-Saharan Africa as a region continues to fall short of the 7–8 per cent necessary to achieve the MDGs target on halving poverty.


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