The month of April has not been short of interesting tidbits of information so far and this edition of Knowledge Dispatches will bring you the interesting tidbits of insights and articles we have enjoyed so far.

  1. To start this edition of our Knowledge Dispatches, we recently had a conversation with David Hundeyin, the investigative journalist on issues ranging from statehood, democracy, and what it cost to agitate for good governance. David is a passionate speaker with interesting perspectives that sometimes challenges popularly held narratives on some specific issues dealing with the Nigerian state and how it relates with our current realities. An interesting part of this discussion is the debate between Tobi Lawson and David regarding activities surrounding the previous government in Nigeria. In all, it was an interesting conversation that will certainly leave you with a lot to ponder about the current state of the country. You can listen to this episode here and on any of your favourite podcast platforms.

  2. Ghana has been in the news recently and over the last few weeks, it was for all the right reasons. Twitter, the popular social media platform decided to set up its African headquarters in Ghana, to the chagrin of many Nigerians. The stated reasons for their choice include the fact that the Headquarters of the AFCTA will be in the country and their respect for democratic principles and free speech. Ghana has been enjoying some growth over the last couple of years and even beat Nigeria in Foreign Direct Investments in the last couple of years. A few days later, Germany chose Ghana to build a West African research center for global health and is exploring the possibility of Vaccine production in the country. Ghana has been positioning itself as the regional hub for commerce in west Africa for a while and it may just be succeeding by just being better than Nigeria as Chris Ogunmodede notes carefully in this thread. A key takeaway is that a competent government matters a lot and as it stands Ghana’s government is much more competent than Nigeria.

  3. A question on my mind for a while has been whether we have missed the boat on Industrialization and we are doomed to never see that height of industrialization we had in the 70s up until the early 90s. This article by Dissent magazine makes a case about that with a specific focus on premature deindustrialization, a term popularized by Dani Rodrik, the development economist. This response to the article here highlights some key issues and even makes a case for services even as we have continued to struggle to industrialize. This discussion is on services is reminiscent of our conversation with Andrew Nevin on the subject, you can listen to that here.  

  4. The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics released the inflation report and the numbers say a lot, food inflation is now above 22 percent, the effect is beginning to tell on the earnings of a lot of Nigerians. Adedayo Bakare, a regular guest on IU wrote a brilliant essay explaining our inflation challenge and the inadequacy of the measures being taken by the CBN explaining that some of those measures may in fact exacerbate the problems. In a totally unexpected move, the CBN adds Wheat and Sugar to the list of items exempt from FX access which will likely drive up inflation further because Nigeria currently only produces about 75000 metric tonnes of sugar and demand is in excess of 1.5 Million Metric Tonnes according to this report by USDA foreign Agriculture service. Local wheat production is so poor that it only accounts for about 2% of the consumed items and 98% is imported according to this report. This action is specifically the kind that will further drive up inflation further if we fail to address the structural issues underlying the economy.

  5. The Nigerian government has continued vaccination drive for COVID 19 and the numbers say we have given out over 1 million doses, that’s not particularly impressive and the Nigerian government has blamed misinformation as the primary reason for the slow rollout. The target by the Nigerian government is to vaccinate over forty percent of her population by the end of 2021 and over seventy percent by the end of 2022 to reach Herd Immunity, Isreal has reportedly reached herd immunity. This article provides some answers to some of the most pressing questions regarding the COVID Vaccines and their side effects. it is worth a read.  

Some interesting articles we read

Peter Thiel on China and the US

For a demographic dividend, Africa needs a coherent policy

Global Trends 2040 report

Till next time, cheers