TIPS and DPRU, in association with Cornell University, sponsored an international conference to bring the best global research on issues around macro- and micro-economic linkages to the attention of African policy-makers. The Conference had a broad remit, covering theory, empirics and policy, while addressing individual countries, groups of countries, and the continent as a whole.
The Conference focus echoed the South African government's facilitative role in the African Union, as the organisers believe South African research organisations should play a leading role in promoting dialogue between policy-makers and the research community - not only in South Africa but in the region more broadly.
The objective of the Conference was to provide an environment within which robust debate can ensure that the research community is more attuned to the kinds of research questions facing the policy community, and that the policy community is aware of the latest relevant research available - locally, regionally and internationally.
Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool opened the Conference, while Ravi Kanbur of Cornell University (and the former editor of the World Development Report) delivered a constructive critique on the World Bank's new policy on development policy lending. The Forum's opening and closing keynote addresses were delivered by John Page, World Bank chief economist: Africa and Alice Amsden of MIT, respectively.
Out of the 50 papers presented at Forum 2004, eight were chosen through a peer-review selection process for a Special Issue of the Journal of African Economies on Poverty, Trade and Growth in Africa, published in December 2006.
Papers presented at the forum are available for download.