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Africa Perspectives Series – International Monetary Fund

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September 12, 2022
The Africa Perspectives Series are public events where Africa’s pressing economic policy issues are discussed. Organized by the IMF’s African Department, and moderated by Director Abebe Aemro Selassie, the series provides an opportunity for policymakers, academics, and analysts to offer their perspectives on economic and policy issues relevant for the IMF’s African constituency. The events will be streamed throughout Africa and globally, and a video recording will be available for viewing on our website.
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In the last thirty years, the developing world has undergone tremendous changes. Poverty has fallen, people live longer and healthier lives, and economies have been transformed. And yet many countries have simply missed the boat. Why have some countries prospered, while others have failed? In his new book, Gambling on Development: Why Some Countries Win and Others Lose, Prof. Stefan Dercon argues that the answer lies in a key “development bargain,” whereby a country’s elites shift from protecting their own positions to gambling on a growth-based future.
The IMF’s African Department is pleased to host Stefan Dercon, Professor of Economic Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and the Economics Department of the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Jesus College, for a conversation with the IMF’s African Department Director, Abebe Aemro Selassie . Prof. Dercon is also Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies.

Prof. Stefan Dercon is Professor of Economic Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and the Economics Department of Oxford University, and a Fellow of Jesus College. He is also Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. Between 2011 and 2017, he was Chief Economist of the Department of International Development (DFID), the government department in charge with the UK’s aid policy and spending. Between 2020-2022, he was the Development Policy Advisor to successive Foreign Secretaries at the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
He combines his academic career with work as a policy advisor, providing strategic economic and development advice, and promoting the use of evidence in decision making. His research interests concern what keeps some people and countries poor: the failures of markets, governments and politics, mainly in Africa, and how to achieve change.
He studied economics and philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) and holds an MPhil and DPhil in Economics from the University of Oxford. Before re-joining the University of Oxford, he held positions at the University of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), the Catholic University of Leuven, and WIDER (Helsinki), part of the United Nations University.
In 2018, Queen Elizabeth II awarded him as an honorary Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for services to economics and international development.
Send your questions in advance or during our LIVE event to: IMFLive@imf.org email icon
Rapid developments worldwide in digital payments and crypto assets have raised interest in Africa for faster, simpler, cheaper, and safer financial payment systems. Some of our member countries are at the forefront of these innovations—e.g., Africa’s first central bank digital currency in Nigeria (e-Naira) and the widely acclaimed M-Pesa digital payment system in Kenya. The IMF’s African Department is pleased to put together a panel of distinguished policymakers: Dr. Patrick Njoroge, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, and Dr. Kingsley Obiora, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. They will share their respective experiences and practical challenges in introducing CBDC/PDPs as well as discussing the possible benefits, costs, and key risks for our African membership. The conversation will be moderated by IMF African Department Director Abebe Aemro Selassie.

Dr. Kingsley Obiora is Deputy Governor in charge of Economic Policy at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) since 2020, having served as an Alternate Executive Director in the Africa Group One Constituency of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, USA. He also held other assignments at the Fund where he contributed extensively to the Fund’s work on exchange rate assessment, debt sustainability analyses, decoupling and spillovers, as well as reviews of financial sector assessments. Between Oct. 2011 and July 2018, Dr. Obiora took leave from the IMF to work with the Nigerian Government—first as Special Assistant to the President’s Chief Economic Adviser and Technical Adviser to the National Economic Management Team for 2½ years; and second as Special Adviser on Economic Matters to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, for 4 years. He holds Master and Doctorate degrees in Economics from the University of Ibadan.
Dr. Patrick Njoroge is the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) since 2015. Among other duties, he is spearheading the work towards the introduction of a CBK digital Shilling and was appointed to the UN Task Force on Digital Financing by Secretary General Antonio Guterres in November 2018. Dr. Njoroge joined the CBK after a 20-year career at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where he held several senior positions, including Advisor to the IMF Deputy Managing Director, Deputy Division Chief in the IMF’s Finance Department, IMF’s Mission Chief for the Commonwealth of Dominica, and in other capacities since 1995. Prior to joining the IMF, Dr. Njoroge was an Economist at the Ministry of Finance (1993-1994) and a Planning Officer at the Ministry of Planning (1985-1987). He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University and a Master of Arts in Economics (1985) from the University of Nairobi.
Send your questions in advance or during our LIVE event to: IMFLive@imf.org email icon
The IMF African Department Speaker series is organized by Luca Antonio Ricci, Charalambos Tsangarides, Christian Ebeke, and Catherine Pattillo, with support from Maria Ines Canales Munoz and Grace Rusli.
© 2022 International Monetary Fund. All rights reserved.



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