2017 06 19 Roland Pongou 1 3

Dr. Roland Pongou is an affiliate faculty of the Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy (IERPE) since September 2013. He is involved in a number of activities within the African School of Economics. He holds a Master and a PhD in Economics, both from Brown University. He also holds degrees in Mathematics and Demography. He is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa, the head of Research and Evaluation at the Global Economic Institute for Africa, and a Researcher at Development Research Strategies. His research focuses on the analysis of how formal and informal institutions determine demographic and economic outcomes. Some of the topics covered by his research include the formation of “infidelity networks” and their implications for HIV/AIDS spread, human capital accumulation, the impacts of the slave trade and missionary activity in Africa, and the effect of social media on political cycles and instability. As an affiliate faculty of IERPE, he has worked on the long-term impacts of colonial railways in Nigeria. He is also using household data on maternal and child health and aggreagate data on institutions and longevity to investigate the historical and institutional roots of demographic transition in African countries.

Dr Janis Hilaricus

Dr. Janis Hilaricus is Associate Professor in Management at the University of the Antilles in Martinique, and has been a visiting professor at ASE since 2015. Several years ago she had the opportunity to meet ASE President Léonard Wantchekon in Martinique, who invited her to teach at ASE. Dr. Hilaricus accepted the offer, seeing it as a great professional opportunity. During this visit, she taught students courses in Marketing and Qualitative Data Analysis. She thinks ASE is a wonderful opportunity for students because all coursework is in English, and she advises to ASE students to have big dreams and not to limit themselves – there is a chance that their dreams become true.

This is Dr. Hilaricus’ third visit to Benin to teach at ASE, and she is joined by Dr. Maximilian Hasler, her husband and a fellow professor at the University of the Antilles. She has already had opportunity to visit several Beninese cities, including Abomey and Ouidah. She finds that Benin has a very interesting culture, and has learned a lot about the history of the Dahomean monarchy, such as the life of King Behanzin, the last independent ruler of Abomey, who was exiled to Martinique at the end of his life. Many ASE students hope that Dr. Hilaricus returns to teach further courses, and the connection continues between Benin and Martinique.

Why did you choose Professor João Santos Silva for the next Career Building International Chats (CABICH) Ones-to-one session?

Professor Santos Silva is a major figure in his areas of research. I worked on some of his articles and used his packages in Stata for my Master’s thesis. My choosing him is mainly due to the fact that he has done intensive quantitative econometrics analysis, which is the root of many courses at ASE. Moreover, his advice as a professor will be an exceptional help for ASE students academically as well as in professional career building.  

How can ASE students benefit from participating in this session?

Participating in this session is a privilege for each ASE student. Firstly, because we are going to learn more through each other’s questions. Secondly, participating in this session could lead to a great opportunity for a PhD or research projects for students Professor Santos Silva might notice through interesting questions during the session.

We noticed that you often invite important persons to CABICH chats. What do you do to convince those people?

I think inviting someone to CABICH is all about convincing them through the first email. It's true that at the beginning it was difficult, because it was something I’d never done or heard about before. It just came to my mind, I started working on it and it worked out. At the very beginning, many people turned down my invitations. But through perseverance, I know more about convincing people than before.  Can you imagine that Dr. Santos Silva was not a WhatsApp user before, but he has asked his department to provide him with a smartphone just for participating in the session with ASE students?  Also, ASE is doing more to make it easy to convince people. I applaud all the faculty, especially Professor Leonard Wantchekon. He is doing wonderful work to build ASE's reputation. All my gratitude to him, and to students who have helped at certain times to put me in touch with some of their contacts to invite them onto the CABICH series.

Your final word?

My final word is that everybody should chip in during the chat with good questions. Students can ask questions about various economic works, but especially Dr. Santos Silva’s “The Log of Gravity”.  I encourage our students to carefully read at least the abstract and the introduction of the paper to get ready. I also encourage all the faculty to warmly welcome Santos that day to thank him for accepting the invitation to interact with ASE students.

On Thursday, May 25th, 2017, ASE students have the privilege to welcome a distinguished guest, Professor João Santos Silva who is Head of the School of Economics at the University of Surrey, as part of an exceptional installment of ASE’s ongoing Career Building International Chats (CABICH) series.

Professor Santos received a master’s degree in applied mathematics in 1988 and graduated in economics from the technical University of Lisbon in 1985. In 1992, he completed his PhD in Economics at the University of Bristol. He has published in a variety of economics journals, including the Review of Economics Studies, Journal of the American Statistical Association, and others. The discussion will be mainly on his article titled “The Log of Gravity”, co-authored with Dr. Silvana Tenreyro and published in the November 2006 edition of the Review of Economics and Statistics.

This interaction will be a great opportunity for ASE students to know more about logarithmic linearized equations and estimations. Visit www.cabich.wordpress.com to learn more.

The African School of Economics (ASE) is pleased to announce that training workshops will be held from 26 June to 8 July on the ASE campus. These workshops will be moderated by speakers from Canada and institutions such as AfDB and BOAD. A diploma will be issued to participants at the end of the workshops.

3 modules will be taught:
1 – How to draw up a business plan and attract funding from banks
2 – Project management.
3 – Financial risk management.

To register call +229 95 06 21 85 or contact cassede@africanschoolofeconomics.com