Civil society and journalists can contribute to good governance
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.