The African Economy and the decolonization thereof to be discussed in conference at UFS

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The Young Scholars Initiative conference is currently underway, with various keynote speakers from around South Africa and the world coming together to discuss the decolonization of Africa.

The two-day conference was arranged by the university’s Professor Ian Phimster, who is an author of five books, and Ryan Johnson, who is an intern at the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) in New York.

Titled “Decolonizing Africa? The Economic History of Development”, the conference seeks to find answers to pertinent questions that relate to South Africa’s independence and all the factors that led her to that point.

Some of the questions the keynote speakers will ask over the two days of  the conference include:

  • What is the development of the economy in the African context?
  • How should we evaluate the different strategies that African societies have pursued economic growth and development? For instance, what was the impact of state-led industrialization? Did programs of economic liberalization or indigenisation succeed?
  • What has been the legacy of the “lost decades” of the 1980s and 1990s?
  • To what extent have or can African economies successfully integrate into global markets? Has diversification succeeded?
  • Is it possible for governments to craft policies that encourage their economies to produce increasingly value-added goods?
  • Is there an  “African Renaissance,”  or was it just a mirage?

Providing possible answers to these thought-provoking questions, the event promises to feature esteemed guests such as Professor Sabelo Ndlovu Gatsheni from the University of Pretoria, Professor Gareth Austin from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom as well as Professor Alois Mlambo from the University of Pretoria.

The first leg of the event began on Thursday at 08:30 and will continue until 19:30. The second and last day of the event will be on Friday from 09:00 until late, in the Equitas building, at the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

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