Africa, the Next Intellectual Frontier

Célestin Monga and Justin Yifu Lin

in The Oxford Handbook of Africa and Economics: Context and Concepts

Published online January 2015 | | DOI:

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  • Economic Development and Growth
  • History of Economic Thought


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This introductory chapter presents the objectives of this volume and discusses the challenges of producing relevant knowledge. It starts with an exploration of the reasons why Africa has remained neglected in economics, despite its important contributions to the discipline. It then highlights Africa’s enduring intellectual influence on some of the world’s leading economists. It discusses the traditional reasons why that deep positive influence is little known and rarely acknowledged in mainstream economics. It also offers a different explanation of the neglect of Africa as a rich source of economic knowledge, highlighting the fact that economic thinking on Africa has generally mirrored the general evolution of macroeconomics and the dominant frameworks of analysis of the continent’s low-income countries have always been fraught with analytical sins and mimetic choices.

Keywords: Africa and economics; Africa’s intellectual influence; industrialization and growth; endowment structure; new structural economics

Article.  13746 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth ; History of Economic Thought

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