Civil so­ci­ety and jour­nal­ists can con­trib­ute to good gov­er­nance

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

TU­NIS

Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans, civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tions and jour­nal­ists are the key play­ers who can con­trib­ute to good gov­er­nance. These groups can play a sig­nif­i­cant part in com­bat­ting cor­rup­tion and cap­i­tal flight in par­tic­u­lar… Cap­i­tal flight drains the re­sources of a na­tion and hence, re­tards eco­nomic growth.

These views were ex­pressed by Dr. Wil­liam Lyakurwa, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the African Eco­nomic Re­search Con­sor­tium, in an in­ter­view on the side­lines of a net­work­ing meet­ing with African think tanks on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 29 in Ki­gali, a day prior to the open­ing of the African Eco­nomic Con­fer­ence.

He touched nu­mer­ous de­vel­op­ment-re­lated is­sues at the heart of the on­go­ing African Eco­nomic Con­fer­ence. He par­tic­u­larly fea­tured Africa's eco­nomic per­for­mance in the last decade in terms of eco­nomic growth and poverty re­duc­tion, and the role AEC has played in pro­mot­ing good gov­er­nance and in­clu­sive growth. He also touched on the link be­tween in­clu­sive growth and democ­racy in an evolv­ing con­ti­nent.

To the ques­tion: "How can we achieve in­clu­sive growth at na­tional level in coun­tries where there is lack of democ­racy?" Mr. Lyakurwa ex­plained that democ­racy in its broad sense can lead to good gov­er­nance, growth and equitable dis­tri­bu­tion of wealth. He said: "Democ­racy is a nec­es­sary con­di­tion for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, but it is not suf­fi­cient. It has to be cou­pled with macroe­co­nomic sta­bil­ity, and a con­scious ef­fort to ad­dress the needs of the poor through var­i­ous chan­nels: na­tional health in­sur­ance, cash trans­fers, schools feed­ing sys­tems and schol­ar­ships tar­get­ing the very poor in the so­ci­ety, be­cause ed­u­ca­tion has been found to be pos­i­tively cor­re­lated with high in­comes and growth."

At the same time, he cited coun­tries that have achieved high eco­nomic growth, rel­a­tive dis­tri­bu­tion of wealth and re­duc­tion poverty with­out democ­racy. "There are coun­tries that have achieved rel­a­tively high rate of eco­nomic growth, and have lifted a large part of their pop­u­la­tions out of poverty and rel­a­tively equitable dis­tri­bu­tion of in­comes, with­out democ­racy," Mr. Lyakurwa said.

As com­monly ar­gued, Africa has im­mense nat­u­ral re­sources that have been grotesquely mis­man­aged. Hav­ing par­tic­i­pated in the var­i­ous past AEC con­fer­ences, Mr. Lyakurwa ac­knowl­edged that sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic progress have been made, both in the area of re­search and on link­ages be­tween growth and poverty; health and poverty; and the link­age be­tween health­growth.

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