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Africa’s Booming Billion: Perspectives on Growth from African Economists

Click below to listen to the event audio:

Booming Billion Audio

Africa House Event: A Discussion of African Economic Trends by African Economists

Location:  NYU Africa House – 14A/44 Washington Mews, New York, NY 10003

Date: Thursday, May 9th


Panel Discussion: 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm at 14A Washington Mews 

Reception 7:15 pm – 8:15 pm at 44 Washington Mews (across the street)

This event was open to the public


Prof.  Mina Baliamoune-Lutz

Professor and Kip Fellow of Economics in the Coggin College of Business, University of North Florida

She holds an MBA and a Ph.D. in Economics from Northeastern University. She has been at UNF since fall 2000, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in macroeconomics, international trade, the global economy, economic policy, and a study abroad course on the political economy of development in Brazil. Her empirical work on the effect of policy and institutional reforms in Africa has received significant recognition internationally. She is a regular contributor to research themes debated at the United Nations World Institute of Development Economics in Helsinki, the United Nations Economic Conference on Africa, the African Development Bank and the European Report on Development. Her service contribution includes chairing the research committee and the N&E committee, and membership in several other faculty associations and university committees. She organized and chaired the Annual International Business Research Conference (co-sponsored by the Coggin College of Business and the School of Management at Warsaw University) for 6 years (2002-2007). In addition, she has an extensive record of service to the national and international community and to the economics profession. She is President-elect (2012-2014) of the African Finance and Economics Association (AFEA), Associate Editor of the Journal of African Development, the Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences, and Information Technology for Development. She currently serves on the editorial board of Feminist Economics, the Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences, and the Journal of Business and Accounting, and she served on the board of directors of the Eastern Economic Association (2009-2012).

Dr. Hippolyte Fofack

Senior Economist, World Bank Group, Washington D.C.

A native of Cameroon, Central Africa, Dr. Fofack holds an Advanced Degree in International Economics and Finance from

the University of Bordeaux, France, as well as a Masters degree in Mathematical Statistics and a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics and Economics from American University, Washington, DC. Dr. Fofack has more than 15 years of experience in academia and international development. He is currently responsible for the Macroeconomic and Growth Program at the World Bank Institute, the knowledge and research arm of the World Bank Group. Previously, he served as Senior Country Economist for the Great Lakes Region of Africa and researcher with the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network. He has also taught and delivered lectures at various institutions around the world, including Brandeis University, American University, the African Development Bank, the Third World Academy of Sciences, the African Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. His interest is primarily in financial economics, development economics, endogenous growth, science, and technology.

Dr. Fofack is the Founder of the Nelson Mandela Institution for Knowledge Building and the Advancement of Science and Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa, a ground-breaking African initiative underpinned by the African Institute of Science and Technology. These institutions seek to enhance the development of Africa by promoting excellence in science and engineering. Dr. Fofack has published extensively and is a member of some leading professional and scientific organizations, including the American Economic Association, the African Finance and Economic Association, and the American Mathematical Society. He is also a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences.

Prof. Yaw Nyarko

Professor of Economics, New York University

Yaw Nyarko, a native of Ghana, is the founding director of NYU’s Africa House.  He is the director of the NYU Center for Technology and Economic Development and the co-director of the Development Research Institute. He is the 2009 winner of the BBVA Frontiers in Knowledge Award on Economic Development Cooperation.   His research interests are in the area of economic development and theoretical economics. He has worked on models of human capital as engines of economic growth, as well as on the “brain drain” and skills acquisition in the growth process. He is currently engaged in research on technology and economic development.

Professor Nyarko is the author of many published research papers and is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, and has served as an editor/associate editor on a number of academic economics journals.  He has served as a consultant to many organizations including the World Bank, the United Nations, and the Social Science Research Council. He is the immediate past Vice Provost of New York University with a portfolio which included the oversight and establishment of campuses of NYU in Africa and around the world.  Yaw Nyarko received a B.A. from the University of Ghana and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University.

Prof. Mwangi wa Gĩthĩnji

Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Professor Mwangi Gĩthĩnji is an economist with over 15 years of experience. Primarily focused on the areas of development, the environment, and political economy with particular attention to Africa, Mwangi is most interested in issues of class, gender, and income distribution in relation to agrarian transition.

He is the author of Ten Millionaires and Ten Million Beggars (Ashgate Press) which examines issues of income distribution, class, and gender in Kenya. In addition, he has published journal articles and book chapters on economic development in Africa. Mwangi has consulted widely for UN agencies on economic issues in African countries and the region as a whole. Mwangi was Chair of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of Economics at Gettysburg College from 2002-2006, before moving to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where he is an Assistant Professor of Economics.