APORDE 2021: Call for applications for participants to attend

  • Date: Monday, 30 August 2021
  • Venue: Online

APORDE logo sized

Call for applications for participants to attend

African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics

30th August to 10th September 2021

Online seminar

Supported by
South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic),
Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)

We are pleased to announce that the fifteenth edition of the African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE) will take the form of an online seminar from the 30th of August to the 10th of September 2021.

APORDE is a high-level training programme in development economics which aims to build capacity in economics and economic policymaking. 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, policymakers, academics and civil society activists.

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, Industry and Competition (the dtic) 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.

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. The 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, Industry and Competition 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 structural change, industrial policy, rural poverty, inequality and financialisation. Lectures will equip participants with key information pertaining to both mainstream and critical approaches. The programme will consist of online daytime lectures and activities over the two-week period.

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

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.

Prospective applicants should go to the APORDE website www.aporde.co.za and follow the link to the application forms.

Please note that in addition to completing the online form, you have to complete and upload the application form in a word format.

The following documents should be prepared to upload

  • An official transcript (showing courses taken and grades obtained);
  • A certificate of the highest qualification
  • A recent curriculum vitae not exceeding 5 pages in length
  • 2 (two) letters of reference, where possible 1 academic referee and 1 professional
  • For those whose main medium of instruction or work is not English, some proof of English proficiency will be necessary. Results of Standard English proficiency tests (e.g. TOEFL or IELTS) will be preferable, but other proof may also be accepted (e.g. a sample of written work in English).
  • The word format of the application form which you will find on the APORDE web page.

Once you have completed the online application and uploaded all the required documents, please email the same documents to christiank@idc.co.za.

The application will be closed on Monday 2nd August 2021 at 9 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 16th August 2021.

Should you have any queries, please contact Christian Kabongo (christiank@idc.co.za)

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