Empowering Africa - UPenn-NCID Online Workshop

Knowledge and human capital formation are fundamental drivers of economic growth. Moreover, the implementation of growth-enhancing public policies requires leaders who have a sound understanding of economics, who can model the potential effects of different policies adequately, and have the capability to assess public programs based on rigorous evidence. If African countries are to take full ownership of their development strategies, they will need young and bright students with top training in economics to guide public policy towards sustained economic growth. In order to contribute to this goal, the University of Pennsylvania, the Navarra Center for International Development, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia want to launch the first “Empowering Africa Workshop,” The workshop’s main goal is to attract and motivate top African students to pursue graduate training in economics. We will discuss the available funding existing for bright African undergraduate students wanting to pursue their graduate studies in the U.S., so they can acquire the skills and knowledge to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Bright African undergraduate students will have the opportunity to hear from top-notch international research economists on how academic research in economics helps guiding good economic policy. Moreover, it will help students to get to know practical issues regarding the application process for top Ph.D. programs in Economics and about the experience of being a graduate student in the U.S.


Monday, March 15, 2021

  • 9:00 - 9:10 Welcome remarks
  • 9:10 - 10:00 What do economist do? Doing research to solve real problems (Microeconomics)
    • Aislinn Bohren and Andrew Postlewaite. University of Pennsylvania.
  • 10:00 - 10:50 What do economist do? Doing research to solve real problems (Macroeconomics)
    • Dirk Krueger. University of Pennsylvania.
  • 10:50 - 11:10 Break
  • 11:10 - 12:00 What do economist do? Doing research to solve real problems (Applied and Empirical)
    • Jere Behrman and Petra Todd. University of Pennsylvania.
  • 12:00 - 12:50 What do economist do? Doing research to solve real problems (Policy Institutions)
    • Jonas Arias, Thorsten Drautzburg and Ben Lester. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • 12:50 - 13:00 Concluding remarks

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

  • 9:00 - 10:00 How to apply for and succeed in a Ph.D. in Economics?
    • Jesús Fernández-Villaverde. University of Pennsylvania.
  • 10:00 - 11:00 The experience of being a Graduate Student in the U.S.
    • Grad Students. University of Pennsylvania
  • 11:00-11:10 Break
  • 11:10 - 12:40 Brief presentations by grad students
  • 12:40 - 13:20 Group meetings in breakout rooms
    • Focus Groups. University of Pennsylvania.
  • 13:20 - 13:30 Concluding remarks

Ways to participate

There's two ways to participate in the online workshop:

  1. Listener: open to any African student interested in pursuing a degree in economics.
  2. Call for papers: We give you the opportunity to make the most of the experience and to show us your potential. We have opened a call for papers that will be evaluated by our researchers and from which we will select some to present the same workshop in front of the rest of the speakers!

In this form you can choose how you want to attend the workshop. The registration deadline is February 21st. However, if you are interested in actively participating you will have to deliver a first draft of your paper signed by a tutor of your choice by the 31st of January. Feedback will be delivered in the week following your submission. All deadlines are 23:59 ET:

  • By January, 31st: Fill in the form explaining your research question, who your tutor will be and submit a first draft of your paper.
  • By February, 21st: Final registration date for listeners and last day for active participants to submit their final paper. Submit it at ncid@unav.es