Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ugandan researcher wins the AfDB 2012 Young African Economic award

Ugandan national economist has won this year’s award in the just concluded African Development Bank (AfDB) African Economic Conference in Kigali, Rwanda. 

Dick Nuwamanya Kamuganga an economist from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, won the award for his paper Does Intra-Africa Regional Trade Cooperation Enhance Export Survival.

Excerpts of the paper which was selected from among 500 submissions, which were narrowed down to 43 papers was presented during the conference at the  Regional Trade and Integration session.

Kamuganga’s paper explores long term African export relationship internationally and in intraAfrican regional trade cooperation increase, It also examines the effects of intraregional trade cooperation on sustainability of Africa’s exports within Africa and to the rest of the world.

He argues that sustainable export expansion is a key priority for all African countries to achieve sustainable economic growth. Kamuganga’s findings suggest that regional trade cooperation, or integration, initiatives in Africa have nonnegligible effects on enhancing Africa’s export survival.

“He also shows that the depth of regional integration matters when it comes to lowering Africa’s export hazard rates relative to countries that are not in any regional cooperation,” AfDB says in an online statement.

“The research explains that actors such costs to export, transit delays (time to export), institutional and policies bureaucracy in  procedures to export and financial depth provide a natural framework for explaining the observable high hazard rates for African exports,” AfDB says.

His paper argues that financial underdevelopment in Africa could have a crucial role in restricting Africa’s export relationship survival.

The researcher argued that regional trade cooperation in Africa would greatly reduce export duration, and would result in a reduction in infrastructure-related trade frictional costs. Benefits of regional trade cooperation would include a reduction in border procedures, harmonization of documentation, product standards and elimination of border tariffs.

The award sought to recognize and encourage research among young Africans and only four research papers were shortlisted and given to a panel of judges to decide which one warranted the award for best conference paper by a young African scholar.

The basic criteria for the prize included that the paper should have been written a single author; the researcher should be under 40 years of age and from an African country; the paper should demonstrate innovation and relevancy in the area of economic policy, and should not have been presented anywhere prior to its presentation at the AEC in Kigali.

“The award which will be apart of the annual conference to boost young African researchers to be recognized by encouraging and inspiring research contribution among young Africans,” the United Nations Development Programme’s Sebastian Levine said.

The conference and the prize was funded by the UNDP, AfDB and the Economic Commission for Africa.

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