In recent years, developing countries have again been looking at how they can use development policies more effectively to diversify away from commodity dependence and/or to make more effective use of abundant labour resources. There is therefore a growing demand to take stock and share the current experiences, and to improve the understanding of approaches that have been successful in promoting structural transformation in different countries.
Through this project, UNCTAD proposes to build capacity to design and implement development policies for sustainable economic growth in 4 developing economies in Southern Africa: Mauritius, Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania. The region is characterized by the presence of a large emerging economy, South Africa, surrounded by smaller emerging as well as least developed countries, but which as yet, are only weakly integrated through trade and capital flows, compared to other regions.
This project will build the capacity of selected developing countries in Southern Africa in formulating policies for the progressive diversification of the production and export structure of the economy by using UNCTAD research methodologies and tools. The project also aims at facilitating the economic cooperation and integration among the 4 target economies and around the potential regional economic growth pole (South Africa).
Given the aims of the project, economic policymakers, and more specifically senior economic officials of the Ministries of Economy, Industry and Trade in the target countries represent the main stakeholders. However, university professors of economics and development, especially those doing policy oriented and applied research, also have important interests at stake since their participation to the project would allow them to establish closer links with the government and to focus on policy questions of priority interest to the academics\' countries. Increased regional economic integration at the production and trade level will also benefit the private sector in the target countries and the main regional organization (the Southern African Development Community, SADC).
The project will benefit from the cooperation of the key UN entity in the region, UNECA, and will also seek to actively involve other institutional partners working at the interface between development research, policy and practice (ILO, the OECD Development Centre, UNIDO and UNDP).
To strengthen national capacities in selected countries in Southern Africa to formulate and implement integrated productive development policies for sustainable economic growth and to strengthen the regional integration process in the Southern African Development Community.
Enhanced understanding by policymakers in selected countries of the processes of economic diversification and structural transformation and their linkages with development.
Strengthened capacity of policymakers in selected countries to better formulate sectoral policies in line with their development needs, and that promote linking into already existing regional value chains for productive transformation.