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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

There has been a sustained increase in economic growth in Africa since the mid-1990s. However, most economies have not yet experienced transformation to greater productivity and global competitiveness. It is argued by some experts that what Africa needs are the industrial policy strategies that have transformed East Asian economies. Such policies are associated, in their initial phase, with autocratic regimes. On the other hand, it is widely believed that it is the liberalization of African political and economic systems that made possible today’s “rising” or “emergent” Africa. A contrary hypothesis has been advanced by one group of scholars that a new form of political and economic governance—developmental patrimonialism as exemplified by the Rwandan and Ethiopian governments—suggests a better pathway from poverty to inclusive growth. This paper examines these contrasting arguments. It concludes with the need for greater discussion and research on developmental governance and the building of coherent and effective democratic states.

Keywords: claiming democracy, emergent Africa, developmental patrimonialism, prebendalism, workshops of developmental governance

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