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Policy Dialogue on Industrial Development in Ethiopia

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GRIPS Development Forum (GDF) has been engaged in policy dialogue on industrial development in Ethiopia in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This project was launched upon a request from H.E. Mr. Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, who has tremendous interest in the experiences of East Asian industrial development. JICA started its support to industrial development program in Ethiopia in 2009, which consists of "Policy Dialogue" and "Kaizen", and GDF is in charge of the former, "Policy Dialogue".

The following three points deserve special attention, as the background of this project.

1. TICAD IV gThe Yokohama Declarationh: Towards a Vibrant Africah (May 2008) embraces gboosting economic growthh as one of the three pillars, and gThe Yokohama Action Plan" plans to gsupport African countries to plan and implement industrial development strategies and policies, drawing on Asian experiences as appropriateh

2. JICA invited Prime Minister Meles to the TICAD IV International Symposium on "Economic Development in Africa and Asian Growth Experience" (sponsored by JICA), as a panelist member, and had an opportunity to deepen the discussion on the issue of East Asian development experiences.

3. "Diversity and Complementarity in Development Aid: East Asian Lessons for African Growth," edited and published by the GRIPS Development Forum, was introduced at the African Task Force Meeting of The Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD) held in Addis Ababa, July 2008 (supported by JICA, EDRI, and IPD chaired by Prof. Joseph E. Stiglitz). At this occasion, Prime Minister Meles showed strong interest especially in "Chapter 7 The Quality and Productivity Improvement Project in Tunisia: A Comparison of Japanese and EU Approaches," and subsequently requested the Japanese government for providing intellectual support to the countryfs industrial development strategy based on policy dialogue and technical cooperation to enhance competitiveness of industrial firms in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia stands out from other countries in Africa because its Industrial Development Strategy (formulated in 2002) has clear policy orientation and the government has been taking promotional measures for selective, priority industries. At the same time, it is expected that Japanese industrial support for Ethiopia would give valuable opportunities to deepen the understanding of the significance of East Asian lessons for African growth, as well as Japanfs comparative advantage over Western donors.


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