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

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?

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

“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

The Politics of Inequality – DLP Annual Conference 2015

On Thursday 12 February, the Development Leadership Programme (DLP) held its 2015 Annual Conference on the theme of the politics of inequality, at the University of Birmingham. I presented parts of my doctoral research as a panelist in the session on “Inequality and Political Settlements”. With a resurgence in academic, policy and media interest in inequalities … More The Politics of Inequality – DLP Annual Conference 2015

Africa’s Oil Shock

This is an opinion piece I recently wrote for Aljazeera English, analysing how African countries are responding to falling global crude oil prices. I reproduce it below: The plummeting of global crude prices is generating ripple effects worldwide. While oil exporters are reeling from plunging revenues, oil importers are bracing for cheaper oil, and the … More Africa’s Oil Shock

Legatum Institute’s Africa Prosperity Index 2014

The researchers at Legatum Institute, a public policy think-tank, were kind enough to invite me to the launch of their inaugural Africa Prosperity Index several days ago, at their headquarters in Mayfair London. The keynote speakers were Richard Dowden, Director of the Royal African Society and Marieme Jamme, CEO of Spot One Global Solutions and … More Legatum Institute’s Africa Prosperity Index 2014

The IMF: Change in the Air?

This year’s G20 (Group of Twenty) Summit – an annual forum where the world’s twenty largest economies discuss international economic cooperation – took place in Brisbane Australia. Several commitments on boosting global growth, reducing inequalities, attaining inclusive growth, creating jobs and even establishing a Global Infrastructure Hub were made. What particularly caught my attention in the communiqué … More The IMF: Change in the Air?