I just finished an hour-long interview with the International Monetary Fund’s quarterly magazine Finance & Development. This particular interview focused on talent and Africa and how corporations and governments are deepening human capital capabilities. Get the next issue of IMF’s Finance & Development.
Before electronics engineering, we were bankers (really good one). And before doctoral in engineering, I had one in Finance! My research had focused on labour, trade and currency. I wrote the lead paper for African Union single currency for the AU Congress. It was magical as I presented before the AU Congress few days after I defended a PhD dissertation on electronics; currency-welfare modeling in the night, electronics in the day.
My thesis is that Africa would be better served by having prior-convergence of regional economies before a continental-level economic integration with single currency. This is necessary to avoid trade shocks which would trigger severe welfare losses across African countries. Since the structural natures of our economies are heterogeneous [Nigeria is oil, Rwanda is something else], it would be challenging to have any supranational central bank that can manage deficits effectively.
Today, our national central banks have the leverage to devalue currencies at will but under an integrated continent, that power moves to a supranational bank which means that if Nigeria is experiencing crude oil shocks, all countries in West Africa would immediately feel the pain because the economy of Nigeria is a big component of the region’s.