By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member
Equity is set to be one of the hottest topics of debate this week. How the benefits of an African Green Revolution are distributed to the poor and marginalised was one of the chief concerns expressed today. Ousmane Badiane of IFPRI highlighted the past decade was Africa’s first 10-year periodof sustained economic growth and that the continent’s exports grew at a faster rate than the world average for 5 years (2001-2005).
Africa has many success stories; we heard about initiatives taken to improve livelihoods and alleviate poverty in Ghana, Malawi and Benin. But these success stories needs to be sustained and discussion centred around the need for research into the reasons behind current sustained growth in order to keep up momentum.
Structural change is needed to ensure more equitable distribution of the benefits of economic improvement. And it was stressed that the poor have not necessarily benefited from this recent sustained period of growth.
Africa has to go beyond boosting supply and short-term policies aimed at defusing the current food crisis. It was suggested that CAADP can provide the necessary framework for policy renewal and structural change.