Experts urged to rethink development planning in Africa

From the 1950s to date, a number of approaches to development planning have been adopted in relation with the various theoretical orientations of economic management. In light of the intricacy of sustainable development challenges and their systemic nature, many approaches and tools used by most of African countries are not fully adapted, notably those based on sectors or on mixed economy.

The African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), which has always been a space for reflexion, studies and training on planning, its approaches and tools for African decision-makers, decided to gather prominent experts in development planning and capacity development from governments and international organisations to reflect on “New approaches to planning for a better achievement of the objectives of agendas 2030 and 2063”. The high level round table dialogue was held on in Dakar (Senegal) on 6th February 2018, on the eve of the IDEP Technical Advisory Committee meeting. The conclusions of this round table will naturally guide the programmatic themes of the institute for the next four years.

The main lessons from country’s experiences and prospects of Togo, Morocco, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Congo exposed during the round table show deep similarities with regard to processes and political will for adopting one development planning approach or another.

According to Dr. Alioune Sall, Executive Director of African Futures Institute, who delivered the opening key note address, 2063, the current planning systems are hampered by deficiencies; and in order to better manage agendas 2030 and 2063, it is then desirable to consider modifications, reforms and disruptions.

From the perspective of Ms. Giovani Biha, Executive secretary in charge of knowledge delivery, if Africa has to succeed in the renewal of development planning, it is imperative to solve the equations carried out fifty years ago that persist today and address challenges differently mainly by using new approaches.

Ms. Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, Director of IDEP, believes that the achievement of the objectives of agenda 2030 and vision 2063 will largely depend on African planners’ capacity to design, fund, implement and monitor development plans using new approaches.

Specifically, it is essential for African countries to establish an appropriate framework for long-term projections and a planning that will outperform the practices recently rolled out in the era of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) and accelerated growth strategies.

Mr.  Pierre Ndiaye, Director General of Planning and Economic Policies, in its remarks, spoke about the initiatives and significant progress done by the government of Senegal to take into account new development paradigms and adopt new planning approaches.

It is worth noting that many African countries are on the same path.

« Fortunately, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa felt the need to develop an holistic and integrated approach for the benefit of member states in the implementation of national and international development programmes in the interest of guaranteeing a coherence between agendas 2030 and 2063 and achieve their objectives », stated Mr. Bartholomew Armah, Chief,  Renewal of Planning Section.

« Within the framework of its mandate, IDEP will continue to train planners that will be capable to meet African states’ needs in utilization or adaptation of new development planning approaches to new challenges and requirements that evolve on a day-to-day basis », added the Director of the Institute.

The Directorate General  of Planning and Economic Policy  of Senegal, UNDP, African Futures Institute, World Trade Organisation (WTO) Chairs Unit-Institute of Training and Technical Cooperation, the Directorate  of Planning and Development Policy of Togo, the High Commission for Planning of Morocco, the Directorate of Macroeconomic  Planning and International  Cooperation  of Kenya, Zimbabwe’s Economic Research and Policy Analysis Unit (ZEPARU), the Centre for Studies  and Research on Economic Analysis and Policy (CERAPE) of Congo participated in the event. Cameroun and Tunisia and Nigeria were also represented.

More information, visit