Many African smallholder farmers did not share in the 'green revolution' productivity gains driven by modern seeds and techniques, irrigation, and greater fertilizer use in Asia and Latin America in the 1960s.
Responsive governments committed to improving the broader trade facilitation and business environment can help companies of all sizes by improving infrastructure: roads, transportation, ports, information and communication technology, and electricity.
Around the world, it is much more difficult for women than for men to run a successful business. Even when laws are not explicitly biased against them, companies owned and operated by women often face discrimination every step of the way, from obtaining finance to finding customers.
Exporting firms are more productive and pay higher wages than their domestically focused counterparts, especially in places like Sub-Saharan Africa. If firms manage to thrive in world markets, they tend to increase their productivity even more.
In their pursuit of growth and diversification, African economies should consider transforming the discourse from a focus on industrialisation to a broader one centred on value addition in agriculture, manufacturing, and services.
The representatives of young professionals and woman entrepreneurs deserve seats at the big table to evolve viable, efficient, and sustainable solutions for problems the world is faced with. Without their participation, there will always be a deficit of compassion and innovation.
The tourism industry has considerable potential to be a sustainability role model in its role as a buyer of goods and other services, from building materials and green construction standards to farm produce.
The fact is that during the post-1989 heyday of globalization optimism, political and business elites did not think enough about the prospect - plainly predicted in economic theory - that trade would harm some people even while leaving society as a whole better off. The result was overpromised benefits and inadequate adjustment plans.
Gender-based job restrictions tend to be associated with wider wage gaps and lower employment rates for women. And where girls' future earning potential is limited, families may choose to send their brothers to school instead.
Governments everywhere have ministries dedicated to women's affairs. I know of only one with a Ministry for Women Empowerment: Indonesia. Charged with the 'realization of gender equality and justice' together with children's well-being, the ministry frames gender equality as a matter of justice.
Policy and business elites did not speak frankly about the unequal distribution of benefits from trade and failed to adequately accompany market-opening with good domestic policies to equip displaced workers to upskill, adjust, and share in the new opportunities being created.
Predictably, open markets made it possible for countries to drive rapid growth by hitching their wagon to the world economy and using global demand to pull people and resources out of subsistence activities into more productive work.