Call for applications for participants to attend


4th to 15th September 2023  |  Gauteng (Magaliesburg), South Africa

Supported by
The South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic),
Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS)

We are pleased to announce that the seventeenth edition of the African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE) is scheduled to take place in Gauteng, South Africa at a venue in Magaliesburg, from the 4th to 15th September 2023.

APORDE is a high-level training programme in development economics which aims to build capacity in economics and economic policy-making. The course is run for two weeks and consists of lectures and seminars taught by leading international and African economists.

This call is directed at talented economists, policy makers, academics and civil society activists who, if selected, will be fully funded to participate in the course.

Prospective applicants can register online at: 

Please note that we receive many high-quality applications and that, as a result, entry into APORDE is very competitive (only 30 applicants will be selected). It is therefore important that applicants complete and submit all the required documentation.

APORDE is an initiative of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) with the support of Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS). Previous APORDE lecturers include among others the internationally renowned economist Ha-Joon Chang (SOAS, University of London) as well as leading lecturers from SOAS and Cambridge University.

What previous participants have said about the course:

  • It touches on the most important developmental aspects which are critical to African Countries.
  • The knowledge acquired from the course has changed my attitude towards Industrial Policy.
  • The course provided an in-depth understanding of development issues at work.
  • Great course, great lecturers, great everyone.
  • My work focuses on research for policy analysis & recommendations at a sectoral, national and sometimes continental level. Incredibly relevant.
  • APORDE is very important for both my personal and career development as it critically analyses development issues, I am passionate about development

We encourage anyone with an interest in development to read and distribute this call for applications.


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.


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 2023 will be held in-person from the 4th to 15th September 2022.

The following costs will be covered for all participants selected for the programme – flights, accommodation, conference fee and per diem. The seminar is scheduled to take place at a venue in Magaliesburg (outside Johannesburg / Pretoria), South Africa.

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)
  • Faizel Ismail (University of Cape Town)
  • Nimrod Zalk (South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition)

Application Process

Applicants must demonstrate first-class intellectual capacity and (at least some) prior knowledge in economics/political economy, as well as proficiency in English. The objective of APORDE is to attract participants from a broad range of backgrounds and preference will be given to persons who have demonstrated exceptional capacity in their professional experience.

Participants will be drawn from Africa, but we welcome applications from Asians, Middle Easterns and Latin Americans who have research or work experience related to Africa.

Prospective applicants can register online at: 

The following documents should be uploaded:

  • An official transcript (showing courses taken and grades obtained);
  • A certificate of the highest qualification
  • A recent curriculum vitae not exceeding five pages in length
  • Two letters of reference, where possible one academic referee and one professional
  • For those whose main medium of instruction or work is not English, proof of English proficiency will be necessary. Results of Standard English proficiency tests (e.g. TOEFL or IELTS) will be preferable, but other proof may also be accepted (e.g. a sample of written work in English).

The application process also requires you to complete the motivation to attend APORDE. The form is on the website.

Once you have completed the online application and uploaded all the required documents, you can confirm receipt of the application by emailing:

The application will close on Friday 7th April 2023 at 8 o’clock in the morning, Johannesburg time. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Candidates will be notified by E-mail of the outcome of their applications by 15th May 2023.

Should you have any queries, please contact Rozale (