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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This introductory chapter of the second volume of the Handbook discusses Africa’s changing economic policy and institutional frameworks, and presents the ways forward. It starts with a chronicle of the rise and fall of the main economic strategies adopted by most African countries after independence, and highlights their rationale and shortcomings. It then draws some lessons to be learned from failures and successes, and stresses the inappropriate tendency of African policymakers to take as reference models the most advanced economies and try to replicate their strategies and policies mimetically. It argues that economic policy in developing countries be primarily conceived as an exercise of strategic selection, and concludes by insisting on the need for humility in the quest for relevant knowledge.

Keywords: Great Recession, growth strategies, economics of preconditions, policymaking in Africa, industrial policy, Washington Consensus, Spence Paradox

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