The Ethiopian Development Research Institute and the Japan International Cooperation Agency organized a seminar on industrial clusters on 24 September 2016 at Elilly International Hotel, Addis Ababa.
In the seminar, Professors Keijiro and Tomoko Otsuka presented a paper on “What determine Success and Failure of Cluster-Based Industrial Development?” Professor Keijiro Otsuka explained what industrial clusters are, their types, and how they are formed. In addition, he outlined the importance of industrial clusters for information spillovers, specialization and division of labor among enterprises, development of skilled labor markets, and availability of useful human resources for innovations and generally clustering has been explained as the key to industrial development.
Professor Tomoko Otsuka, as a historical economist, presented on “Lessons from Historical Experiences and Contemporary Dynamic Clusters” in which she pointed out the historical role producer cooperatives had in the development of industrial clusters. According to the professor, the most dynamic clusters have developed as a result of producer cooperatives whose functions include, collection of market information, introduction of new technologies and assurance of product quality through training and punishment of inferior quality producers.
In his presentation on lessons for Africa regarding industrial clusters, Professor Keijiro Otsuka explained that, with the exception of Ethiopia, the development of dynamic clusters in Sub-Saharan Africa has not been supported by industrial development policies.
Professor Keijiro Otsuka is a development economist based at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Tokyo. He is an expert in the field of industrial development and has published extensively in the area of agricultural development in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa as well.
Professor Otsuka has previously given a public lecture in 2014 at EDRI on “Farm Size and Production Efficiency in Agriculture.”