Many underdeveloped regions lack the tools required to ensure their growth and economic development. While economic growth and development will help shape a better future for these regions, there are challenges that hinder this growth. This article will focus on the ways we can encourage inclusivity in Africa’s growth, especially with under-resourced municipalities.
Policies To Help Businesses Grow
A simple and straightforward way to promote inclusive growth is to ensure that the country grows at a strong and sustainable rate. How do we promote strong and sustainable growth in a country?
Policy research work done in the past – most notably the 2008 work of the World Bank-supported Commission on Growth and Development – provides guidelines on a set of policies that could promote high growth. The building blocks for sustaining high growth over a long term and reaching high-income levels are:
- Creating and ensuring macroeconomic stability
- Investing in human capital and physical infrastructure
- Creating an enabling environment for competition and trade
- Improving and strengthening the financial system
- Facilitating structural transformation from agriculture to manufacturing, and from rural to urban
- Adopting modern technology and spurring innovation
- Building strong & effective institutions
- Enhancing environmental sustainability
While countries could potentially grow at high rates over a period of time without achieving the full set of aforementioned building blocks, these are regarded as a set of growth fundamentals that are required for achieving high income levels in the long run.
Gender Mainstreaming, A Concept
Many industries have had to significantly adapt to new ways of doing things as gender equality movements and ideas become more and more real. The truth of the matter is that affording people of different races, cultures and genders – more so those who have been excluded in the past – opportunities, not only develops those people but plays a vital role in upgrading our economies as well as pushing representation across the board. Development finance institutions, as well as other government projects, continue to help in the mission to bring socio-economic development to disadvantaged regions, ensuring that no one gets left behind.
More research is needed in identifying and demonstrating the impact of policies designed to help with economic growth in underdeveloped regions. But the evidence from some developing countries indicates that there are some policies and measures that can assist in making growth inclusive. For example, the following policies, if well-designed and well-implemented, could assist in promoting inclusive growth:
- Early childhood development
- Conditional cash transfer programs
- Universal access to good quality education
- Universal health care
- Enhanced infrastructure to connect lagging and poor regions
- Creating income-earning opportunities for the poor (e.g., access to finance)
A combination of these policies has worked in different settings around the world. Most of them are geared towards creating opportunities for the least well-off people and preparing them for participating in their country’s growth process. If the poor and disadvantaged are denied things such as access to nutrition, quality education and job opportunities, they will never be in a good position to participate in and benefit from rising growth.
Just like how government officials and representatives are held accountable and responsible for ensuring the people they lead are led well, business sectors employ the same ideas. Even though handling development projects, especially in disadvantaged municipalities, can be challenging, there is merit in holding those who are responsible for all the decisions accountable. The growth of underdeveloped regions will not only benefit them but give a boost to the economies of the countries they live in.