APORDE 2019 - African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics


Trainings & Fellowships

Location (s):

  • South Africa


We are pleased to announce that the Thirteenth edition of the African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE) will be held in Johannesburg (South Africa) from 2nd to the 13th of September 2019.


Call for applications for participants to attend APORDE 2019
African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics
2nd to 13th of September 2019
Johannesburg, South Africa

Supported byThe South African Department of Trade and Industry (the dti),

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)

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.

Please note that we receive many high quality applications and that, as a result, entry into APORDE will be very competitive (only 25 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 and Industry (the dti) with the support of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). Previous APORDE lecturers include among others the internationally renowned economist Ha-Joon Chang (University of Cambridge) as well as leading lecturers from SOAS and Cambridge University.

“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

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.

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. T

he 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.

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. 

Previous sessions included:

  • 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 Resource and Industrial Policy
  • Industrial Policy in South Africa

Previous lecturers included:

  • Thandika Mkandawire (London School of Economics)
  • Ha-Joon Chang (Cambridge University)
  • Ben Fine (SOAS, University of London)
  • Gabriel Palma (Cambridge University)
  • Mushtaq Khan (SOAS, University of London)
  • Stephanie Seguino (University of Vermont)
  • Chris Cramer (SOAS, University of London)
  • Jayati Ghosh (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  • John Sender (SOAS, University of London

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Applications 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.

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.

The application will be closed on Monday the 3rd of June 2019 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 at the latest by the 1st of July 2019.


Deadline: June 03, 2019

Program Starts: September 02, 2019

Program Ends: September 13, 2019

Cost/funding for 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 13th of September 2019.

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