APORDE allows talented academics, policy makers and civil society representatives from Africa to gain access to alternatives to mainstream thinking on development issues and to be equipped in a way that will foster original thinking. Participants receive intensive high-level training and interact with some of the best development economists in the world and with other participants from across the continent. 

APORDE covers essential topics in development economics, including industrial policy, rural poverty, inequality and financialisation. Lectures will equip participants with key information pertaining to both mainstream and critical approaches. The programme will mostly consist of daytime lectures, as well as a number of shorter evening talks and debates. 

Previous APORDE sessions included lectures on: 

  • Critical Perspectives on Development Economics 
  • Market, State and Institutions in Economic Development 
  • Governance, Democracy and Economic Development 
  • Globalisation, Global Value Chains and Regional Value Chains 
  • Trade and Industrial Policy 
  • Agriculture, Economic Development and Land Reform 
  • Gender, Development and Growth 
  • International Financial Flows 
  • Industrial Development in Africa, East Asia, South Asia, Latin America 
  • Mineral Resources and Industrial Policy 
  • Industrial Policy in South Africa 

Previous lecturers included: 

  • Ha-Joon Chang (SOAS, University of London) 
  • Mushtaq Khan (SOAS, University of London) 
  • Chris Cramer (SOAS, University of London) 
  • Fiona Tregenna (University of Johannesburg) 
  • Adeyemi Dipeolu (Government of Nigeria) 
  • Judith Fessehaie (International Trade Centre) 
  • Mwangi wa Gĩthĩnji (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) 
  • Faizel Ismail (University of Cape Town) 
  • Nimrod Zalk (South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition) 


Africa is probably the continent most affected by the poor availability of cutting-edge research and teaching in economics. While only a few African countries have experienced sustained economic development in the past 50 years, African governments and civil societies have in the past been weakly equipped to respond critically to external initiatives aimed at their development and to generate endogenous strategies. The tide is, however, gradually turning: in South Africa and in other African countries, the need for “more” (rather than merely “better”, which has often proved to mean “less”) state intervention in economic affairs is increasingly recognised. Crucially, economic take-off and converting growth spurts into sustained periods of structural change appears bound to remain a pipedream unless it is premised on developmental policy. However, African decision makers are often not exposed to alternatives to mainstream policy design and implementation strategies, a gap which APORDE aims to help fill.