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Minister O’Sullivan launches Development Matters lecture series

Irish Aid, Press Releases, Ireland, 2011

Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan, today launched the Development Matters lecture series at the Institute of International & European Affairs.

The series, which is bringing influential actors in global development to Ireland to address key issues and emerging trends in international development, is hosted by the Institute of International & European Affairs with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Speaking at the launch, Minister O’Sullivan said the Department’s new Africa Strategy recognises the transformation that is taking place in Africa: “Larger African economies, such as South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt, have averaged growth rates consistently above 5% since the year 2000.  However, at the same time, we recognise that poverty and hunger will continue to be huge problems in many parts of Africa. 

“Irish Aid’s priority focus will continue to be on poverty and on the systemic global hunger crisis.  Our long term aim is to end dependency on aid, to build a new relationship with Africa based on politics, democracy and trade.  It is right that we do so, and it is also in our interests as a country. 

“It is vitally important for our society that we engage with global issues and trends and I am confident that this lecture series will contribute to this important debate,” the Minister said.

She welcomed the keynote speaker, Prof. Mthuli Ncube, Chief Economist of the African Development Bank, who delivered the inaugural address, “African Economic Policy and the Role of Private Business”. Prof. Ncube set out how African nations can build on strong growth, a growing middle class and improved regulation and infrastructure to leverage private sector investment and philanthropy for more inclusive growth.

  • Today’s lecture is the first in the Development Matters series, which the Institute of International and European Affairs is holding with the support of Irish Aid. For further information, visit or
  • Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • The Institute of International and European Affairs is a think tank and policy research institute based in Dublin. It acts also as a forum, bringing together stakeholders to discuss issues of national, European and international significance.