Academic research seminars take place every week at the African School of Economics. The one on Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 took place with a special touch.

For the first time, one of ASE’s pre-doctoral fellows, Simplice Adjisse, presented an academic research seminar for students. His presentation focused on Benin’s bilateral trade patterns and potential. Mr. Adjisse's research concludes that Benin underexploits its commercial potential. The researcher urged policymakers to take decisions to bridge this gap. ASE students who participated in the conference appreciated the work of Mr. Adjisse. "Thanks to his work, I have become aware of the analytical skills that I can acquire at the end of my training at ASE," said Apollos Djogbnou, a first-year MMES (Master in Mathematics, Economics and Statistics) student. 

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The African School of Economics (ASE) is pleased to announce the launch of the Institute of Finance and Management (IFM). This pioneering research center aims to promote financial and private sector development in Africa by building and exchanging knowledge on financial services and market access among academia, business leaders and governments.

The goal of IFM is to leverage ASE’s expertise in finance and economics and its knowledge of the local context to pursue four major initiatives to promote the access and use of financial services in Africa. These initiatives are:  

  • An advanced academic research program on pertinent issues such as money and banking, financial regulation, financial inclusion, household finance, market access, management, and organizational economics.
  • Consulting and technical support services for local and international businesses and government institutions.
  • Training for students and local business leaders aimed at building a sense of strategic business development and planning in the local community, including tailored workshops for students in ASE’s MBA and PhD programs and executive education programs for local business leaders.
  • The development and promotion of digital financial and management solutions in collaboration with ASE’s Development Research Lab. 

Given the importance of finance to economic development and poverty reduction, the IFM hopes to promote finance, management, and marketing as central components of economic research in Africa, become a leader in management and quantitative market research for firms and governments hoping to develop Africa’s private sector, and build the capacity of local business leaders to implement smart business plans and effectively utilize financial services.

 

 

On Tuesday, February 7th, 2017, ASE students learned about economic growth in Benin in 2016. The weekly academic seminar featured Singbo Delphin Watchinou, a Beninese economist, expert in project management and civil servant in the Forecasting and Economics Directorate of the Ministry of Economics and Finance.

Economic growth at the global level, which has declined from 2015 to 2016 according to the International Monetary Fund, provided the context for Watchinou’s discussion of economic changes affecting Benin’s public finances in 2016. Consumption, inflation, income – Watchinou provided an overview of all the parameters that affected the national economy during the year. 

According to the ASE administration, the students' success also depends on good relations between them. One of the tools to strengthen these relationships is mentoring. The first edition of the Mentoring Ceremony, was led by the Communications Department of the Pan-African University.

 

The atmosphere was friendly on February 6th on the campus of the African School of Economics. The goal of this ceremony is very simple: to match newcomers from ASE’s January intake of students with new mentors. These mentors, who are already students at ASE, will facilitate their integration through advice, attentive listening, and good camaraderie. Communications Manager, Wilfried Gnanvi, in ​​his opening speech encouraged the students to maintain a good atmosphere within ASE, whose student body is made up of nearly a dozen nationalities. He also announced an Integration Day that will involve initiatives designed to enable the various nationalities within the African School of Economics to know each other better and to accept one another. About thirty students took part in this ceremony, most of them new to ASE; a number of the peer mentors were participating in fieldwork for IERPE research and could not attend. The names of their mentees will be communicated to them by e-mail by the communications team, represented at the ceremony by Philile Shongwe and Wilfried Gnanvi. Student delegate, Lewis Atta and MMES representative, Christelle Zozoungbo participated in the organization of the ceremony. The students appreciated the initiative and are looking forward to Integration Day.

2017 02 10 Francis William Touola Meda

Francis Touola Meda will be pursuing a PhD in politics at New York University starting in the fall of 2017. Francis explains that his acceptance demonstrates “the international recognition of ASE’s effectiveness in producing top-tier students in the social sciences”. He adds: “I was a mathematician before joining ASE. This school gave me a strong quantitative analysis background, and now I am doing political Economy”.

Francis cited the prestige of the university and the quality of its professors in political economy as his motivations for selecting NYU. In addition, ASE President Leonard Wantchekon has a strong connection to NYU, where he worked as a professor in the Politics department from 2001 to 2011. For his thesis work, Francis was advised by Prof. Wantchekon, and extended his previous work on elections in situations where there is the threat of violence.

Francis came to ASE from Cameroon, and graduated from ASE in December 2016. In ASE’s pre-doctoral fellows program for top ASE graduates, he prepared for the GRE and TOEFL exams and wrote his applications to PhD programs in the US and Canada. He has also been involved with IERPE’s research projects on girls’ education and supplementary mathematics courses for girls in secondary schools. After completing his graduate studies, he hopes to use his training to be at the forefront of innovative leadership in Africa.