The NBER Africa Project is holding a series of six meetings between 2008 and 2012. The project will conclude in early 2013.
The NBER Africa Project convened two dozen monetary and fiscal policymakers in eastern Africa and leading economists from the US and Europe to discuss how to meet the next macroeconomic challenges in Africa. The topics discussed were strategies for East African monetary union, Africa in the global financial crisis, and managing resource booms.
The third full research conference of the Africa Project provided a forum for seventeen presentations of research projects commissioned by the Africa Project. Following the presentations, five discussions were held on current economic policy issues -- drawing on the work over the course of the Africa Project -- for high-level policymakers in Africa.
The second full research conference of the Africa Project was the venue for eighteen presentations of research projects commissioned by the Africa Project.
Research Conference #1
The first full research conference of the Africa Project provided a forum for five final presentations of research projects commissioned by the Africa Project. The meeting also served as a pre-conference, where authors on twelve projects presented initial findings and gathered feedback on the direction of their research.
The pre-conference was a small, working meeting for authors on ten projects commissioned in the first year of the Africa Project to present initial findings and gather feedback on the direction of their research.
On February 21 and 22, 2008, the NBER held a background conference inaugurating the Gates Foundation funded project on African Development Successes. The conference brought together researchers and policy makers from the United States, Africa, and Europe.
The program for the February meeting featured "big think" presentations on economic developments in Africa, presentations on current research, and an overview of available data. Attendance at this preliminary meeting was not required for scholars who might do research under the auspices of the project, nor did attendance at the preliminary meeting imply agreement to undertake such research. However, the preliminary meeting was a good starting point for people who would like to work on Africa but were not familiar with the issues and possibilities.
The topics discussed at the conference included the breadth and sustainability of the current surge in economic growth on the continent, the contribution of rising raw materials prices to that growth, the determinants of agricultural productivity, new data and findings on business conditions faced by African firms, improvements in macroeconomic management in a number of African countries, and the relationship between economic growth and improvements in health.