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Department of Economics

Economic development in Africa

Course Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year

This course is the 0.5 unit version of:

available to students studying MA Area Studies programmes. 

The course will be co-taught with the MSc equivalent.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to understand the major and minor strands in debates over African economic development. They will be able to apply their knowledge in constructing a critical analysis of the issues for a particular African country, and will be able to use economic data appropriately.

Scope and syllabus

The aim of this course is to increase students' capacity to rigorously analyse a subset of critical issues facing policy makers in sub-Saharan Africa. Attention is paid to data quality and the statistical problems that are a feature of the best applied economic literature covering these countries. The heterogeneity of African economies is stressed and students are encouraged to focus their written work on particular sub-regions, countries and sectors. The course also emphasizes the importance of a detailed grasp of economic history as a basis for critically assessing generalised debates on the determinants of recent economic performance.

The term 1 topics are shown in the detailed term 1 reading list which is already available. Term 2 topics include: demographic data and analysis; land degradation and environmental constraints; nutrition and undernutrition; famine; HIV/AIDS; agriculture and land; poverty and gender; education. A detailed Reading List for each Lecture will be provided and put on the Blackboard at the end of December 2008.