Sub-Saharan Africa's economic situation has developed positively in the past twenty years, much due to better policies. Against this background the panel wants to address the question: Was aid a major factor in this regard?
Sub-Saharan Africa's economic situation has developed positively, much due to better policies. Several countries managed to achieve significant growth rates, despite the international economic crisis. But economic dynamism is still unsatisfactory in many countries where, despite growth, there has been less than adequate improvement in living conditions. Reforms aimed at improving the political environment have yet to be undertaken in many countries. While the majority were characterised in the 1990s by enormous budget deficits, high rates of inflation, government intervention, capital flight and black markets, the countries of the region generally have more room for manoeuvre today. In the last decade a group of countries in the region managed to achieve significant growth rates; the international financial and economic crisis did little to alter this. The quality of governance has improved in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. Public financial management is, on average, better today than it was in the past. Nonetheless, clientelist and neo-patrimonial systems continue to leave their mark in many countries. Reforms aimed at improving the political environment have yet to be undertaken in many countries. Against this background the panel wants to address the following questions:What is behind the progress made by some African countries in the last one to two decades? Was international support for the continent in the form of developmental cooperation possibly more successful than many have conjectured? And: What does that mean for the future role of aid in the region?