Why Africa’s development models must change: understanding five dynamic trends


Current models used to analyse African development don’t align with the continent’s context and dynamics, and need to be overhauled. Approaches should explicitly consider the defining characteristic of African economics, namely its wide-ranging informality that lies beyond existing legal frameworks. In doing so, five trends must be considered, namely climate change, rapid urbanisation, epidemic/pandemic vulnerabilities, immense infrastructure deficits, and the lawlessness that also gives rise to violent extremism.

About the authors

Eric Pelser is Head of the Complex Threats in Africa programme at the ISS, which includes the ENACT transnational organised crime project. Over the past 25 years, Eric has worked in government, the non-governmental and corporate sectors in a number of African countries. He has extensive experience in the public safety and development field, in the areas of programme design, management, evaluation and research.

Eric Scheye has been working on justice and security development, organised crime, violence against women, trafficking in persons, police accountability, governance, rule of law and monitoring and evaluation for over 20 years. In that time, he has conducted portfolio reviews of the United Kingdom, Australia and the European Commission’s justice and security programming.

Cover image: Amelia Broodryk/ISS

feature-5icon-printerlogo-chlogo-frPSC REPORT