UNCTAD Report: Africa and the New Forms of Development Partnership

UNCTAD Release:  The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has released the Economic Development in Africa Report 2010, which is titled “South-South Cooperation: Africa and the New Forms of Development Partnership”.

According to the Report, increasingly important economic partners in the “South” can help African transformation, not only through growing trade and financial flows but by supporting regional infrastructure projects and transferring knowledge and technology.

The study shows a significant increase in the number and nature of Africa-South cooperation arrangements during the last decade.  With the continuing growth of large developing countries, such as China and Brazil, together with weaker growth prospects in advanced economies, the economic relationships linking Africa to other developing regions can be expected to grow in relative importance.

The overall aim, the study says, should be to build Africa´s “productive capacities” — that is, the abilities of the continent´s economies to produce a greater variety and more sophisticated goods.

Developing-country partners can support this process by broadening the scope of engagement beyond extractive sectors and by enhancing technology transfer and learning. Cooperation with the South should also ensure that gains are better distributed across countries.

The report recommends that African countries use targeted incentives to encourage foreign investors to source inputs locally. Also, the promotion of joint ventures between African and Southern firms could boost the diffusion of knowledge to local entrepreneurs and contribute to the structural transformation of African economies.

The report notes that despite advances in Africa-South cooperation, traditional donors are, and will remain the main providers of aid to the region and also its major trading partners. The report thus recommends that Africa-South cooperation should be seen as a complement to, and not a substitute for, relations with traditional partners in the North.

More of the Report´s highlights can be seen here.

The full report can be downloaded from here.


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