AfDB: Championing inclusive growth across Africa. A blog by the former Chief Economist and Vice-President
For the past decade, Africa has had strong growth. A new economic momentum has been created. The continent weathered the financial crisis and has bounced back. But headline economic growth is not enough. Deliberate policies to reduce inequalities and promote inclusion are now needed more than ever before. It is time to focus on what people want: decent work, a living wage, access to basic service, more democracy and accountable governments. Africa and its people aim to be a pole of growth in the decades ahead. Read more
Professor Mthuli Ncube is the Chief Economist and Vice President of the African Development Bank, and holds a PhD in Mathematical Finance from Cambridge University, UK, on “Pricing Options under Stochastic Volatility”. As Chief Economist, he oversees the Economics Complex, which is focused on the process of knowledge management within the bank and with its partners, and general economic strategic direction of the bank. In this regard, he looks after the Development Research Division, Statistics Division and African Development Institute, all of which are headed by Directors who report to him. That is, knowledge generation, knowledge acquisition, knowledge dissemination, and knowledge sharing, and capacity-building. As a Vice President, he is a member of the senior management of the Bank and contributes to its general strategic direction.
Before joining the Bank, he held the post of Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, South Africa, and before that was Dean and Professor of Finance at Wits Business School. He led Wits Business School to a point where it was rated at 45 globally by the UK Financial Times in 2007.He has extensive experience as an Investment Banker, and was founding Chairman of Barbican and Selwyn Capital, which are involved investment banking.
Prof Ncube was also a regulator, and served as a Board member of the South African Financial Services Board (FSB), which regulates non-bank financial institutions in South Africa.
He is also Chairman of the Board of the African Economic Research Consortium, a network that develops economists in Africa, with which he has been associated for the last 20 years.
He is also Chairman of the Global Agenda Council on “Poverty and Economic Development” (World Economic Forum).
Prof Ncube is also a Governor of the African Capacity Building Foundation.
Previously, Professor Ncube worked for INVESTEC Asset Management as a Portfolio Manager and Head of Asset Allocation Strategy. He also managed Investec’s Global Managed Fund, an offshore umbrella-fund registered in Ireland. The fund had five other funds under it with investments in US, Japanese and European Equities, bonds and money markets.
Prior to joining the corporate sector, Professor Ncube was a Lecturer in Finance at the London School of Economics, UK, where he taught and supervised undergraduate and graduate students in finance and investments, and general theory of asset pricing.
He has published widely in the area of finance and economics, and some of his papers have won awards. Some of the papers have been published in international journals such as the Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Banking and Finance, Mathematical Finance, Applied Financial Economics, Journal of African Economies, among others. He has also published 4 books, namely: Mathematical Finance; South African Dictionary of Finance; Financial Systems and Monetary Policy in Africa; and Development Dynamics: Theories and Lessons from Zimbabwe; and a book manuscript on Finance and investments in South Africa.
His interests are in golf, reading and painting. He is married to an Engineer with whom they have 4 children.
With the year 2015 – the MDG finishing line – approaching, post-2015 goals as they impact Africa need to be firmed. The goal of ending extreme poverty remains paramount. In this context, extreme poverty means living on a less than $1.25 a day (PPP, 2005 prices). Given the continent’s potential and the track record, the extreme poverty reduction agenda beyond the MDGs should focus on building prosperous and resilient Africa. This can be achieved with strong, sustained and inclusive growth.
Private capital flows to emerging markets are benefiting from an overall supportive global environment, in particular improved global outlook and strong projected growth in Africa. While the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve Bank has been shifting from quantitative easing to a tightening mode, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are expected to undertake further monetary easing. Hence private capital flows to Africa’s emerging and frontier markets are expected to be higher than at the beginning of 2014. Nevertheless, risks of sudden stops or even reversals remain. Surprises in the timing, speed and size of the Fed quantitative easing (QE) tapering constitute some of the downside risks.
The wave of protests and unrest that swept across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region since 2011 has continued in different forms. In addition to demands for more economic and political inclusion, the protests had been largely sparked by a refusal to tolerate any longer the gross socio-economic inequality perpetuated by long-entrenched “elites” in power. In many countries today, the issue of inequality has come to the front burner of international and national discourse with a view to finding solutions.
In a recent Book I co-authored with Prof. Kjell Hausken on “Quantitative Easing and Its Impact in the US, Japan, the UK and Europe” , we analyze, empirically, the effects of quantitative easing (QE) on interest rates and the economies of the USA, Japan, the UK, and Europe.
State fragility and breakdown, along with violent conflict, pose significant risks to global and regional security. Most contemporary armed conflicts take place within states, and the majority of their victims are civilians. Conflict and fragility impede efforts to reduce poverty, and the prevention of conflict through development is cheaper than dealing with the aftermath of conflict.
In the recent book I co-authored with Eliphas Ndou (Economist at the South Africa Reserve Bank Research Development), entitled “Monetary Policy and the Economy in South Africa”, we discuss some of the different empirical and pertinent monetary policy questions in South Africa. Using a Bayesian VAR approach the book assesses the linkage of monetary policy with various economic variables.