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Economics Africa


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.


This course will equip the students with a broad general understanding of African economics, as well as provide a more in-depth understanding of pertinent dynamics of contemporary African economics. In the first block, the course will provide a general overview of African economic history and economic structures. In the second block, themes in contemporary African economic dynamics will be identified and analysed in-depth, such as ICTs (mobile phones, internet, social media and remittances), informality, Africa and the world (Development cooperation, BRICS), Urbanisation, Business and Trade.

Course objectives

The course aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of current economic dynamics in Africa, as well as the academic and policy debates that correspond with such dynamics. As perhaps no continent is more systematically stigmatised, the course aims to inspire students to create new and independent interpretations of African economic dynamics, moving beyond mainstream dogmas associated with African economic development. The course will highlight the main actors involved in the current economic dynamics of Africa including entrepreneurs, new technology, trading partners, donors and foreign direct investment. Students should emerge from the course with a clear understanding of African economics in a global and regional perspective. Students will also develop relevant generic skills such as presentation, debating and essay writing.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

Lecture and tutorials

Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Course load

Total course load for the course 5 EC x 28 hours is 140 hours, broken down by

12 lectures: 24 hours
4 tutorials: 8 hours
Reading & self-study: 72 hours
Research & paper writing: 36 hours

Assessment method

Tutorials 30%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40%

If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier mid- and endterm grades. No resit for the tutorials is possible.


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Ernest Aryeetey, Shantayanan Devarajan, Ravi Kanbur and Louis Kasekende (eds.), The Oxford Companion to the Economics of Africa, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-19-870543-7 or Paperback – 978-0-19-870543-7


Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. S. Bellucci, email

For tutorials Economics Africa:

Economics Africa