Rethinking African Paths to Industrial Development (RAPID) panel discussion

Blavatnik School of Government, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG
Open to the public
This event is free
June 2018

What is the role of industrialisation in job creation and economic development? How can developing country governments find policy solutions to promote it? And what are the main challenges likely to be faced by Africa’s aspiring industrialisers in the 21st century?

These questions will be discussed by Stephen Peel and Professor Stefan Dercon, chair and academic director, respectively, of the project on Rethinking African Paths to Industrial Development (RAPID). They will be joined in conversation by Professor Benno Ndulu, academic co-director (with Stefan Dercon) of the Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development. The discussion will centre around the presentation of the new RAPID web resource, which illustrates the project’s framework for thinking about the challenges of industrial policy in Africa.

This event is hosted by the Centre for the Study of African Economies.


Stephen Peel

Stephen Peel is the founder of SMP Policy Innovation Limited, a non-for-profit organization aiming to promote, design and assist advanced government policy. Stephen Peel has worked for 25 years in the global private equity industry. From 1997 to 2014, Mr. Peel was a managing partner at one of the world’s largest global private investment firms, TPG Capital, most recently heading up the firm’s activities across Asia and Eastern Europe. Since 2017, he has founded and led the private equity firm Novalpina Capital.

Stefan Dercon

Stefan Dercon is Professor of Economic Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and the Economics Department, and a Fellow of Jesus College. He is also Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies.

Between 2011 and 2017, he was Chief Economist of the Department of International Development (DFID), the government department in charge with the UK’s aid policy and spending. In this position, he provided strategic advice, and was responsible for ensuring the use of evidence in decision making. Previously, he held positions at the University of Leuven (Belgium), UNU-WIDER (Helsinki, Finland) and Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia).

Benno Ndulu

Professor Benno Ndulu was appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Tanzania in January 2008. He has presided over Tanzania’s macroeconomic stabilisation and has implemented prudent policies overseeing its strong economic performance over the past years. He has supported the expansion of Tanzania’s financial inclusion by licensing commercial banks, introducing agent banking, and tapping into the growth of mobile financial services.

He started his career at the University of Dar es Salaam in the early 1980s before joining the World Bank as a lead economist covering east Africa. Ndulu is best known for his involvement in setting up and developing one of the most effective research and training networks in Africa, the African Economic Research Consortium. He served as its first Research Director and later as its Executive Director.