Annual Lecture: Addressing Asia’s Triple Development Challenge: Nutrition, Energy and Inequality

Welcome to The Network for Asian Studies' (Asianettverket) annual lecture! This year, Jomo Kwame Sundaram – one of Asia’s leading development thinkers – will discuss three of the most burning development challenges facing Asia today, namely nutrition, energy and inequality.

While Asia has seen exceptional economic growth over recent decades, major development challenges remain, and several new ones have emerged.

Malnutrition in Asia most obviously involves undernourishment or inadequate dietary energy, but also more ‘hidden’ forms of hunger related to micronutrient deficiencies and diet-related non-communicable diseases. While economic growth and the demographic transition, coupled with advances in food processing, mean that higher income groups experience reduced hunger and lower food insecurity, there has been uneven progress with regards to micronutrient deficiencies; some diet-related non-communicable diseases, including those related to obesity, appear to be proliferating.

Meanwhile, for the ‘energy poor’ deprived of electricity, international support for a ‘big push’ for affordable renewable energy can help accelerate socio-economic progress and wellbeing, besides mitigating greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global warming.

Lastly, trends in income and wealth inequality have changed significantly for the worse in many Asian countries in recent decades, undermining earlier lower East Asian economic inequality contrary to global trends.

Based on several decades of experience working on development in different parts of the world, in this talk, Jomo will use nutrition, energy and inequality as lenses for critically interrogating the political economy of contemporary Asian development.


Jomo Kwame Sundaram is a prominent Malaysian economist. He holds the Tun Hussein Onn Chair in International Studies at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia, and is Visiting Senior Fellow at Khazanah Research Institute, Visiting Fellow at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, and Adjunct Professor at the International Islamic University, Malaysia. 

Jomo is a leading scholar and expert on the political economy of development, especially in Southeast Asia, who has authored or edited over a hundred books and translated 12 volumes besides writing many academic papers and articles for the media. He was founder chair of International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs), and sat on the Board of the United Nations Research Institute For Social Development (UNRISD), Geneva. He has received several honours and awards for his work including the 2007 Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought.


After the lecture there will be a reception at Sophus Bugges hus, seminar room 3.

Publisert 20. sep. 2018 10:19 - Sist endret 15. okt. 2018 12:44