30 October 2017 | The future of manufacturing-led development


With increasing use of advanced digital technologies in manufacturing, such as 3D printing, robots and cloud computing, the landscape of technology and globalisation patterns is altering. As manufacturing becomes more automated, the criteria of being an attractive production location changes from offering inexpensive labour to lower capital costs and more advanced technology. This suggests that […]

14 September 2017 | A UK-Liberia partnership: investing in infrastructure, energy and agriculture


On 14th September 2017, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Liberia National Investment Commission (LNIC), hosted a workshop and networking event in London. The event’s aims were two-fold: firstly, to explore the state of Liberia’s economy and the potential opportunities and challenges for foreign investors, and secondly, to facilitate relationship-building between Liberia and UK-based international investors seeking to opportunities to support development in the sub-Saharan African country.

5 September 2017 | Justin Yifu Lin: How to jump-start developing economies


For decades, low-income countries have been trying to catch up with the economic progress made by industrialised, high-income nations, but few have succeeded. So how can low-income countries jump-start their economies and achieve the structural transformation that can create jobs and improve livelihoods? To discuss this issue, this event hears from leading development economist, former chief economist for the World Bank and advisor to Chinese and African governments, Professor Justin Lin. Exploring themes from two of his recently published books, ‘Beating the Odds: Jump-Starting Developing Economies’ and ‘Going Beyond Aid: Development Cooperation for Structural Transformation’.

5 July 2017 | 10 policy priorities for Kenyan manufacturing launch


Hosted in partnership with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), this launch event saw the introduction to Kenyan policymakers and political leaders of SET and KAM’s recent publication, Ten policy priorities for transforming manufacturing and creating jobs in Kenya. This event featured contributions from Dr Neil Balchin, ODI Research Fellow, KAM’s CEO Phyllis Wakiaga, Vice Chair Sachen Gudka and Chairperson Florence Mutahi, as well as leading economist Anzetse Were. The occasion also saw commitments made by political parties and coalitions to prioritise Kenya’s industrialisation, and the development of the manufacturing sector in particular.

5 June 2017 | ACET PACT Manufacturing Chapter Launch


Manufacturing is also a key element in the African Development Bank’s Hi-Fives (Industrialize Africa) and a priority area in Goal number two of the African Union’s Vision 2063. ACET in partnership with the Oversees Development Institute (ODI) and the Government of Ethiopia organised the manufacturing chapter meeting of PACT. The aim of the manufacturing meeting was to kick start a continuous conversation for African leaders to shape their countries’ industrialisation issues in the context of Africa’s transformation agenda.

14 March 2017 | Foreign direct investment and economic transformation in Myanmar: the role of the garment sector


On 14 March, SET hosted a workshop in Yangon to present and discuss the findings of the recent research paper, ‘Foreign direct investment and economic transformation in Myanmar’. Attendees explored questions around the role of the garment sector, including: what role does the garment sector play in promoting exports, employment and the transfer of skills in Myanmar? How does foreign investment contribute to Myanmar’s garment sector? And how can foreign investment, from China and other countries, further contribute to economic transformation in Myanmar?

23 February 2017 | The UK’s financial sector and sub-Saharan Africa: partnerships for development


On 23 February, SET, in partnership with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Trade and Investment, hosted a private roundtable event in the Palace of Westminster, London. The event brought together representatives of developing countries with donors, private investors and representatives of the City of London to identify opportunities for private sector investment in sub-Saharan Africa. Amongst topics of discussion were the practical and financial challenges facing British investors seeking to finance development, including in sectors such as infrastructure, energy and manufacturing, ways to overcome barriers to the achievement of high-quality, sustainable economic transformation, and the growing role of development finance institutions.

22 March 2017 | Economic transformation: a new approach to inclusive growth

Credit: Andrea Moroni

Economic transformation has the potential to reduce poverty and drive sustainable, inclusive growth in developing countries. Yet, efforts to promote transformational policies have not always proven to be successful; many low-income countries that have attempted to transform their economies have experienced low-quality, job-less growth with little in the way of genuine transformation. This ODI panel event sees the launch of SET’s flagship approach paper, and bring together key figures driving forward the transformation agenda to discuss: what is economic transformation, what does it mean for the world’s poorest, and how can it be supported in practice?

11 November 2016 | Trade in Services and Economic Transformation Roundtable


In collaboration with DFID, the ODI-SET team organised a Trade in Services Roundtable Event hosted at DFID London on 11 November 2016. The roundtable sought to unpack the key challenges and opportunities for trade in services in developing countries and identify what DFID can do over the next five years to support services. The event report summarises key thematic issues emerging based on roundtable reflections from representatives from ODI, TheCityUK, Commonwealth Secretariat, European University Institute, ILEAP, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, International Growth Centre, International Trade Centre, Sussex University, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Centre for Global Development, and World Bank.

27 October 2016 | Effective Implementation and the Role of the Private Sector in Tanzania’s Five Year Development Plan


The SET programme, in collaboration with the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF), organised a private sector consultative workshop on 27 October 2016 in Dar es Salaam. The workshop sought to build consensus around how to approach implementation of the FYDP II and on the core elements that should constitute a strategy and framework to guide the effective implementation of the Plan. In addition, the workshop was designed to develop a shared understanding of the practical roles that different stakeholders – both in the public and private sectors – should play in implementing the FYDP II.

29 August 2016 | Supporting Manufacturing in Kenya


The key questions explored at this roundtable were around Kenyan manufacturing: Why is productivity low in manufacturing? Why is informality not decreasing with economic growth? Why is there a lack of linkages between services on the one hand, and manufacturing and agriculture on the other hand? And what can be done about these challenges? The SET team is currently scoping out support for Kenya’s transformation with analytical and other inputs. The roundtable aimed to discuss and develop this collaboratively.

TICAD VI 2016 | Africa’s Industrialisation and Economic Transformation

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The SET programme will be participating at TICAD side events in partnership with (JICA and IDE-JETRO. Industrial development and economic transformation are crucial for Africa’s development, but there is a heated debate on how to achieve them. Three events will explore the respective roles of government and private sector in policy development and implementation for Africa’s industrialisation.

31 May 2016 | Supporting Economic Transformation in Nigeria

Dr Aisha Abubakar

Overseas Development Institute (ODI), in conjunction with DFID Nigeria publicly launched a new SET paper on Supporting Economic Transformation in Nigeria in Abuja on 31st May 2016. The paper written by Nigerian and international experts draws on international experience from large developing countries that have managed to transform the structure of their economies, as well as the record of economic transformation and economic policy in Nigeria to date, to chart a way forward for Nigeria’s economic transformation efforts.

22 March 2016 | Supporting economic development: learning from success

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Kick-starting more inclusive economic development processes in the world’s poorest countries is one of the most important remaining challenges in international development. However, because of the way politics works, it is also one of the most difficult. This is a reason for international development agencies to get involved. But it also means any support must be politically smart. This event examines lessons from two new ODI publications, a report edited by David Booth and co-authored with DFID economists and governance advisers, and an ODI Insights policy brief on economic development.

14-15 March 2016 | ACET African Transformation Forum


In March 2016, the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), in partnership with the Government of Rwanda, convened the first African Transformation Forum (ATF) in Kigali, Rwanda. The first objective of the ATF was to facilitate knowledge sharing and peer learning across global and African luminaries from the public and private sectors. The second objective of the ATF was to launch the Coalition for Transformation in Africa, a new leadership network organised in chapters, each addressing a specific thematic area. The SET team collaborated with ACET on background papers to inform discussion sessions on three areas.

14 January 2016 | Africa’s industrialisation: reversing the decline

Emali-Oloitokitok Road Project ©Creative Commons

Manufacturing plays a key role in the process of economic transformation that is required for high quality growth, job creation and sustained progress. Yet the share of manufacturing in GDP has been falling in Sub-Saharan Africa over the last three decades and was just 11% in 2014. Recent estimates indicate that the role of manufacturing in driving growth and transformation is likely to decline further. John Page joins a panel of experts to explore the challenges and prospects for industrialisation in Africa.The panel will discuss what caused the lack of industrialisation in sub-Saharan Africa and what can be done to improve it.

17 December 2015 | Trade Session at WTO Trade and Development Symposium


Economic growth is necessary for development. The increase in the quantity of resources available to produce and/or distribute is essential in the development process. However, economic growth alone does not guarantee all development objectives. The quality of economic growth matters, and it essential for sustained development that growth involves some form of productivity change and […]

24 November 2015 | Lord Turner on finance and inclusive economic transformation

Traders work on the floor of the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra, Ghana, June 15, 2006. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst)

At the height of the global financial crisis in 2008/9, as the then chairman of the Financial Services Authority, Lord Turner argued that the City in London’s financial sector had become ‘socially useless’. In the following years, he played a leading role in the redesign of global banking regulation as Chairman of the International Financial Stability […]

6 October 2015 | Shaping Tanzania’s Second Five Year Development Plan

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The Government of Tanzania, through the President’s Office Planning Commission (POPC), has begun the process of preparing the second Five Year Development Plan (FYDP II) (2016/17 – 2020/21) focusing on the theme “Nurturing an Industrial Economy”. The POPC hopes to conclude the plan by June 2016. The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is providing analytical support […]

23 September 2015 | Understanding Economic Transformation in Africa


Overseas Development Institute, London Where do we go wrong, and what do we need to do differently to understand economic transformation in Africa? Morten Jerven’s recent book “Africa, why economists get it wrong” questions what we really know about growth and economic transformation in Africa. He argues that mainstream economists have not used appropriate methodologies or […]

2 July 2015 | Trade, Global Value Chains and Economic Transformation

Merkato Market ©ODI

Overseas Development Institute, London. Economic transformation involves the movement of factors of production toward higher productivity and/or value addition firms or sectors. It has traditionally been assessed through the degree of export diversification, taken as an outcome of the process. Trade can support this process, e.g. through its impact on firm competitiveness – access to […]

28 April 2015 | Kenya As A Services Hub: The Role Of Services In Economic Transformation

Nairoby Copyright Creative Commons

Intercontinental Hotel Nairobi. Public and private sector representatives met to discuss the potential for Kenya to become a services hub. The workshop assessed the role of services in economic transformation and job creation in Kenya, and included an in depth discussions of two services sectors – the IT enabled services and financial services sectors. The […]

30 January 2015 | Using And Analysing Data For Economic Transformation

Data © Creative Commons

ODI, London. Experts from DFID, ODI, the World Bank, IMF, University of Groningen and Harvard Kennedy School discussed different data sources and methodological approaches for analysing economic transformation, with a focus on economic structures and trade data – as part of the SET data portal work. The workshop addressed the following key questions: what are […]