Economic challenges in Africa


This course aims to provide third year students in Sciences Po Bordeaux with insight on economic analysis and economic issues related to African countries. The course is organized around six contemporary economic issues, and proposes three analytical steps to help the students understand those issues: (i) analysis of facts (definitions and measures); (ii) a critical examination from a theoretical perspective (comparison of the various arguments of economists); (iii) the implications in terms of economic policies. The six issues represented in the form of questions are as follows: Is Afro-optimism relevant today? Is the African continent the leader... in matters of inequality? Family agriculture vs. agri-business: what agricultural future is in store for African countries? Industrialization and structural transformations: are African economies victims of the resource curse? Labour markets in Africa: is the informal sector an obstacle or a lever for development? Towards a return of sovereign debt crises in Africa?

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

A good knowledge of the fundamentals of economics (see first-year course of general economics, first-year course of micro-economics, and third-year course of macroeconomics).


Bibliographie indicative transversale (pour chaque séance une bibliographie spécifique sera également proposée).

  • Aryeetey (Ernest), Devarajan (Shantayanan), Kanbur (Ravi) and Kasekende (Louis) (eds.), The Oxford Companion to the Economics of Africa, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Hugon (Philippe), Économie de l’Afrique, Repères n°117, La Découverte, 6e Ed, 2013.
  • Jacquemot (Pierre), Économie politique de l’Afrique contemporaine, Coll. U, Armand Colin, 2013.
  • Jacquemot (Pierre), L’Afrique des possibles. Les défis de l’émergence, Karthala, 2016.

Educational formula

Each issue will be addressed in two sessions (2x 90 min). The sessions will be divided into different phases: one will consist in a classic lecture delivered by the lecturer, a phase of collective discussion and reflection based on texts that must be read prior to the session (extracts from articles, chapters of books or reports of international institutions) and/or statistical data (graphs, tables) and video viewing. Quizzes may be administered to ensure that the course is well understood during the session.



In brief

Year Third year

Teaching languageFrench

Teaching term Six-monthly

ECTS credits 2.0

Number of hours 18.0

Teaching activityLecture course

ValidationFinal written examination

Optional teaching



Forest Amandine [+]

Prévot Christophe [+]

Educational manager :
Berrou Jean-Philippe [+]