Since the mid-1990s the economic prospects for Africa have been transformed. The change has been uneven: some countries remain mired in conflict and economic stagnation. But for many, macroeconomic stability has been achieved — even through the global financial crisis and its aftermath — and far-reaching policy reforms have been put in place.

For these countries, growth prospects in the first quarter of the 21st century are much brighter than at any time during the final quarter of the last century. But converting good prospects into sustained growth and decisive poverty reduction requires a degree of good luck, good policy formulation, resources, and a lot of good economic management. For policy improvements to be sustained they must be underpinned by more fundamental shifts in political power; sectional interests ruling through patronage must be defeated by the public interest. And for the shift in power to be decisive, the achievements of individual reformers must be locked in through the development of effective institutions in both the public and private sectors.

There is now considerable academic research on the issues that matter for Africa and it could potentially inform Africa’s debates. But to date it has been disconnected from them. Increasingly, academics write only for other academics rather than to inform the public. With this series of books we seek to build bridges between the evidence from solid research and contemporary policy debates. Each book aims to bring together the best international and domestic scholars with policymakers working on economic policy issues across the continent. Throughout, our contributors are required to write with clarity, avoiding academic jargon, but equally avoiding advocacy. Focusing on the key issues that matter for a society, each chapter aims to leave readers better able to draw their own conclusions about important choices.




Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia

Macroeconomics and Growth