In April, I had the pleasure of speaking at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) seminar series. I drew on both my research on dependency theory as a research programme and my work on finance in imperialism in Senegal and Ghana (with Kai Koddenbrock and Ndongo Samba Sylla). The talk was chaired by Antonio Andreoni (IIPP), and Sophie Van Huellen (SOAS) was the discussant.
Along with Maria Dyveke Styve and Ushehwedu Kufakurinani, I edited a special issue in Review of African Political Economy on Samir Amin’s work and its relevance for contemporary problems.
You can read our introductory editorial here: Samir Amin and beyond: the enduring relevance of Amin’s approach to political economy. We also wrote a blog post about the issue that you can find here.
I recently published a new article in Community Development, along with Kai Koddenbrock and Ndongo Samba Sylla. In the article, Financial subordination and uneven financialisation in 21st century Africa, we ask how the global process of financialization has unfolded across the continent and what it means for relations of dependence. The empirical analysis of aggregate country data shows that financialization is, at best, an uneven and patchy process in the region, not a general structural shift in the way capital accumulation is organized.
Along with Kai Koddenbrock and Ndongo Samba Sylla, I recently published the pre-print Beyond Financialisation – The Need for a Longue Durée Understanding of Finance in Imperialism on OSF Preprints. This is part of an ongoing research project we are working on and we welcome any comments on the paper!
I recently published the report Bond to Happen? Recurring Debt Crises in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Rise of Sovereign Bond Issuance. The report assesses risks and opportunities associated with Eurobond issuance in sub-Saharan Africa. The case studies in the report expose a lack of accountability when it comes borrowing processes in a selection of sub-Saharan African countries. In fact, the process of bond issuance is often plagued by lack of transparency and ultimately legitimacy, from the perspective of the citizens of the issuing country. As this is playing out in the context of a defective framework for sovereign lending and borrowing and a flawed system for debt restructuring, issuing Eurobonds entails many serious risks.
Read some coverage of the report:
- Bond to happen? Recurring debt crises in Sub-Saharan Africa and the rise of sovereign bond issuance (December 9th, 2016, Social Watch)
- Bond to happen? Recurring debt crises in Sub-Saharan Africa and the rise of sovereign bond issuance (December 8th, 2016, Righting Finance)
- Are Norwegian Investments in Sovereign Bonds Responsible? (November 9th, 2016, SLUG)
- Bond to Happen? Recurring Debt-Crises in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Rise of Sovereign Bond Issuance (November 9th, 2016, SLUG, in Norwegian)
- Statsobligasjoner i Afrikanske land – på vei mot nye gjeldskriser? (October 29th, 2016, Dagsavisen, in Norwegian)
- Recurring debt crises in sub-Saharan Africa and the rise of bond issuance (October 7th, 2016, Bretton Woods Project)
- Rapportlansering i Washington (October 7th, 2016, SLUG, in Norwegian)
A paper I wrote with Aleksandr Gevorkyan was recently published in the November 2016 issue of the Review of Development Economics. The article is Assessing Recent Determinants of Borrowing Costs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Empirically the paper finds that sovereign bond yields are significantly influenced by global volatility, commodity prices and global liquidity—all factors that are out of the control of the sub-Saharan economies in question.
The research was picked up by UN News Centre and the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, and we published op-eds on the findings on Interfima, Developing Economics, Chartered Institute of Development Finance, and Seeking Alpha.
Financial Deepening and Post-Crisis Development in Emerging Markets Current Perils and Future Dawns (ed. by Aleksandr V.Gevorkyan and Otaviano Canuto) was published recently. In it, I have a chapter on the changing character of financial flows to sub-Saharan Africa (pp. 223-245).
Some colleagues in the YSI Economic Development group and I organized a discussion with economic historian Morten Jerven a couple of weeks ago, which was interesting and thought-provoking. The talk was largely based on his book Africa: Why Economists Get It Wrong. Here are some reactions we had to the presentation.