AFRICAN INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATION RESEARCH PROJECT (AIDIRP)
The Department of Trade and Industry requires research support as part of its aim to achieve greater levels of African industrial development with, and through, economic integration in Africa. Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) and the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) drafted a concept note, proposing key elements of an African Industrial Development and Integration Research Project (AIDIRP) that will inform the strategic direction taken by South Africa, with a regional focus on Southern and East Africa. This is not to the exclusion of a continent wide strategy, however, it is a pragmatic and practical approach to identify, agree and implement concrete plans at the sectoral level including through bilateral country initiatives and together with institutional partnerships such as between development finance institutions in the region and together with business groupings. This might be contrasted with the many grand regional initiatives which have generally shared the feature of poor implementation and over-ambitious goals.
A second key premise for our proposals is that a shared understanding must be developed across countries of the key challenges impeding development, and that this requires jointly engaging in the analysis of the issues. To this end we propose developing a network of industrial development research groups across countries.
Given the nature and scale of the project, the findings from the research undertaken will include recommendations for policy interventions; potential steps to build economic hubs and clusters to realise agglomeration economies; and to develop competitiveness along regional value chains.
Regional Growth and Development in Southern Africa project
Countries in the southern African region face challenges when it comes to the transformation of their economies, the need for job creation and the sharing of the benefits of growth. In a project commissioned and funded by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), this series of research papers develops regional growth and development initiatives that generate economic transformation and widely shared development benefits. The research was undertaken in conjunction with policy and research institutions in the region.