HESPI NEWSLETTER, Volume VIII/No.2/2018, December 2018
The macro-economic performance of IGAD countries has varied over the past decade. In particular the growth performance of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda was higher than the sub Saharan African countries annual average of 3-4 percent during 2012-16. But the progress recorded in some of the other IGAD countries was less impressive as demonstrated by lower annual growth rates, poverty prevalence, and limited progress in socio-economic development. Unemployment especially among the youth has contributed to major socio-economic and political challenges in the IGAD member countries. The higher economic growth in some countries has not matched the population growth contributing to huge increase in underutilized labor, with a potential for social upheaval. The prevalence of weak exports performance, recurrent fiscal and trade deficits, and rising external debts have put pressure more recently on the economic performance of most countries in IGAD. HESPI’s decade plus experience in the sub-region suggests that multiple factors have contributed to the recent inadequate economic performance in many of the countries.
It is therefore crucial to formulate and implement sound socio-economic policies to create and reinforce effective public institutions, to design and enforce development conducive regulations and incentives to help deliver essential economic and social services to the public. It is also important to enhance regional integration to support economic diversification and promote trade and investment. Sound and stronger policies can be instrumental for seizing existing development opportunities in the region such as the predominantly young work force, the strong diaspora for remittance and knowledge transfer; abundant minerals and renewable energy; as well as evident opportunities to build agro-industrial and manufacturing base.
HESPI will continue to pursue its evidence-based policy research, and organize policy forums conferences to present economic and social reforms to support effective growth and development governance. It will continue to play an autonomous and independent catalytic role for policy reforms and promote change in the sound policy formulation.
The Institute will assist in building needs-based institutional capacities and processes; promote the formulation and implementation of sound policies; broaden the areas of engagement to social and productive sectors; and address the critical needs of private sector development. It will continue to strengthen its own research and institutional capacity, visibility and financial sustainability.
Finally, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to all those involved in the successful delivery of the objectives of the Institute. I also wish to thank the member states, development partners, and many other principal stakeholders for their support to the Institute in order to help realize its objectives and ambitions to promote sustainable prosperity in the sub-region and the continent at large. I look forward to continued cooperation from all partners and stakeholders in the course of the implementation of the Institute’s 2019-22 Strategic Plan.