• Africa-Asia;
  • development policy;
  • sustained growth;
  • poverty reduction

The Tracking Development project aims to explain the divergences in development outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia over the past fifty years through the pair-wise comparison of four countries in each region. The development trajectories in South-East Asia reveal that the transition to sustained growth has consistently been associated with policies aimed at (i) macroeconomic stabilisation; (ii) improving life in the rural sector, increasing agricultural productivity and ensuring an ample supply of food; and (iii) liberalising the economy and creating conditions of economic freedom, particularly for peasant farmers and other small actors. In Africa, initiatives in these directions have been taken in some instances, but the simultaneous pursuit of all three policy objectives has not occurred. Most noticeably, policies aimed at macroeconomic stabilisation were pursued in both regions, but whereas in South-East Asia these were associated with policies leading to poverty reduction, this was not the case in Africa.