Economic development of Africa: microeconomic approaches

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Economics

Module overview

The aim of this course is to increase students’ capacity to use their growing knowledge of economic theory, development economics and econometrics in rigorous analysis of a subset of the critical issues facing policy makers in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on sectoral and microeconomic issues. 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 emphasises the importance of a detailed grasp of economic history as a basis for critically assessing generalised debates on the determinants of recent economic performance. Topics covered include:

  1. Introduction: The origins of power, prosperity, and poverty.
  2. Energy, demography and migration.
  3. The Economics of HIV/AIDS.
  4. Agriculture and trade policy.
  5. Famine.
  6. Food Security.
  7. Agricultural pricing and marketing policy.
  8. Education and economic development.
  9. Financial dualism, micro finance and mobile money.

Students pursuing a degree external to the Department of Economics should contact the convenor for approval to take this module.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the major and minor strands in debates on African micro and sectoral-economics.
  • To be able to apply knowledge in constructing a critical analysis of the issues for a particular African country.
  • Use economic data appropriately.

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: Exam 70% / coursework 30%. All coursework is resubmittable.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules