Joseph Stiglitz and JICA-RI in Pretoria Task Force


From July 9 to July 10, the 4th Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD) Task Force on Africa meeting was held in Pretoria, South Africa. IPD was founded by Columbia University's Joseph Stiglitz, professor and Nobel Laureate economist, in 2006. Since 2007, JICA-RI along with Columbia University has co-sponsored the event. This year, the partnership also received support from the South Africa Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). This year's event consisted of discussion-based sessions and a public panel featuring Professor Stiglitz.

IPD is a think tank that focuses on development-related regional and country-specific issues. It serves as a bridge between policy-makers and academia. The Africa Task Force of IPD aims to form policy proposals for decision makers on development and economic issues. This year's focus was two-fold: the effects of the Global Financial Crisis on African economies and the nexus of land, agriculture and climate change issues. A secondary motive was to focus on industrialization policy, particularly in South Africa, the host country.


Dir. Tsunekawa with Prof. Stiglitz

JICA-RI Director Keiichi Tsunekawa commenced the event with an opening speech. He emphasized the importance of Africa for the ODA policy of the Japanese government in general and of JICA in particular. He also updated the audience on development activities JICA has done for Ethiopia since last-year's IPD meeting in Addis Ababa as a follow-up. In collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Industry, JICA launched a dialogue to discuss strategies for the nation's manufacturing industry, from which ideas and recommendations are expected to be adopted for the new five-year development plan. He also explained JICA's new kaizen project to be launched this August, also in support of industrialization. According to Director Tsunekawa, the kaizen initiative will begin as a pilot project in thirty Ethiopian firms but is expected to spread to other Sub-Sahara African countries.

JICA-RI senior researcher, Shinichi Takeuchi, presented his current study of social transformation in post-conflict countries entitled "Conflict and Land Tenure in Rwanda." Using a historical case study of Rwanda, Dr. Takeuchi pointed out that government legitimacy is crucial for stability in land issues. As policy implications of his work, Dr. Takeuchi argues that pro-poor policies and inclusive democracy are most effective in establishing government legitimacy.

JICA-RI research fellow, Jean-Claude Maswana, introduced his study entitled "Global Financial Crisis & Recession: Impact on Africa and Development Prospects." Dr. Maswana believes the worst of the Crisis is yet to come and that focus should not only lie in assessing the impact of the Crisis as it is unfolding now, but on what could be the damaging effects resulting from the adjustment policies of the developed countries.

Katsuro Saito, JICA Deputy Director General, presented on JICA's efforts with the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) while Koichi Fujita of Kyoto University presented on "Green Revolution in India and Its Significance in Economic Development: Implications for Sub-Sahara Africa." Nihon University's Akifumi Kuchiki spoke on "Lessons from Asian Experiences of Industrial Agglomeration and Trade."

"The general thrust of the task force," according to Professor Stiglitz, "is to identify some of the common problems facing Africa...with a particular view of what lessons can be learned from Asia and Japan," in allusion to the Asian Financial Crisis of the 1990s. "How can we [socialize risk and restructure the economy] in ways that are supportive to economic growth?" The on-going quest to answer this question and many others affirms the importance of open discussion, dialogue, and events such as IPD.

■ Agenda & Papers
"Click on name to view presentation"

July 9

 Joseph Stiglitz, Co-President, Initiative for Policy Dialogue,
 Columbia University
 Keiichi Tsunekawa, Director, JICA Research Institute
 Akbar Noman,Senior Fellow, Initiative for Policy Dialogue,
 Columbia University

Global Recession and Africa Ⅰ
 Louis Kasekende, Chief Economist, African
 Development Bank
 Joseph Stiglitz
 Valpy Knox, Professor and Department Head, Department of
 International Development at Oxford University
 John Weeks, Professor Emeritus of Development Economics,
 Pierre Jacquet, Chief Economist, Agence Francaise de

11:30-12:00 Break

Global Recession and Africa II
 Seeraj Mohamed, Director, Corporate Strategy and Industrial
 Development Research Programme in the School of
 Economic and Business Sciences
 Jean Claude Maswana.pdf , Research Fellow, JICA Research
 David Hulme, Executive Director, Brooks World Poverty

13:00-14:00 Lunch

Land and Agriculture
 Howard Stein, Professor, University of Michigan
 Shinichi Takeuchi.pdf , Senior Research Fellow, JICA Research
 Roy Prosterman, Founder and Chairman Emeritus,
 Rural Development Institute, Emeritus Professor of Law,
 University of Washington
 Hans Binswager, Sector Director for Rural
 Development and Environment, Africa Region, World Bank

July 10

Aid and Trade
 Akifumi Kuchiki, Director-General, Institute of Developing
 Economies, Japan External Trade Organisation (IDE-JETRO)
 Julia Cage, Ecole Normale Superieure

Climate Change and Africa Alessandra Gianni
 Discussant: Pierre Jacquet

Agriculture and Africa I
 Akbar Noman
 Simon Roberts, Divisional Manager Policy and Research,
 Competition Comission South Africa

Agriculture and Africa II
 Katsuro Saito.pdf , Director of the Forestry and Natural
 Environment Department, JICA
 Koichi Fujita.pdf , Professor, Center for East Asian Studies,
 Francis Wilson, Professor, University of Capetown

13:00-14:00 Lunch

Public panel
"Macroeconomic management and industrial-
technology policy in the South: Some salient issues
for South Africa"
 Joseph Stiglitz
 Mushtaq Khan, Senior Professor in Economics, Associate
 Dean of Research for the Faculty of Law and Social Science,
 SOAS, London

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