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Macroeconomic policy and poverty in southern Africa:
Some elements of an analytical framework1

Dirk Ernst van Seventer Trade and Industrial Policy Secretariat (TIPS)

Paper presented at a SARPN conference held at the Human Sciences Research Council Pretoria

26 April 2001
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It has long been recognised that there is a range of regional problems in Southern Africa that requires regional co-operation and co-ordination. Food security, environmental and related tourism issues, and infrastructure development in transport, communications and energy have been approached on a regional basis since the founding of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Similarly trade and trade negotiations amongst regional countries also clearly require a regional perspective. However, the primary structural issue facing all countries in the region is poverty and income inequality, while they all have to cope with the same policy problem of how to manage globalisation.

Of particular interest is the relationship between macroeconomic shocks and policy and income distribution and poverty. These notes attempt to sift through what have been the experiences elsewhere and some of the policy recommendations. While far from complete and therefore probably lacking coherence, this note then leads to the identification of elements for a research agenda to tackle the relationship between macroeconomic policy and poverty in Southern Africa

  1. These notes are based on collaborative work in progress by Rob Davies of the University of Zimbabwe and the Trade and Industrial Policy Secretariat, as well as concept material from the International Development Research Centre’s (IDRC) effort to investigate the Micro Impacts of Macroeconomic Adjustment Policies (MIMAP).

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