Inclusive Economic Development

There is national consensus that accelerated economic development is fundamental to tackling poverty and inequality in a way that is sustainable. Complementary research is required to support the development of economic policies that will engender the growth of a more dynamic, more productive economy that is able to reduce poverty levels and bring about greater equality, recognising the tensions between quantitative and qualitative growth. In the apartheid context of South Africa there would have to be a spatial dimension to this agenda, including how to support the distinctive strengths and address the challenges of city-regional economies, including townships and rural areas.

The country requires models of innovation that emphasise its systemic and dynamic nature, covering companies in the formal sector, as well as other economic and social actors, informal enterprises, and township and rural settings. Innovation that orientates science and technology to people-centred development needs to not only promote cuttingedge ideas and advanced knowledge, but also effective social and economic applications and adaptations. This requires a focus on building technological capabilities, know-how and learning, particularly at the local level.

Education has always been central to economic growth and all-round human development. In a changing world, research needs to investigate the tension between improving education quality and responding to technological change in the world of work, here and in Africa. As conventional employment changes, and demands sophisticated skill-sets, there is a need to research new opportunities for meaningful livelihoods outside the formal economy, including the creative and caring industries.