Economic Development in Africa Report 2010

South-South Cooperation - Africa and the New Forms of Development Partnership

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The increasing role of large developing countries in global trade, finance, investment and governance, coupled with their rapid economic growth, has stimulated debate on the implications for Africa’s development. The Report examines recent trends in the economic relationships of Africa with other developing countries and the new forms of partnership that are animating those relationships. The report discusses the variety of institutional arrangements that are guiding and encouraging these new economic relationships. It provides up-to-date information on African trade with other developing countries outside Africa, as well as on official financial flows and foreign direct investment into Africa from those countries. It places the new relationships and multiplying partnerships within the context of South–South cooperation. Finally, it assesses important policy issues that arise from the new relationships in each of these areas.

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Africa—South cooperation: Initiatives, patterns and challenges

Africa has a history of cooperation with the South. Its formal involvement in South–South cooperation dates back to 1955 when African and Asian nations, most of them newly independent, held a conference in Bandung, Indonesia, to promote economic and cultural cooperation and bring an end to colonialism. The Bandung Conference called for the promotion of world peace and underscored the need for developing nations to reduce their dependence on industrialized countries by providing technical assistance to one another. Furthermore, the Bandung Conference provided inspiration and impetus for the development of various South–South alliances in the 1960s and 1970s. For example, it led to the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961. It also provided impetus for the creation of the Group of 77 (G-77) during the first United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 1964. The G-77 has established itself as the leading voice of the South in the global arena (United Nations, 2009a). It has also played a lead role in establishing a conceptual framework and guiding principles for South–South cooperation (box 1).

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