IfG LIVE – Discussions with the Institute for Government


When mega-projects become mega-disasters

Season 1, Ep. 61

In his new book, Imperialism and Development – the East African groundnut scheme and its legacyDr Nicholas Westcott, Director of the Royal African Society, explores one of the most expensive and disastrous development schemes ever undertaken by a British government. What lessons can be learned, more than 70 years on, from the ill-fated launch of a scheme to grow peanuts in Tanganyika (now Tanzania)? How are major decisions on major projects made today? Who is held accountable if they go wrong? How do civil servants and ministers work together to ensure money isn’t wasted on major projects? What has actually changed, since the groundnut scheme was abandoned in 1951, to ensure mega projects don’t become mega disasters?


Bronwen Maddox, Director at the Institute for Government is in conversation with Dr Nicholas Westcott, Director of the Royal African Society, Rt Hon Baroness Amos, former UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and former Secretary of State for International Development, Professor John Kay, economist and former Financial Times columnist, Giles Wilkes, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government. Audio production by Candice McKenzie

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