Academic Research Seminar on reporting in the Boko Haram crisis
On March 21th, 2017, the African School of Economics (ASE) received at its weekly Academic Research Seminar Alex Dobyan, current Princeton-in-Africa fellow at ASE. His topic was: Who sells the truth? A case study of reporting in the Boko Haram crisis. Alex explained the manipulation of information in the media with the effect of creating an environment of uncertainty and mistrust among the Nigerian population.
For example, he showed for the same period and the same attack, very varied figures in the newspapers: from 30 to 300 victims. In this context of manipulation, populations unable to identify credible sources and are suspicious of government sources.
Going further, Mr. Dobyan reports that in case of defeat on the ground, the actors in conflicts invent statistics and give information that suits them. According to the researcher, this information failure is hampering the Nigerian government from getting more support from the affected population to ultimately defeat Boko Haram.
ASE Data Science Community
Four ASE students, Ibrahim Lanignan, Luc Zanmenou, Salman Abibou, and Wilfried Adohinzin, have launched the new Data Science Community for African School of Economics students. This community aims to unite students around the common purpose of learning how to collect and analyze data using the latest software.
During the first session, which took place on Saturday, February 25th, community members presented their experiences in data collection and analysis, and spent some time getting to know one another. The group hopes to create opportunities for students to collaborate on coding and share research ideas.
The group plans to focus on using two software programs: STATA, with Ibrahim as moderator, and R, with Wilfried as moderator.
The community plans to meet weekly for discussions on topics related to data science and student-led training in software programming.
One to Ones WhatsApp Session: sharing experiences on an international level
The event took place on Thursday, March 16 under the leadership of Simplice Adjissè, a pre-doctoral fellow at ASE. The aim of the session is to share experiences, via WhatsApp, between ASE students and a specialist in a particular field, regardless of the country in which they reside. This time the guest was Abhit Bhandari, PhD student at Columbia University.
A number of ASE students exchanged questions and views with Mr. Bhandari. The discussions revolved around research. At the end of the conversation, Abhit Bhandari said that, "ASE students are well prepared to enter doctoral programs in the United States." This is highlighted, according to him "by the strong contingent of students who have been accepted at Princeton, New York University, Ottawa, etc." The guest also mentioned that it would be "worth highlighting the quantitative training received by students at ASE, stressing the strength of the School in the field of research, especially quantitative research".
The One to Ones Session is an idea of the student Simplice Adjissè who has been working on the success of this event since February 2016. Ten guests from the universities of Princeton, Stanford, Ottawa, Columbia etc. have already interacted with the students.
After a Master at ASE, en route to a Doctorate at the University of Ottawa
Wilfried Youmbi Fotso is the fourth ASE student admitted to prestigious universities for doctoral studies after completing a Master's degree at the African School of Economics (ASE). Three ASE graduates had recently been admitted to Princeton University, New York University and the University of Illinois in the United States. With Wilfried’s acceptance, the University of Ottawa has been added to the list.
Wilfried, 26, is a Cameroonian and recent graduate of the Master's program in Mathematics, Economics and Statistics (MMES) at the African School of Economics (ASE).Wilfried received his undergraduate studies at the University of Yaounde 1 in Cameroon before joining ASE in 2014. "In this pan-African school founded by Professor Leonard Wantchékon, who I thank by the way, I received a unique and unusual training in economic theory and quantitative methods with the necessary analytical rigor," he said.
Mr. Fotso also said that his ultimate goal was to contribute to sustainable development and the emergence of Africa in general and Cameroon in particular. He says he chose ASE to better equip himself and give himself the chance to pursue his doctoral studies at major universities such as the University of Ottawa in North America. This dream was accomplished with his admission to the Ottawa-Carleton Graduate School of Economics.
What he remembers from his transition to ASE: "It's a good place to study and develop research capacities and leadership."
More on econometrics
On Thursday, March 9th, 2017, the African School of Economics welcomed Mr Marcellin Brou for its weekly academic seminar. Marcellin Brou is a visiting professor from the university Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Côte d’Ivoire, where he teaches Econometrics. The paper that he presented is about financial econometrics, the consistency of the pseudo-maximum likelihood estimation. At the beginning, he presented the tools and methods used in financial econometrics such as the ARCH method, and spoke about the assumptions made when using this method The presentation was very entertaining and garnered much interest from the dozens of students who attended.