I recently wrote this piece for The Conversation. A consistent feature of global analyses of Africa’s economic prospects is their fickleness. In the years since the global financial crisis in 2008, forecasts about Africa have swerved from deep pessimism to heady optimism, and back to a bearish outlook of slow growth and fragility. The vacillation … More To transform Africa’s economies, African companies matter too
1. CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: IZA/DFID SHORT COURSE ON PROGRAM EVALUATION (ALL EXPENSES COVERED) Organisers: David Lam (University of Michigan and IZA), Maryam Naghsh Nejad (IZA) Location: Lusaka, Zambia Date: October 29 – October 30, 2016 Submission Deadline: June 30, 2016 Notification of Acceptance: July 30, 2016 Deadline for Registeration: August 10, 2016 Event Manager: Dominik Spitza Online Application Form
On 29 February 2016, I participated in a panel discussion on the above subject, ‘China and Global Development: Different Perspectives on Africa’. This was at the School of Public Policy, Central European University, Budapest, alongside, Professor George Wu (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Professor Chris Alden (London School of Economics and Political Science). The … More China and Global Development: Different Perspectives on Africa
Last week, terrorist attacks targeted Ankara in Turkey, and Grand Bassam resort in Ivory Coast. This morning, it hit Brussels claiming over 30 innocent lives and counting. There are countless attacks in North-East Nigeria often targeting people who are already poor at the very bottom of the income ladder, in Mali, increasingly Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, etc., and many … More ‘Muslims Must be at the Forefront of this Fight’ Against Terrorism
Apologies for the long hiatus. Scholarships and Development Opportunities is back 1. WORLD BANK GROUP ANALYST PROGRAMME The World Bank Group Analyst Program is a new and unique opportunity for exceptionally talented young people with a passion for international development to contribute to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems. Through this structured three-year … More Scholarships and Development Opportunities No. 15
The University of Oxford is hosting Aliko Dangote, the world’s richest black man and Africa’s most well-known industrialist tomorrow, 16 February 2016. In particular, the Oxford University Africa Society and the Oxford University China-Africa Network (OUCAN) are hosting him in a conversation entitled “The Truth about Doing Business in Africa” at 1.20pm. My colleague Yasmin Kumi, … More Aliko Dangote to Discuss ‘Doing Business in Africa’ in Oxford
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
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
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
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
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
At a recent African entrepreneurship summit, Ory Okolloh Mwangi, one of Kenya’s top tech innovators (also a former Google Manager for Africa), had this to say about the recent, if excessive, focus on entrepreneurship across the continent (excerpt originally published on Quartz):
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?
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?
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