Skip to content

19th Bradford Development Lecture - Dr Stefan Dercon


Chief Economist of DFID on African growth

The 19th Bradford Development Lecture given by Dr Stefan Dercon, Chief Economist of DFID on the theme of 'Africa's growth miracle?' summarised the key trends to raise and answer several important questions. Growth performance of several African nations during the last decade has been unprecedented- while rise in commodity prices has played a small role, rise in the magnitude of commodity export volumes and increase in FDI and remittance flows are also important factors.

However, as Stefan highlights, much of this growth has been accompanied by little by way of growth in jobs - mining and extraction sectors typically generate fewer jobs especially for the local population. The presentation also highlighted the demographic dividend in terms of youthful population and how efforts to promote labour intensive manufacturing activities and other productive sectors will be crucial to realising sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa.

Questions raised by participants touched on many issues including issues of ownership of development strategies, the role of education and of dealing with governance challenges especially in some of the countries sometimes referred to as fragile states. From the lecture and discussion what could we say about the Africa's growth miracle? We could say that: yes, there is some evidence of strong growth performance, but perhaps it is not yet a miracle; it could be a miracle if properly managed over the next few decades.

The lecture was attended by over 100 participants including many staff and student members from across the University, local government, local firms and independent development experts.

Special thanks to all the Student Volunteers who had helped in the organisation of this lecture.

Comments on this lecture are welcome. If you have comments or suggestions for future lectures please send these to:

You can access the slides here: BDL 19 presentation slides (pdf, 2.59MB)

Back to news from 2013