African Economic Research Consortium to Host a Virtual Plenary Session on

“Business Environment, Competitiveness and Economic Growth in Africa”


NAIROBI, Kenya, 24 June, 2020 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) will host its 52nd Plenary Session on “Business Environment, Competitiveness and Economic Growth in Africa” on Monday 29th of June 2020. The official opening and keynote will by Hon. Betty C. Maina, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Kenya. The plenary seeks to unpack why Africa continues to be less competitive despite progress in the areas of doing business, investment climate, and infrastructure. The focus is on how misalignments in economic policy management create distortions that impede the performance of firms, thereby reducing the growth of decent jobs.

Diverse papers will be presented by:
  1. Dr. Shantayanan Devarajan, Georgetown of University, will start off the proceedings with a look at African Competitiveness: What do Natural Resources have to do with it?
  2. Next will be The Changing Context for African Competitiveness: What will happen to Manufacturing? by Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Secretary-General of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana.
  3. The third presentation, by Prof. Pramila Krishan – University of Oxford, will be on Exchange Rate Regimes and Firm Competitiveness and the last paper on Employment Transformation in sub-Saharan Africa – What does Competitiveness have to do with it? will be presented by Prof. Louise Fox, former Chief Economist, USAID.
AERC will, also, host a Special Session on “African Economies Amid COVID-19: Impacts and the Road Ahead” on Tuesday  30th of June to reflect on pertinent issues and identify policy and administrative responses by drawing lessons from global experiences.
  1. Prof. Erik Thorbecke, Cornell University, USA, will chair the session and Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, Executive Director, AERC, will set the stage.
  2. Mr. Abebe Selassie, Director of Africa Region, IMF, will deliver the Keynote Address.
  3. Other presenters include
  4. Prof. Benno Ndulu Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development 
  5. Former Bank of Tanzania Governor, Stephen N. Karingi, Director United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA);
  6.  Hanan Morsy, Director – African Development Bank (AfDB), who will speak on Macroeconomic Consequences
Followed by general discussions and contributions on Impact on Poverty and Inequality,chaired by Prof. Finn Tarp -Copenhagen University, Denmark.
Panelists include Prof. David Sahn – Cornell University; Nicole Ntungire -IGC, Uganda; Ahmadou Aly Mbaye -University Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), Senegal; Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse – International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); Rose Ngugi -Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research & Analysis (KIPPRA); Matthieu Teachout – Research Director, IGC;Abdoulaye Seck – Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), Senegal andHarun Issahaku – Ghana University of Development Studies.
Media Opportunity
Virtual Press Conference with Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, Executive Director, AERC 
Date: Monday, 29 – June  2020
Time: 11 am Nairobi, Kenya
Register for Press Conference :


Register in advance for the plenary webinar: Mon June 29
Register in advance for the special COVID session webinar: Tue June 30
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of African Economic Research Consortium .
Learn more at and follow us on Twitter  @aercafrica.
Media Contact
African Economic Research Consortium                                                        
Charles Owino
Publications Manager
Mobile : +254 (0) 721 382 777
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