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Support functions

A teenager wears torn rubber boots in a muddy local market in Bac Ha, Viet Nam. As of 2005 figures, half the world population—more than 3 billion people–is estimated to live on less than USD 2.50 a day. Bac Ha, Viet Nam. UN Photo/Kibae Park.

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WP/021 Aid, Structural Change and the Private Sector in Africa

Research and Communication on Foreign Aid
This paper argues that official development assistance (foreign aid) is partly responsible for the lack of structural change in Africa. Africa’s development partners have devoted too few resources and too little attention to two critical constraints to private investment, infrastructure and skills, focusing instead on easily understood, but potentially low impact regulatory reforms. A new aid strategy, one that catalyses private investment in high value added sectors, is needed. Support for strategic interventions to push non-traditional exports, support industrial agglomerations, build firm capabilities, and strengthen regional integration should anchor a new donor agenda to create good jobs and sustain growth.
WIDER Working Paper
WP/021 Aid, Structural Change and the Private Sector in Africa
John Page
Publication date:
February 2012
ISBN 13 Web:
Copyright holder:
Copyright year:
aid, structural change, private sector, industry, exports
O14, O19, O25, O40
This working paper has been prepared within the UNU-WIDER project ‘Foreign Aid: Research and Communication (ReCom)’, directed by Tony Addison and Finn Tarp. UNU-WIDER gratefully acknowledges specific programme contributions from the governments of Denmark (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Danida) and Sweden (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency—Sida) for the Research and Communication (ReCom) programme. UNU-WIDER also acknowledges core financial support to UNU-WIDER’s work programme from the governments of Finland (Ministry for Foreign Affairs), the United Kingdom (Department for International Development), and the governments of Denmark and Sweden.