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Governance and development in Africa: A concise review

Augustin Fosu ()

Global Development Institute Working Paper Series from GDI, The University of Manchester

Abstract: Given the increasing importance of governance in economic development and the yearn for Africa to catch up, the present paper provides a concise review of the literature with relevance to the region. First, the paper presents the stylized facts showing that Africa as a region, since about the late-1990s, substantially improved on growth and economic outcomes in the form of per capita income, human development, and poverty. Second, it shows that both economic governance (EG) and political governance (PG) have improved considerably since about the late 1980s or early 1990s, with EG measured by economic freedom, and PG by the index of electoral competiveness, executive constraint and polity 2, as well as by indicators of political stability. Third, it attributes the favourable changes in economic outcomes significantly to these improvements in EG and PG. Finally, the paper flags the challenge of the likely disequilibrium between the economic and political equilibria under multiparty democracy, with adverse implications for fiscal allocation. .

Date: 2017
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