Ennis resident and Rwandan native André Hakizimana, an economics masters graduate, has recently launched a new book charting a different take on Ireland’s economic downturn and what he feels can turn it around.
Ireland’s economic policies have not served it well in recent years, but not many people understand why the country’s people continue to suffer.
André has been living in Ennis since 2008 and considers it his adoptive home. He has earned a masters degree in economics from University College Cork and also a bachelors degree from NUI Galway.
In his book The Irish Economy-Past Present and Future: Causes of Irish Economic Recessions and Solutions for Growth, available locally in Ennis Bookshop, André examines the country’s economic policies and offers solutions for growth.
“After the crash of the Anglo-Irish Bank in 2008 some Irish people criticised the government, bankers and developers for the Irish financial and economic crisis. Others held the international financial crisis and the breakdown of the three largest United States investment banks (Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch) as the cause. This context inspired me to carry out research on Irish economic policy before and after Ireland’s independence from the United Kingdom. The research turned into this book,” he states.
He explained this study does not intend to criticise Irish policymakers, but instead seeks to address the origins of Irish economic growth, financial crises, and Irish recessions.
Speaking to The Clare Champion André explained, to his mind, the Irish people are too wrapped up in the blame game. He believes this is not helping the economy. He is also at variance with policy makers in that he believes Ireland will not come out of the recession by bringing in multinationals.
“Ireland needs to focus on its domestic economy because it provides economic protection. Multinational companies will only come to this country to make their profits and if they stop making a profit, they will close down and leave. They are not part of the core of an economy and it is wrong to depend on multinationals,” he said.
He highlighted domestic strategies such as tourism are key and he believes making the beauty spots of Ireland into tourist hubs will help drive the economy in the right direction.
“We need to develop services here, we cannot depend on manufacturing and multinationals as the core of our economy,” he said.
In his book, André considers what caused economic turmoil in Ireland’s financial markets in recent years, how some have begun working together to create healthy growth and he also examines why the country slipped into recession before and after achieving independence from Britain.
“Neither the 2008 recession in Ireland nor the country’s current financial crisis was caused by an international crisis or the crash of Anglo-Irish bank. Instead there are fundamental problems in the Irish economic strategy that are to blame and they could continue to hurt the country unless action is taken,” he concludes.