Dear Friends of Africa House,
This past year has been a busy, exciting time here at Africa House. Our research, programs, and events last year further informed us about opportunities on the African continent, as well as African issues, new and old. Through these incredible discussions, research activities, and engagement with faculty, students, and community members, we have never been more optimistic about the future of Africa.
Shortly after completing a three-month residency as the inaugural Former President in Residence at Africa House, Dr. Jakaya M. Kikwete, former president of the United Republic of Tanzania, returned to celebrate the completion of his memoirs, “The Journey of My Life: From a Barefoot Schoolboy to President.” Africa House hosted a book reading and Q&A with the former president, where various members of the NYU community, diplomatic community, and African diaspora came together to listen to and engage with President Kikwete. Through personal stories and recollections, President Kikwete shared a story not only about his own life, but also about the country and Africa from colonial times to present. We look forward to welcoming our second Former President in Residence in the future.
Africa House is fortunate to host high-level talks by the world’s foremost experts on African issues. This year was no exception, as Africa House and the Development Research Institute (DRI) welcomed President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Dr. Benedict O. Oramah, who explored the resilient and thriving nature of African economies. In addition, former Governor of the Central Bank of Tanzania, Professor Benno J. Ndulu, was a visiting scholar and discussed the ways in which Africa may prepare and prosper in response to new technological changes. Africa House and DRI also hosted renown development scholars for academic lectures. Recently, DRI held our 2018 annual conference and welcomed six experts from around the country to speak on the connection between culture and economics. Several other academic experts delivered talks to DRI throughout the year as well, including Anne Case (Princeton), Ross Levine (University of California, Berkeley), and Lant Pritchett (Harvard). These scholars touched on the issues of changing mortality patterns among the working class, the role of finance in shared economic growth, and the ongoing debate about randomized controller trials, respectively.
The Center for Technology and Economic Development (CTED) and Africa House continued programs spanning from Ghana, the UAE, and the US over the course of the year. CTED convened a roundtable between UAE government officials and business leaders to interface with H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana. The conversation focused on trade, business and investment opportunities, and technology. The roundtable linked Emirati and African policymakers and business leaders aligned by shared interests to engage in an open dialogue. In the week following this roundtable, CTED convened a Commodities Exchange Capacity Building Program at NYU Abu Dhabi and in Dubai under the theme “Economics and the Transformation of Africa: Commodities Exchanges.” The program drew leaders from the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange (ECX) and the Ghana Commodities Exchange (GCX) to share best practices, insights, and lessons from the field with NYU faculty, students, and researchers. In July 2018, CTED welcomed the fifth cohort of NYU Abu Dhabi and New York students for a one-month field research internship at CTED’s field research center in Kumawu, Ghana. Here, expanding on knowledge in the classroom and theory, students learn first-hand about the economic impact research has on rural communities by working with local farmers and members of the community.
At Africa House we are always looking to support future leaders and researchers focused on the African continent. Africa House has been fortunate to receive external donor funding to offer four (4) competitive research grants for current NYU undergraduate and graduate students seeking funding support for short-term research opportunities. NYU Africa House fellowships include the Africa House/CTED Development Impact Fellowship, the NYU Africa House Thoyer Fellowship, the Robert Holmes Travel/Research Award for African Scholarship, and the NYU Gallatin and NYU Africa House Summer Fellowship.
We thank all of you for your support over the years and encourage you to stay engaged with Africa House.
Director of Africa House