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African Economic Conference 2007

15-17 November 2007

UN Conference Centre

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The African region entered the new Millennium with a remarkable improvement in economic growth and performance. Relative to the 1980s and early 1990s, the region has witnessed an increase in economic growth in the last five years. This improvement in economic performance is due largely to improvements in economic policies adopted by African governments, high commodity prices, and the cessation of hostilities in a number of countries in the region. Despite these improvements, the continent continues to face serious challenges in several key areas: trade, governance, conflicts, HIV/AIDS as well as tuberculosis and Malaria, food security, regional integration, poverty reduction etc. Furthermore, economic policy formulation is still hampered by the dearth of, and lack of access to, research and information on economic issues of interest to the continent. This constraint on effective policy design and implementation in the region has important consequences for long-term growth and poverty reduction.

History and empirical evidence have shown that knowledge is critical to dynamic and sustained growth, which is a necessary condition for poverty reduction. In recognition of the important role of knowledge in the quest for enhanced growth in Africa, the new leadership of the African Development Bank (AfDB) made knowledge management a key pillar in its recently-concluded repositioning and restructuring exercise. ADB launched the Annual African Economic Conference in November 2006. Emerging from the maiden conference were eight articles published in reputable journals and the publication of a book containing the other articles and presentations at the conference, which is currently at the final stage.

We are organising the second conference in partnership with the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The AfDB, ECA, and other institutions provide support and capacity-building assistance to African governments in research and policy formulation. However, the resources of these institutions are limited and so there is the need to find other ways of complementing and enhancing the effectiveness of the support these institutions provide to our RMCs (Regional Member Countries) in research, policy analyses, and information dissemination. Clearly, making more use of the skills of African academics and researchers, both within and outside the continent, is an inexpensive and sustainable way to accomplish this objective. It is also considered to be a reasonable way of building local capacity and reducing the effect of brain drain on the continent. Against this background, the AfDB and ECA, agreed to organize the annual African Economic Conference (AEC) to provide a forum for exchange of ideas among economists and policymakers with a view to improving access to information and research on economic issues and, as a consequence, the quality of economic policy-making in the region.


All correspondence regarding this conference should be addressed to:

Abdellatif Bernoussi
Manager of the Networking and Research
Partnerships Division
African Development Bank
BP 323, 1002 Tunis Belvedere, Tunisia
Tel: + 216 71102705 / Fax: + 216 71103779

Patrick N. OsakweChief, Financing Development Trade,Finance and Economic DevelopmentDivision – UN-ECAP.O. Box 3001 - Addis Ababa, EthiopiaTel: +251-11-5443409 / Fax: +251-11-5513038Email:

AEC Partners