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date: 22 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the evolution of development theory and practice, the role of agriculture therein, and the pace of structural transformation in Africa over the last 50 years. The evolution has involved shifting roles of industry versus agriculture and that of government and the public sector versus markets and the private sector. Government intervention in favor of industrialization in the 1960s and 1970s resulted in the neglect of agriculture, poor growth performance, and a productivity-reducing structural transformation, characterized by an increasing concentration of low productivity labor in the informal service sector. The chapter suggests a move away from the dual economy to a three-dimensional model that pays greater attention to the large informal segment of the service sector. A successful transformation will require accelerated agricultural productivity growth, a modernized informal service sector, and effective industrialization strategies, with balanced roles for government, markets, and the private sector, all supported by country-led, evidence-based strategies.

Keywords: agriculture, growth, development, Africa, structural transformation, industry, informal service sector, CAADP

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