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Strategy framework for sustainable industrial development in sub-Saharan Africa: Systems-evolutionary approach

by Mebratu, Desta, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
The principal objectives of this research were: · to develop a conceptual framework on sustainability and sustainable development and · to propose a strategy framework for sustainable industrial development in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The research was done based on systems evolutionary approach having the following methodological principles as a guide. · The dynamic complexity of environmental and developmental issues can be better understood by utilizing transdisciplinary theories such as ‘General Systems Theory’, ‘General Evolutionary Theory’ and ‘Information Theory’. · The ‘add-on approach’ has limited success both at the macro and micro level. At the macro level, sustainable development requires mainstreaming socio-ecological and socio-economic principles in development policies and strategies. · It is crucial to make a distinction between fundamental and facilitating factors of the development process and to understand the interaction within and among these factors. The following are the major conclusions and recommendation of the research. · Systems can be described by the ‘entity factors’, that define the boundary conditions and the ‘significance factors’, that determine the field of significance of the system. · The interaction between the ‘entity factors’ and the ‘significance factors’ provides the basis for fulfilment of the systemic function. · Sustainability is a systemic property of maintaining the positive slope of the systemic functions through evolutionary succession of systems. · The path and pace of the evolutionary succession of a given system is determined by its ability to identify, process, utilize and accumulate survival-relevant (SR) information. · For societal systems, the ‘entity factors’ are ecological space, demography, and culture while the ‘significance factors’ are institutional structures and norms, capital structures and flows, and technological innovation and diffusion. · Sustainable development is a process of maintaining an optimum interaction between the entity and significance factors of a society to achieve evolutionary succession and productive engagement. · Industrial development strategies that have been promoted in SSA have been of ‘transplanting’ nature instead of being ‘transformational’. This has resulted in a mismatch between the ‘entity factors’ and the ‘significance factors’. · The development of the region’s ability to manage SR information is a fundamental prerequisite for promoting sustainable industrial development. · Identification and utilization of the positive elements of endogenous capacities and indigenous knowledge, as essential repositories of SR information, constitutes the core principle of building such a capacity. · Resource depletion, disoriented property rights regimes, sectoral dichotomy and global inertia were identified as the principal challenges. Hence, valorization of resources is the core element of the strategic framework, supplemented with sub-models on property rights regimes, sectoral synergy global momentum and the sustainability function. The promotion of sustainable development as a social transformation process will require a fundamental reorientation of national, regional and international structures. It is believed that a transdisciplinary approaches provide sound bases to undertake such reorientation at a global scale. This thesis contributes to the promotion of sustainable industrial development in SSA through the application and advancement of transdisciplinary approaches.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Lunds universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:SOCIAL SCIENCES; Business and economics; NATURAL SCIENCES; Earth sciences; Sustainability; sustainable development; systems dynamics; evolutionary; development strategy; Economics of development; Environmental technology; Utvecklingsekonomi; kontroll av utsläpp; Miljöteknik; pollution control

ISBN:91-88902-12-9

Date of Publication:01/01/2000

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