To transform Africa’s economies, African companies matter too

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

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

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

Understanding Nigeria’s Historic Elections and Why They’re So Contentious

It is common to hear policy makers, development experts and pundits talk about the need to “build strong institutions” in Africa as the solution to governance challenges without quite understanding what processes building or modifying these “institutions” entail. Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson in their 2012 tour de force, Why Nations Fail, provide a compelling … More Understanding Nigeria’s Historic Elections and Why They’re So Contentious

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

#BringBackOurGirls Coordinator, Hadiza Bala Usman, Speaks at the UN

One of the Founders, and a Coordinator of the #BringBackOurGirls movement in Nigeria, Hadiza Bala Usman, spoke at the United Nations Headquarters in New York about the movement and the Chibok girls. She was guest speaker at the closing ceremony of the UN DPI Conference on 29 August 2019. Here is the video of her … More #BringBackOurGirls Coordinator, Hadiza Bala Usman, Speaks at the UN

Thugs Disrupt Peaceful #BringBackOurGirls Protest

It has been over a month since the abduction of over 200 school girls from a secondary school in Chibok Borno state in Northern Nigeria. Since that time, protests have erupted in several cities across Nigeria, and around the world under the banner of #BringBackOurGirls. Influential politicians, global figures and celebrities have lent their support … More Thugs Disrupt Peaceful #BringBackOurGirls Protest

Reflections on the ‘Historic’ and Disturbing Letter by Obasanjo

Last night, I was distracted from concluding my tribute to Mandela which I started writing a few days ago. This distraction was the lengthy 18-page open letter (PDF) written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan. I took my time to read the letter described as ‘historic’ by Premium Times (which broke the story) in … More Reflections on the ‘Historic’ and Disturbing Letter by Obasanjo

Nigeria Marks 53 Years of Independence

Today, Nigeria celebrates 53 years of independence from Britain. The jury is out on whether “celebrate” is the appropriate term to use in this context. I am reluctant to tread the well-worn pessimistic path of reflecting on how much the country’s potential is continuously squandered. Yet celebrations are the last thing in mind given the … More Nigeria Marks 53 Years of Independence

“Nigeria’s Criminal Crude” – A Report by Chatham House

The London-based think tank, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, otherwise known as Chatham House recently published a report titled “Nigeria’s Criminal Crude: International Options to Combat the Export of Oil”. The report analyses the international dimensions of Nigerian crude oil theft and explores what the international community could do about it. A summary of … More “Nigeria’s Criminal Crude” – A Report by Chatham House