Call for applications – African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics

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Call for applications


African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics

2nd to 14th of September 2013

Johannesburg, South Africa

Supported by

The Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa (the dti),

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)


We are pleased to announce that the seventh edition of the African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE) will be held in Johannesburg (South Africa) from 2nd to the 14th of September 2013. APORDE is a high-level training programme in development economics which aims to build capacity in economics and economic policy-making. The course will run for two weeks and consist of lectures and seminars taught by leading international and African economists. This call is directed at talented African, Asian and Latin American economists, policy makers and civil society activists who, if selected, will be fully funded.

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

Please note that we receive many high quality applications and that, as a result, entry into APORDE will be very competitive (only 30 applicants will be selected).

APORDE is an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) with the support of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). This year, lecturers will include among others, Ha-Joon Chang (University of Cambridge), Mushtaq Khan (SOAS) and Gabriel Palma (University of Cambridge).

“APORDE is being conducted in a climate when there is much greater contestation of ideas around the possible options for economic development and industrialisation than in recent decades. An initiative like APORDE can make a very important contribution in offering us new insights and reflections on the critical questions of building a developmental state and mounting a serious industrial policy.”

Dr. Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry, Republic of South Africa



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 are 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; South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry is leading the way with its industrial policy. However, few African decision makers feel equipped to design and implement such policies, a gap which APORDE aims to help fill.



APORDE will allow talented academics, policy makers and civil society representatives from Africa, Asia and Latin America to gain access to alternatives to mainstream thinking on development issues and to be equipped in a way that will foster original thinking. Participants will receive intensive high-level training and interact with some of the best development economists in the world and with other participants. The following costs will be covered for selected participants – travel, accommodation, conference fee and per diem.The seminar will be held in Johannesburg from the 2nd to the 14th of September 2013 at the IDC conference centre.

APORDE will cover 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, while a number of shorter evening talks and debates will also be organised.



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.

The main body of 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 should send

  • Completed application forms, to download the application form please:

– Follow the link to download

– Or log onto the IDC website at and look for the APORDE application form

– Or alternatively email to request the form.

  • An official transcript (showing courses taken and grades obtained);
  • 2 (two) letters of reference, where possible 1 academic referee and 1 professional, which should be sent directly to
  • For those whose main medium of instruction or work is not English, some 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).


Completed Application forms, accompanied by a covering letter should be sent to for the attention of Christian Kabongo. The application should actually reach Christian Kabongo by Friday the 7th of June 2013 at midnight at the latest. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Please note that individual acknowledgement of applications will be sent by e-mail only. Candidates will be notified by

E-mail of the outcome of their applications at the latest by mid July 2013.



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