African Development Policy Training Program
The training program offers workshops targeted to senior members of African governments on structural and emerging issues in African development. Since 2013, PERI has collaborated with the African Development Institute at the African Development Bank to deliver workshops on themes such as: Capital flight and development financing in Africa; macroeconomic policies for pro-poor growth and employment creation; the political economy of reforms in fragile states and post-conflict countries; domestic resource mobilization for inclusive development. Other topics of interest include: inclusive finance and sustainable development; green growth; economic transformation for sustainable development.
- The objectives of the training program are:
- To expose African policy makers to frontier knowledge in policy analysis and design, as well as best practices in development policy;
- To provide African policy makers with technical and conceptual tools to assess country-specific development challenges and growth potential, and design strategies to address challenges and harness opportunities;
- To provide a framework for experience sharing and learning from success stories in Africa and beyond, so as to generate practical solutions to African development problems;
- and To promote innovative development policy analysis by providing a practical approach to policy making aimed at exploiting the full potential of macroeconomic and sectoral policies to promote high, sustained, and shared growth.
For information about the program, please email the Program Director, Leonce Ndikumana.
Domestic Resource Mobilization for Sustainable Development
May 2016, Nairobi, Kenya
African countries’ ability to achieve and sustain high growth rates and reduce poverty is constrained by the lack of stable and reliable financial resources. Thus far, African countries have substantially relied on external financing that remains volatile and quantitatively inadequate relative to their development needs. At the same time, most African countries operate below their potential in terms of domestic resource mobilization. This is especially the case for natural resource rich countries, which have often been outperformed by their resource-scarce counterparts in terms of tax incidence.
It is therefore imperative for African countries to design and implement strategies aimed at enhancing effectiveness in domestic resource mobilization (DRM). This will enable African countries to reap important benefits from enhanced DRM, notably: i) reduced dependence on external resources, resulting in reduced vulnerability to external shocks; ii) increased policy space, enabling African countries to ‘own’ their development agenda and embark on a more sustained growth path; iii) strengthened international financial position, thus positioning African countries to attract higher volumes of external resources that complement enhanced domestic resources; iv) strengthened international bargaining position and credibility, enabling African countries to advance their strategic interests in the global arena.
The African Development Bank and the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) joined hands to organize a workshop in Nairobi, Kenya on May 2-6, 2016, where senior government officials from African countries discussed challenges faced by African countries in mobilizing domestic resource mobilization. The workshop provided an opportunity for policy makers to share their experiences with regard to best practices in harnessing African countries’ potential to raise government revenue and meet their development financing needs.
The workshop discussed the following:
- Why tax revenue mobilization remains below potential in the majority of African countries: An inquiry into the structural, institutional and political economy factors of domestic revenue mobilization.
- Fiscality as a state-citizen contract and the critical role of institutions for effective domestic resource mobilization: what institutional environment makes it possible to maximize government revenue?
- Challenges and opportunities for domestic resource mobilization in natural resource-rich countries: How can African resource-rich countries avoid the ‘resource curse’ and harness their resource endowment?
- Aid and taxation: Does foreign aid crowd-in or crowd-out domestic resource mobilization?
- Taxation in economies with a large informal sector: Is there a trade-off between supporting growth of the informal sector that constitutes a source of livelihood for large segments of the African populations, on the one hand, and broadening the tax base through formalization of informal activities?
- Taxation of the private sector and the special case of tax evasion by multinational corporations
- Illicit financial flows, a severe constraint to domestic resource mobilization and development financing in African countries: The problem and what to do about it.
- PERI was represented by James Boyce, James Heintz and Léonce Ndikumana.
Political Economy of Reforms in Post-Conflict and Fragile States
April 20-23, 2015
Several African countries continue to witness violent and recurrent conflicts, while others struggle to recover and rebuild their economies in the post-conflict era. The African continent also hosts countries that face other forms of vulnerability and instability that undermine their growth and development prospects. While poverty, inequality, weak institutions, and low development in general are the outcomes of fragility, they also undermine efforts to accelerate economic development in these countries. Policy making therefore poses daunting challenges in countries emerging from conflict and facing fragility. To discuss these issues, the Political Economy Research Institute and the African Development Institute of the African Development Bank jointly organized a training workshop on the theme “Political Economy of Reforms in Post-Conflict and Fragile State” in Dakar, Senegal. The workshop was attended by senior government officials from Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mali, South Sudan, Togo, and Zimbabwe.
- This workshop offered a political economy perspective to institutional reforms required to build peace, alleviate fragility, and accelerate economic development. Discussions centered on the role of fiscal policy, international aid, employment and redistribution policies, natural resource management, and a strategy for building productive capacities in post-conflict and fragile states.
- The workshop discussed the following them
- The importance of the political economy dimensions of institutional reforms in fragile states;
- The role of fiscal policy as an instrument for state building;
- The opportunities and challenges faced by international development assistance in fragile states;
- The need for effective employment and redistribution policies to address the problems of youth unemployment, marginalization and deprivation in post-conflict settings;
- The challenges and opportunities associated with natural resource management in fragile states, including issues of tax evasion, transfer pricing, corruption, and the regulation of multinational corporations operating in the natural resource sector;
- The need to mainstream productive capacity building in post-conflict and fragile states to foster economic transformation
- The Workshop examined progress made and remaining challenges, with illustrations of some country experiences.
- PERI was represented by James Boyce, James Heintz and Leonce Ndikumana.
Sustaining Growth in African Countries
Since the turn of the century, African countries have experienced growth acceleration, which is a welcome turnaround from the past decades of stagnation. However, the ability to sustain this growth momentum hinges significantly on the capacity to fill the large financing gaps faced by the majority of the countries in the region. In this context, while African countries need to strengthen measures aimed at stimulating domestic saving and investment, they also need to design strategies to stem the steady leakage of resources in the form of capital flight and generally illicit financial flows.
The African Development Institute of the African Development Bank, in collaboration with PERI, held a regional workshop on “Capital flight reversal and development financing in Africa” in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 12-15, 2014. Since last year, PERI and the African Development Bank established a partnership in building capacity for African policy makers in relation to emerging areas in economic development in Africa.
This course offers policy makers an opportunity to examine the nature, magnitude, causes and impact of capital flight, and to assess the potential gains from capital flight reversal in African countries. The participants shared experiences from their respective countries on the various dimensions of the problem of capital flight, as well as policies and institutional reforms that are under way to both curb capital flight and encourage capital flight reversal and repatriation. The discussions highlighted the importance of a coordinated strategy involving actions at the national, regional and international level given that capital flight is, indeed, a global problem.
The workshop was attended by policy makers from countries from Eastern and Southern Africa.
East African Policy Workshop
The African Development Bank, in partnership with PERI, delivered a capacity building workshop for African policy makers in Eastern and Southern Africa on “Macroeconomic Policy for Inclusive Growth, Employment Creation and Poverty Reduction” in Nairobi, Kenya.
While African countries are witnessing growth resurgence since the turn of the century, they have not achieved commensurate progress in poverty reduction. A key reason is that growth has not generated proportionate job creation and that growth has not been broad based. Strategies to accelerate poverty reduction must therefore involve a refocusing of macroeconomic policy on ‘real’ development goals, notably employment creation and inclusive growth, over and beyond the traditional short-term objective of macroeconomic stability. In this context, this course discussed innovative policies for generating growth that is inclusive and accompanied by employment creation and poverty reduction. This is the second workshop under the AfDB-PERI partnership.
Training Course on Capital Flight and Development Financing
The African Development Institute of the African Development Bank, in collaboration with PERI, held a regional workshop on “Capital flight reversal and development financing in Africa” in Dakar, Senegal, from April 15 to April 18 2013. The workshop marks a beginning of a partnership between PERI and the African Development Bank in capacity building for African policy makers. It is expected that this partnership will grow to include other premier knowledge institutions in Africa.
Over the past four decades, African countries have lost over $1.3 trillion due to capital flight, while they face large and growing financing gaps. This is a major obstacle to the continent’s efforts to achieve sustained high growth and poverty reduction. The capacity building workshop offers an opportunity for policy makers to discuss the nature and magnitude of capital flight from African countries. The objective is to propose strategies to curb capital flight, enhance its reversal and repatriation, and maximize the gains in terms of economic development.
The workshop was attended by policy makers from sixteen countries from West and North Africa.