Under the authority of the President of the African School of Economics (ASE), the Director of Finance and Administration will coordinate all services and activities related to the Department of Administration and Finances. This position is critical in guaranteeing the administrative and financial operations of ASE. The successful candidate will work directly with the secretariat, finance and human resources teams, in addition to the Department of Communications, Academic Affairs, Operations and Planning.

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October 14, 2014. Last Tuesday, Prof. Agnes Zabsonre presented a seminar to students, staff, and researchers at the African School of Economics (ASE). She began by describing the main idea of her research, which was to assess the impact of scaling up active antiretroviral therapy (ART) on risky sexual behaviors in Burkina Faso. Recent literature suggests that with an increase in access to ART, people will engage in riskier sexual behavior. She builds a model containing endogenous binary variables and uses a two-year panel data set from Burkina Faso.

Prof. Agnès Zabsonré presenting some data and statistics     

     The audience was very interested in Prof. Zabsonre’s research, as her research question was dynamic and relevant. The audience’s interest led to an enriching debate about the issue of AIDS in Africa. Some students questioned Prof. Zabsonre as to why she choose the variables in her model. These students were keen to understand the intuition behind Prof. Zabsonre’s model.

     In conclusion, Prof. Zabsonre shows that increasing access to antiretroviral therapy does not necessarily lead to an increase in risky sexual behaviors. By using panel data, the results of her research are contrary to the results of previous literature. Instead, Prof. Zabsonre finds that there is a significant reduction in risky sexual behavior associated with an improvement in the availability of antiretroviral therapy in Burkina Faso. The results also suggest that there is less risky sexual behavior when people are more educated.

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Gaetan Tchakounte (right) questions Prof. Zabsonre on her research

 

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Still of the research seminar

October 14, 2014. The latest Academic Research Seminar took place on October 8th at ASE. Professor Louise Grogan presented a talk entitled, “Household electrification, fertility and employment: Evidence from the Colombian censuses.”

 

Professor Grogan begun by highlighting the goals of her research paper: examine how households’ electrification in Colombia altered fertility women, work behavior and children’s’ schooling. In her presentation, she demonstrated the importance of this question by highlighting the lack of plausibly studies currently in publication.

To fill this knowledge gap, Professor Grogan identifies the causal effect of households’ electrification based on Colombian censuses and a 2007 World Bank data set. As other economists stated, there is a large positive change in women’s work behavior and children’s schooling when a municipality receives an electricity connection. This is especially true for those who do not have electricity, but their neighbors have an electricity connection. This effect can be described as a positive externality of household electrification.

Professor Grogan posed a brainstorm question to the audience, ‘’How could electrification change the resources allocation in households?’’ As it seems below, Kalemba Tite (MMES, Class of 2016) suggested that ‘’Electrification changes the resources allocation by saving time and helping families finish more work projects in a day.’’

In her conclusion, Professor Grogan demonstrated the advantages of having electricity, while  reinforcing the need for further research explaining the casual employment effects for women.

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Caleb Jeremie Dohou (MMES, Class of 2016) tunes into Prof. Grogan’s presentation

 

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Kalemba Tite replies to Prof. Grogan’s question on the benefits of household electrification

On Saturday, October 4, 2014 the Muslim students of the African School of Economics (ASE) celebrated Aid El-Kebir, more commonly referred to in West Africa as Tabaski, at the International Student Residence. The Muslism students invited all their friends and professors to join in the celebration of Tabaski, which is one of the two most important festivals in the Islamic calendar.

The holiday was divided into three parts: prayer in the morning, a ceremonial sacrifice of a goat followed by a communal meal, and entertainment into the night.

At 9 a.m., Mohamed Baro along with his Muslim peers visited the mosque wearing their finest cassocks. One of the students, Adama Aziz, was elated to celebrate his first Aid El-Kebir in Benin.

With some students at the mosque, others began to prepare for the festivities. Students washed and cut up oranges. They chopped tomatoes and boiled water for rice. Outside of the kitchen, students swept the house in preparation for the guests’ arrival.

After three hours of prayer, Mohamed, Adama and the other Muslism students returned from the mosque. Upon their arrival, the goat was sacrificed, cleaned, and prepared for cooking.

With the food heating up, the invitees began to arrive. The first visitor was Ms. Clementine Assede, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, along with her three sons. One at a time, the guests arrived and began to fill the places in the living room. Guests were welcomed with fresh popcorn, peanuts, and soft drinks. The ASE professors who joined in the celebration included Mr. Maxime Agbo, Mr. Juste Some, Ms. Agnes Zabsonre, and Mr. David Gbaguidi. At around 3p.m., the feast of mutton, vegetables, and rice began. It was a festive occasion with plenty of food for all.

With bellies full and plates empty, everybody was content with the offerings of the feast. The meal was a fantastic example of teamwork amongst all the students. The quality of the food and hospitality was proof of a successful celebration. This celebration continued on into the night with photos, music, and dancing.

 

From left to right: Mr. Juste Some, Ms. Agnes Zabsonre, and Mr. Maxime Agbo take part in the feast.

September 30, 2014. Third-year Ph.D. candidate from Princeton University, Sanata Sy-Sahande presented her work on ethnicity-based voting and public goods provision in Ghana. She asked the question ``Do implementation costs condition the targeted provision of certain public goods to core co-ethnic supporters?'' To answer this question she employed detailed geographic information from Ghana, census data, historical information on the ethnic distribution of the population, and district-level information about the provision of roads.

Her strategy was to find variations in the cost of providing goods to people of a leader's ethnic group. Higher costs should mitigate the extent of provision to citizens of a leader's ethnic group. Opportunity costs should matter to public goods decisions, even under clientelist democratic regimes. Sanata showed that geographic distance from major centers to districts in Ghana was strongly and negatively conditionally correlated with the extent of several types of public goods provisions.  She made clear that rough geography is correlated with the extent of co-ethnic provisions, but that the conditional associations she has observed are not necessarily causal.

There were several questions from the audience. Elhadji Mai (MMES, Class of 2016) suggested that the analysis should distinguish between rural and urban areas. Jules (MBA, Class of 2016) was interested in knowing how the results would fit with the current situation in Benin, where the President is most popular in the north, and where public goods provisions are limited. Kalemba (MMES, Class of 2016) inquired about the actions of a leader within a political party, when that political party represents more than one ethnic group. Rosemonde (MMES, Class of 2016) was intrigued by Sanata's definition of co-ethnicity. Discussion continued after the presentation, with students inquiring about why Ghana was the main country examined in the empirical project. Overall, the seminar was well-received as the audience related the study with their own political experiences.

The next Academic Research Seminar will shift from politics to economics with a talk prepared by Louise Grogan. The presentation will begin on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 12 p.m.

Sanata Sy-Sahande concludes her presentation on public goods provision and co-ethnicity.

Jules suggests applying this theory in Benin.

Rosemonde (right) listens to Sanata’s definition of co-ethnicity.