Overcoming Low Political Equilibrium in Africa: Institutional Changes for Inclusive Development
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AbstractThis paper examines the role that institutions have played in the performance of African economies over the past decades. It discusses the institutional changes needed to enable African countries to reach inclusive development in the near future. The paper starts from the premise that growth and development are the outcomes of policy choices, which in turn are the outcome of a complex process of political negotiation among various stakeholders – both domestic and foreign – who have interests that may be divergent. In other words, policy choices and the resulting development outcomes constitute a political equilibrium. It is therefore important to understand how such political equilibria arise, how they persist, and how they can be shaped or altered to achieve national goals. Understanding the forces that govern policy making and the factors that drive growth and its distributional impact can shed light on how African countries can definitively overcome secular low growth and pervasive inequities; in other words how they can overcome low-development political equilibrium and achieve inclusive development.