This programme looks at the current realities of economic, social, and political governance challenges for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), particularly in terms of decision-making and implementation.


The economic, social and political governance challenges for sub-Saharan Africa remain immense. Despite progress in some health and education indicators, Africa needs more inclusive growth, jobs for its fast-growing population, and better social services and infrastructure. Their work is organized around three themes.

First, the programme will look in-depth at Ethiopia’s attempts at industrialisation and contrast it with experiences in other countries. Second, the programme will study the changing political economy of infrastructure and service delivery: how changing and at times maturing politics affect their impact, as in Ghana and Kenya and a number of other contrasting cases. Finally, researchers will study the current political and economic responses to the post-2014 reality for resource-rich economies, such as Angola and Nigeria, and what this will mean for the quest for economic diversification and the lessening of resource dependence in these economies.

The programme brings together researchers from six departments and several disciplines across the University of Oxford. The programme is led by Professor Stefan Dercon from the CSAE at the Department of Economics and the Blavatnik School of Government; and Professor Ricardo Soares de Oliveira at the Department of Politics and International Relations.