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The American Economic Association (AEA) recently held a three-day annual meeting to present and discuss research papers on a wide range of economics topics, amongst other matters discussed in the sessions. The agenda covered topical issues across subfields of economics, including the impacts of climate change, gender gaps and energy, amongst others.

I was particularly drawn into one session after noticing a tweet from Professor Kaushik Basu, World Bank’s former chief economist and Cornell University economics professor. The session was titled “Global Turmoil and the Developing World: The Next Two Decades”. Participating in it was Shanta Devarajan (World Bank), Francois Bourguignon (Paris School of Economics), Justin Yifu Lin (Peking University), Kaushik Basu (Cornell University) and Penny Goldberg (World Bank).

While the discussion covered a number of issues, there was an intense focus on how to boost Africa’s economic growth and development. This is very relevant for South Africa as we strive to figure out where economic growth will come, while at the same time facing rising unemployment of over 26% as of the third quarter of 2018. The National Treasury held a colloquium on December 21, 2018, to discuss this particular issue of economic growth.

Hence I thought it is important that I share AEA’s discussion as it resonates with an ongoing domestic debates on how to achieve higher and sustainable rates of economic growth. You can access the recorded webcam discussion here.

Follow me on Twitter (@WandileSihlobo). E-mail: wandile@agbiz.co.za

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