Picture: Antoine de Ras
JOHANNEBSURG - South Africa is not the only country facing issues such as slow growth, unemployment and corruption.

This is according to US economist and professor at Columbia University, Professor Joseph Stiglitz, in his keynote address at the Redi 3X3 Summit: A Strategy for Inclusive Growth and Economic Transformation in South Africa hosted in Cape Town yesterday by the Economic Research Southern Africa and the Bureau for Economic Research.

Stiglitz is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and the John Bates Clark Medal.

He has recently been appointed as co-chairperson to The Commission on Global Economic Transformation which is aimed at tackling global economic challenges from stagnating growth and inequality to migration and climate change.

He said the success of a region such as East Asia is taken for granted today and the answer to the its miraculous success is that they discovered an alternative growth model, where manufacturing led export growth.

Stigitz said that it has been in some sense the only successful strategy ever in terms of rapid growth in a short period of time.

“The basic message of my talk is that’s not going to work for Africa, that is not going to work for Latin America, that is not going to work for any country going forward, but we have to deconstruct why that strategy worked for East Asia at that time (during the 1960s).

“Given the conditions that Africa is in, that other countries that are poor are in, what are the ways of achieving what manufacturing led exports growth achieved for East Asia? What are the elements of that and how can that be achieved with different strategies.”

He said given Africa’s background, today it is taken for granted that East Asia is highly educated in terms of its standards and even does far better than the US and countries like Korea, Singapore, China, rank in the top four of the world and the US is ranked about 30th.