Economics 499, Economics of Africa

Spring 2021

Welcome to the website for Economics 499, section 001, on the economics of Africa (spring 2021).

See Canvas for more details about the course!

We'll cover topics including history (slave trades, colonialism, civil wars), politics and democratization, health, migration, foreign aid, corruption, natural resources, education, and more, in the context of Africa and the economic development of African countries. ECO 499 satisfies the Graduation Composition and Communication (GCCR) requirement for some of our majors, and so includes both a final paper (which we work on throughout the semester) and several presentations. (My understanding is that ECO 499 is required for A&S Econ and B&E Econ majors, and satisfies GCCR for A&S Econ majors. FLIE and Math Econ majors - or anyone who's taken ECO 402 - are also welcome to take the class! Please check with an advisor in your specific major.)

Students have a lot of flexibility in choosing the topic for their paper, as long as it relates to economics and Africa; past papers have included witchcraft, entomophagy (eating insects for protein), microfinance, offshore diamond mining, modern slavery, CRISPR and genome editing (which just won the Nobel Prize in chemistry!), Ebola, women in agriculture, and lots of other fascinating topics .

There is not a required textbook for this class, although there will be regularly assigned readings.