PUBlic Professor Series talk explores the building blocks of African development

African development efforts have gone through sharp turns and twists since the dawn of independence in the late 1950s. Lessons from analyzing these efforts point to the reorientation of the incentive structures for politicians, business elites and the electorates, as the critical pillar among the building blocks of Africa’s development.

On Thursday, January 24, University of Lethbridge economics professor Dr. Alexander Darku will present The Building Blocks of Africa's Development: Resources, Politics and Economics. This is the fourth talk of the 2018/19 season for the Faculty of Arts & Science’s PUBlic Professor Series. The free event runs from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge and is open to the public.

In this presentation, Darku will critically analyze the factors that have driven Africa’s growth and development through its resources, political and economic building blocks in three different periods. The first period (1957-1965) marks the early sweep of independence and the ascendency to political leadership of nationalistic figures (the great enthusiasm and foundation era). The second period (1966-early 1980s) witnessed the second wave of independence and the emergence of military coup d’état to depose the nationalistic leaders who supposedly had become power drunk and destructive to nation building efforts (the transition and derailment of nation building era). The third period (early 1980s-present) is the policy and program realignment era, where the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank took centre stage of economic policy formulation and implementation through the Stabilization and Structural Adjustment Programs.

Dr. Alexander Darku is an associate professor of economics at the University of Lethbridge and an associate director of the Prentice Institute for Global Population and the Economy. Darku has two main lines of research. The first focuses on the relationship between international trade, economic growth and income distribution, in the developing countries. The second focuses on the relationship between business cycles, poverty and income inequality. In addition to numerous articles in international peer review journals, and background papers to policy documents at the World Bank, Darku is also the author of three books.

Further talks scheduled for 2018/19 feature Dr. Tom Johnston (geography) and Dr. Hester Jiskoot (geography). Details on each of their presentations can be found at: