New Industrial Policy in Africa: Overcoming the Extractives Trap

Happy New Year! On 3-4 November 2015, I was at a conference organised by the Friederich Ebert Stiftung (FES) foundation on ‘New Industrial Policy in Africa: Overcoming the Extractives Trap’ in Atananarivo, Madagascar . The conference was organised to discuss attempts by African countries, especially resource producers and exporters to cope with the ongoing collapse in … More New Industrial Policy in Africa: Overcoming the Extractives Trap

Nigeria’s Newly Appointed Officials Signal Shift in Economic Policy

This is a piece I recently wrote for the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage Blog on how Nigeria’s new government maybe shifting towards the mineral sector, and how this could address regional disparities in growth. Although he was elected in March of this year, Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari did not name his Cabinet ministers until 5 … More Nigeria’s Newly Appointed Officials Signal Shift in Economic Policy

The Under-Belly of Africa’s Booming Business Environment

Africa’s mobile phone revolution is one of the main drivers of the bullish ‘Africa Rising’ narrative. Underpinning this optimism in Nigeria, is the liberalisation of the country’s telecommunications sector, regarded as one of the success stories of economic reform. With over 148 million connected mobile lines, and 92 million internet subscribers, it is not hard to see why. Amidst … More The Under-Belly of Africa’s Booming Business Environment

Piketty’s Lecture on Inequality in South Africa

Thomas Piketty, the “rock star economist”, was in Soweto, South Africa recently to deliver the 13th annual Nelson Mandela lecture. He spoke about inequality, drawing on his recent best-selling book, Capital in the Twenty First Century but also from his country, France’s experiences in inclusion and welfare reforms since the French Revolution in the 18th century. It … More Piketty’s Lecture on Inequality in South Africa

Three Reasons Why We Should Be Optimistic About the SDGs

The unveiling of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was the highlight of the week-long United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The SDGs is the successor framework to the MDGs, with an overarching objective of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030. Its 17 goals, 169 indicators and a global rather than developing-world focus make it more expansive in scope … More Three Reasons Why We Should Be Optimistic About the SDGs

Is the Idea of ‘African Solutions’ too limiting in a Globalised Economy?

Note: I paraphrased the title of this blog post from this tweet by Professor Calestous Juma.  The question was prompted by a recent statement by Bob Collymore, the CEO of Safaricom, one of Africa’s pioneering mobile money platforms. Collymore suggests that the idea of ‘African Solutions’ (to African Problems) may be hindering the ability of … More Is the Idea of ‘African Solutions’ too limiting in a Globalised Economy?

Buhari’s First 100 Days: Does Nigerian President Mean Business?

In this piece for CNN, I assess the performance of Nigeria’s president in his first 100 days in office. Here’s an excerpt: As I stood on a queue at the immigration desk at the arrivals section of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Nigeria’s capital city Abuja in May 2015, a well-dressed couple who had … More Buhari’s First 100 Days: Does Nigerian President Mean Business?

My Summer Reading is Heavily Skewed Towards East Asia and Stephen King

Like many people, I’ve been trying to catch up on some recreational reading before the summer ends. I’ve been reading a lot on East Asia, especially China recently. I’m almost done with Deborah Brautigam’s (2009) “The Dragon’s Gift: the Real Story of China in Africa”, which I skimmed through in 2011 for school essays. Brautigam’s main … More My Summer Reading is Heavily Skewed Towards East Asia and Stephen King

Scholarships and Development Opportunities No. 14

INTERNSHIP: SOCIAL POLICY FOR INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT AT THE UN INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Deadline: 19 July 2015 The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) is an autonomous research institute within the UN system that undertakes multidisciplinary research and policy analysis on the social dimensions of contemporary development issues. Through our work, … More Scholarships and Development Opportunities No. 14

Buhari should Phase-Out, Not Remove Petroleum Subsidy

Democratic governments are likely to face two interrelated problems in implementing difficult economic reforms. First, is the unpopularity of these measures among citizens who are likely to shoulder the most burden. Second, is the difficulty in employing a practical approach to implementation. Reforming Nigeria’s money-guzzling fuel subsidy regime, now an urgent matter in the context … More Buhari should Phase-Out, Not Remove Petroleum Subsidy

“EITI was the Wrong Focus” and other Highlights of the Natural Resource Governance Conference

Last week, I was at a conference organised by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), formerly Revenue Watch Institute, on the challenges and opportunities presented by falling commodity prices. It was attended by the best in the academia, in policy and in civil society in the field. A breakdown of the panels and speakers is … More “EITI was the Wrong Focus” and other Highlights of the Natural Resource Governance Conference

Publication: ‘Why Goodluck Jonathan Lost the Nigerian Presidential Election of 2015’

Our publication (with colleague Dr Olly Owen) in the July edition of the journal, African Affairs is out. We wrote a brief on the Nigerian presidential election in March 2015, assessing why the election was exceptional in many respects, why many previous predictions including ours of a runoff or an outright Jonathan/PDP victory did not … More Publication: ‘Why Goodluck Jonathan Lost the Nigerian Presidential Election of 2015’