n African Finance Journal - The flying geese model and Africa's economic development : what are the prospects that South Africa will play a leading role?

Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1605-9786



The flying geese model, a theory of industrial development in latecomer economies is used to explore the prospects of South Africa playing the role of a leading 'goose' in the economic development of Africa. The model forms one theoretical framework that has been advanced to explain the economic growth of Asia as having been underpinned by the Japanese economy (Asia's leading goose). South Africa's experience of import substitution during the period of apartheid and international isolation resulted in the achievement of self-sufficiency in particular sectors of the economy, including food, textile, financial services etc. After 1994 following the first democratic elections, the focus of the government shifted to export promotion and capital account liberalization, which resulted in substantial involvement of South African corporations in the rest of Africa. It is against this background that this paper presents anecdotal evidence on the prospects for South Africa of acting as a regional growth pole and perhaps replicating the flying geese model.

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