Secretary General to the Strategy of Accelerated Growth
Interviewed by Doudou Ndiaye
Director of Communications, CRES
During the time of the interview Ibrahim Wade was Secretary General to the Strategy of Accelerated Growth (SCA), a structure created by the public authorities to support the dynamic growth in order to achieve the growth rate of 7% on long years. He became Director General of the Office of operational monitoring of the Senegal's Emerging Plan (BOS).
Can you describe SCA briefly?
SCA is an orientation of economic policy that Senegal thought after a long process of reflection, mutations of the Senegalese economy, for which, if we may say, is the part of the post-devaluation years to see how a little influence reverse the trend that was taking the trajectory of the Senegalese economy. These reflections led at the time, in 2000, "the strategy of the development of the private sector," which has helped to put in place a certain number of milestones and structures, including all structures accompanying in the private sector: SME development, support to operations, support or investment.
In 2008, a law of orientation was passed after the definition of what was called at the level of the SCA “the approach of competitiveness clusters". It was just a missing element in the development approach. It was to see how instituting maps of private dialogs at the sectorial level, how to ensure that the potential for diversification of sources of economic growth that was there, it is not operated or insufficiently operated at all, and how to put the conditions in any case so that these productive sectors more play their part in the growth of the economy.
So this was the basis of the approach for the CLUSTER we developed and started from 5 CLUSTERS growth:
- Industrial tourism
- Artisanal art
- TIC –teleservices-products of the sea-aquaculture
That's the core business of SCA, a business who puts a lot in before the private sector and reinforces its leading position, on the one hand, lead the reforms, and initiate the reflection on the day on industries and sectors, but also to invest and produce. Similarly, it will lead us to a number of projects at competitiveness level, as it brought to produce the national activity report and also all that is a scientific thinking in the ecosystem of economic development.
We noticed that lately, the contacts between the world of research and SCA have intensified. What does that mean that research is also a niche for growth?
So the research, if I say to you quite recently it is because there's a fault somewhere. But research and innovation must be at the core of any process of economic development and emergence. First the academic world is still present in the work of the clusters, they are members of clusters, universities, research centres, specialized agencies and their contribution is important.
I’d like to give you a very simple example not at the conceptual basis but on the practical level. There are in the case of TIC-teleservices cluster which is part of the achievements, I forgot to note, the incubator CETIC-Dakar. This incubator that we set up in 2010, today we are in the process of working to set up it at the University of Ziguinchor and the University of St. Louis. This is the contours of the university and academic executives. I am Vice President of the Board of Directors of incubator INODE V including, the Rector of the UCAD is the President and the private sector through the National Council of Employers is Vice President.
Therefore we say that have taken an approach to practice with the academic world, with agro incubator that we are in the process to fit with the Ministry of the Interior in St. Louis. At the UGB level, the incubator CETIC -Dakar we assembled with the UCAD, universities, moreover, through the establishment of TIC incubators Senegal. And making way, we work. The connection between SCA and the world of research, it is not the institution of the Permanent Secretariat which is important, it is how we can lead the private sector to open in the university and vice versa. We this is our role, it is a little part which we have played so far.
However, we spent this first level as we are saying, but in this rapprochement with the academic world, CRES, are research institutions that have tremendous research themes, reflections and even solutions we said but finally there is a very strong and strict separation between the rest of the country, public or private economy and the world of research. That's what has been the basis of our rapprochement with CRES and I must say that in the first attempt only, we were extremely impressed by the striking force in terms of existing products which are in so many solutions in various fields. We discussed the following themes: agriculture, social protection, education and infrastructure, but there was much more than that.
What are the prospects especially given to the directive like Prime Minister in the direction of exploring other themes?
I believe that for the future sets of themes we have ideas rather simple good as I say we are in a partnership. That’s why I said before that move towards the next forum we will propose organization of an evaluation meeting. Meeting with which the private sector and the Administration will be associated which will tell us that they are the big major issues of the day. And that one is deal today with the advent of Senegal emergent plan. And all that can guide us;once again CRES and SCA having two to three very specific topics that will be the themes of…..
The Prime Minister had spoken about energy, the digital economy, farming, fishing etc. I think that the place where we impact together will be with CRES which will lead to selection. This will help us when we consider two or three main areas, to go very deep and not just give scientific delivery on the table but to say the scientific action-oriented resolution.
We strongly hope to organize a meeting for the next forum. I think one of the strong messages from the Prime Minister, besides its guidelines of saying "I urge the Administration to take an interest in better research and better use of its results in the future, with the result that enormously time which has to be saved. Because we have already wasted our time in making procurement, to study, to implement what we have studied. “Especially with the intellectual decline of the academic world I think we're on the right track, that's my prospectus of looking the things.
Before collaborating with the CRES did you know of its existence?
You may find it surprising, I knew that CRES as an institution on the outskirts of university and I took part a few years ago in a seminar and this was my first contact. When I received the invitation, I read the report, went through it and I tried to be as critical as possible and I thought what is this institution that speaks to me while digital economy whereas in its acronym, it had nothing more than Digital Economy and I found the report to be excellent. So this was my first contact and met Pr. Abdoulaye Diagne as part of the national dialogue on higher education where I was the Vice-Chairman of the Steering Committee. We worked together in the group thematic financing. We really worked very close way to model the financing. That's really where we saw that there was something to do, a boost to be given to economic policy in our areas of expertise and also discuss the results with CRES. I told Professor Diagne that they deserve to be known, it deserves to be popularised and it deserves to be brought to the attention of the higher private and public authorities. It is this synergy which we can take and a step forward.