GEIA President/Chief Economist, Dr. Fred Olayele, was a Guest Speaker at the February 2016 Annual Leadership Symposium organized by the Centre for Values in Leadership in Lagos, Nigeria. Speaking on the topic, “Wealth, Poverty and Human Dignity”, Dr. Olayele emphasized the foundational linkage between human rights and human dignity. He explained that the issue is deeply rooted in classical liberalism: rule of law, political freedom and economic freedom. Dr. Olayele provided insights on the importance of free trade, free markets and property rights. According to him, “Some of the poorest people are the most dignified; there are many moneybags who lack dignity”. He cautioned that human dignity is not about money and concluded by drawing lessons from the Canadian Federal-Provincial Equalization Regime: a policy framework used to bridge regional fiscal disparities. Other speakers at the event included Prof. Yemi Osibajo (Vice-President, Federal Republic of Nigeria), Prof. Pat Utomi (Founder, Centre for Values in Leadership), Dr. Pinkie Mekgwe (Executive Director, Internationalization, University of Johannesburg), Ms. Nana Afadzinu (Executive Director, West African Civil Society Institute, Ghana), Ambassador Stanislas Kamanzi (Rwanda High Commissioner to the Federal Republic of Nigeria)and Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah (Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry).
GEIA participated in a recent event hosted by the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business in Toronto to welcome the Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, His Excellency Demeke Mekonnen. His Excellency Mekonnen led a trade and investment delegation of 45 leading Ethiopian companies seeking Canadian importers and distributors for their products, joint venture partners, investors and suppliers for various projects in Ethiopia. Major sectors covered included coffee, spices and oilseeds (sesame, sunflower, etc.), commercial farming, construction, building materials and heavy equipment, manufacturing, mining, tourism and hotel infrastructure.
GEIA is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2016 GEIA-CPCS Fellowship: Dr. Sue Claire Berning. A German citizen, Dr. Berning completed her Ph.D. in International Management in 2016 from the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany. She holds two Master’s degrees: Social Management from the Lutheran University, Nürnberg (Germany) and International Business & Communication in Asia / China from the University of Applied Sciences, Konstanz (Germany). The Corporate Sponsor of the 2016 GEIA Fellowship is CPCSTranscom Limited. CPCS is an Ottawa-based management consulting firm providing strategic advisory services specific to transportation and power infrastructure, operations, investment, policy and regulation. The host organization for the 2016 GEIA-CPCS Fellow is the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG). NESG is a non-profit organization dedicated to achieving sustainable economic development by exploring and supporting initiatives directed at improving Nigeria’s economic policies, its institutions and competitive business climate. NESG is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. The Fellow receives a lump-sum Fellowship Award valued at two thousand Canadian dollars ($2,000.00) and a round-trip flight ticket from country of residence to Lagos. In addition, the Fellowship covers accommodation, local transportation to and from work, one meal per day, and a guaranteed monthly base salary of one hundred and fifty thousand naira (NGN 150,000.00). The $2,000 Fellowship Award is made available by CPCS, in addition to a NGN 50,000.00 monthly salary supplement. GEIA Fellows have opportunities for international research collaborations and professional career development. In a statement by the President/Chief Economist of GEIA, Dr. Fred Olayele, “This is a prestigious award conferred by the Institute, and Dr. Sue Claire Berning is to be congratulated for having a strong academic record that merits this honour. A business moves into a leadership position when its actions begin to generate beneficial impacts beyond its borders. CPCS is a leading Canadian infrastructure firm in Africa. Canada is very well known for its sustainable approach to doing business and CPCS represents just that. Community giving is an opportunity to demonstrate social commitment to the broader community; it is therefore not a surprise that CPCS is showing leadership in corporate social responsibility on the global stage”. Click here for details.
Ottawa, June 8, 2016. The Global Economic Institute for Africa (GEIA), in partnership with the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business (formerly Canada-Southern Africa Chamber of Business), has concluded plans to hold its 2015 Economic Summit at the Ramada Hotel in Toronto, Canada. The Summit is afour-day event from September 27-30, 2016 under the theme, “Energy, Extractive Industries, Infrastructure and Sustainable Development”. Senior executives from government, industry, academia, utilities, and other organizations from across Canada, United States and Africa are being invited to this red carpet event. As well, other professionals focused on developing stronger business, trade and investment ties between North America and Africa will attend. To read more, click here.
THE POLITICS AND ECONOMICS OF DUAL CITIZENSHIP remain a contentious issue, especially within the context of globalization. Dual citizenship is a status in which a person is legally recognized as a citizen of more than one country. Legislation on dual citizenship varies widely across countries and time. Certain countries at some point have had policies that prohibit dual citizenship, in which people automatically lose their citizenship if they voluntarily acquire a foreign nationality. On the opposite end, other countries not only permit it, but in fact view it as a way of allowing their citizens to connect with the rest of the world. The number of countries allowing dual citizenship has substantially increased since the 1930s. While almost all countries prohibited dual citizenship in 1930, over 24% of developed countries and 26% of developing countries now allow it. Some scholars argue that individuals who obtain a second citizenship without giving up the benefits of their first citizenship may have dual loyalty, or may find it difficult to adopt the values of their second country, thus degrading national identity and cohesiveness (Guarnizo, Portes and Haller, 2003). While dual citizenship is primarily viewed by lawyers and political scientists as a political institution, Roland Pongou and Julius Oloufade argue, in this paper, that dual citizenship is also likely to have important social and economic impacts. The authors assemble new panel data on dual citizenship legislation to investigate some of these economic impacts for developed and developing countries. In particular, they focus on the role of dual citizenship in connecting diasporas with origin countries, as well as its implications for the development of transnational solidarity and business networks, and the associated benefits for households and national economies. Furthermore, they examine how dual citizenship legislation differs from other political institutions in terms of its economic impact. The authors conclude that dual citizenship recognition generates huge economic gains for countries and improves household welfare. Click here to access the full paper.
CORRUPTION REMAINS THE BANE of good governance and development in Africa. This paper attempts to estimate the effect of corruption on the flows of exports and imports of African countries. Using the gravity model approach and annual data for the period 1998–2007, Jacob Musila and Simon Sigue´ show that corruption adversely affects international trade. Their estimates suggest that if a country with Africa’s average corruption perception index of 2.8 were to improve its corruption level to Botswana’s 5.9, its exports would improve by about 15 per cent and imports by about 27 per cent. Unlike the early cross-country studies, which analysed only the effect of corruption in one trading partner (importing countries), the authors estimate the effect of the level of corruption in both trading partners (i.e. the exporting country and importing country). Their analysis is premised on the belief that as far as international trade is concerned, corruption in the exporting country is as important a factor as corruption in the importing country. The level of corruption in both countries, they say, would determine the cost of doing business between the two countries. The significance of this study is obvious. Besides contributing to the empirical literature, the study also addresses one of the key challenges of economic development in Africa. More specifically, the link between export trade and corruption has direct implications for economic growth and development of the African continent since the majority of the countries now follow an export-oriented development strategy. Click here to access the full paper.
DO NATURAL RESOURCES automatically lead to poor economic outcomes? Bingu wa Mutharika, economist and former President of Malawi, once said: Africa is not a poor continent; but the people of Africa are poor. Among others, modernization, dependency and the big-push theories explain economic backwardness in Third World countries. Despite unprecedentedly high prices of natural resources in the past few decades, resource-rich jurisdictions are home to over 60% of the world’s poorest people. Increasingly, the impact of natural resources on economic growth is a subject of intense debate. The fact that economies with little or no resources often do much better in terms of economic growth, compared to resource-intensive ones, remains a puzzle in development economics. Click here to access the full paper.
AFRICA’S ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT requires significant financing, in addition to strengthening of the delivery architecture. Energy access remains a decisive problem in many Sub-Saharan African countries. Decades of international involvement, through various approaches, have not succeeded in making significant improvements. This article presents traditional financing approaches and analyzes the problem they face. In particular, the imbalance of power and interest between non-African and African players is highlighted. New models are then reviewed, pointing to some key changes to adopt in energy projects: smaller project size, local control over financing sources, innovative financing schemes, and increased private and African ownership. Click here to access the full paper.