The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Nile University of Nigeria held a conference to discuss the findings of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) research on the economy of Sub-Saharan Africa. Among the distinguished guests present at the event were Dr. Siddharth Kothari (Economist in the African department of IMF), Dr. Sidi-Ali Mohammed (Presidential Committee on the Northeast Initiative), Dr. Anthony Hassan (Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics, University of Abuja), and Assoc. Prof. Gylich Jelilov (HOD, Economics Department; Assistant Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Nile University of Nigeria).
Giving the keynote presentation at the event was Dr. Kothari, who discussed the economic consequences of conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa. In his address, based on the IMF’s research on the region, he highlighted the negative impacts of conflict on economic growth. Countries with high incidences of conflict, especially when they occur in economically important areas, experience a significant reduction in GDP per capita, exports, and investments, among others. Dr. Kothari also discussed the changing nature of conflicts, stressing how the emergence of non-state actors like Boko Haram have changed the landscape and brought about devastating consequences for the economies of the countries within which they operate. He concluded his presentation by presenting a number of recommendations that could help countries address the problem of conflict such as the need for governments to maintain well-functioning institutions, provision of external assistance to countries ravaged by conflict in the form of well-targeted and coordinated humanitarian aid, etc.
Following Dr. Kothari’s address were presentations on the event’s theme from Dr. Mohammed and Dr. Anthony. The event concluded with a question and answer session during which Dr. Hassan, Dr. Mohammed, Dr. Gylich, and Dr. Kothari fielded the questions of the audience, most of which involved how the respective presentations could be applied to the economic situation and Boko Haram problem in Nigeria.