Brazil's economic success: lessons for Africa.


24 January 2014

In this interview Armando Barrientos and Ed Amann give an introduction to their research project at the Brooks World Poverty Institute on the relevance of the Brazilian development model for Africa.

Brazil and other Latin American countries emerged from the period of structural adjustment and military dictatorships with a popular understanding of a social debt owed to the poorer sectors of society. Barrientos and Amann argue that this new social contract resulted in anti-poverty cash transfer programmes being rolled out in several countries across the region.

In Africa, the trend towards democracy has been slower, and expectations of the electorate from the state are much lower. People do not hold African governments responsible for poverty eradication in the same way.

Barrientos and Amann see Brazil as widely having much to offer Africa in terms of its development experience over the last 50 years. It has succeeded in developing a successful competitive industrial economy from the basis of natural endowments similar to that of many African economies.

South-South co-operation is increasingly important, and President Lula showed the way by visiting over 30 African countries during his two terms of office. The social policies of Brazil are seen as positive examples, and the economic development of Brazil shows the importance of inward investment and avoiding an over-reliance on...

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