Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Africa should focus on "domestic needs, not exports"

Mat Noor Nawi, the director of the economic planning unit of the Prime Minister's Office in Malaysia, told the participants attending the conference on the Helsinki Process gathered at Dar es Salaam that the interface between developed and developing nations should not favour one side at the expense of the other.

"Developing countries should be allowed to determine their own policy space," he said, adding that Malaysia's success story shows much emphasis needs to be placed on monitoring and evaluation of programmes and policies. He also stressed flexibility and people-centred approaches, political stability, well-coordinated mechanisms and active NGOs and private firms as part of the reasons for growth in the Malaysian economy.

Dr Samuel Wangwe, a consultant, and Dr Yash Tandon, executive director of the intergovernmental think tank South Centre, based in Geneva, Switzerland, agreed that alternative knowledge systems are needed. Wangwe proposed increasing capacity for policy research. Participants reiterated that developing countries should be allowed to determine their own policy spaces and that developed countries' support for developing countries should be flexible.

Read the complete news report appearing in Mail and Guardian, South Africa at: