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Political Economy: Africa




Admissions requirements

Introduction to Comparative Politics, Principles of Economics, or permission from the course instructor.


This course will analyze the intersection of politics and economics in relation to diverse developments in Africa. These dynamics will be explored from both the perspectives of African countries and those of external actors. Specifically, we will focus on both intra African relationships and the engagement of African countries/ Africa with the rest of the world.

The course will explore, among other things, the dynamics that have influenced the economic and political development of natural-resource-dependent countries like Nigeria, Botswana and Angola. It will also explore the impact of natural resources on conflict in countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia, Congo DRC and South Sudan. Furthermore, the course will critique the relationship between political stability and economic growth across the continent.

At another level, the course will also try to explain why, perhaps with the exception of Mauritius, manufacturing has rarely driven economic growth in Africa and the implications of this for the future economic advancement of the continent. The course will also examine the impact of foreign direct investments and foreign aid on the political and economic development of Africa. Greater emphasis will be placed on aid-dependent countries like Rwanda, South Sudan and Liberia.

Finally, the course will look at the relationship between states and businesses across the continent and the potential role of indigenous entrepreneurship and the African diaspora in African development.

In summary, this course will explore the diverse debates on the political economy of Africa. Key topics include: the relationship between African states and businesses; regional and monetary integration both at the continental and sub continental levels; Africa and the global financial system; intra African trade and African trade with the rest of the world; natural resources and conflict in Africa; foreign aid and foreign direct investments in Africa; China in Africa; the future of Africa; and the role and dynamics of the African diaspora among others.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, successful students should be able to demonstrate:

  • A clear understanding of the dynamics that shape the perspectives and debates on the political economy of Africa.

  • A clear appreciation of the interrelationship between political and state structures and economic development in Africa.

  • The capacity to critically analyse the academic literature pertaining to the themes discussed in the weekly seminars and actively engage in seminar discussions on the weekly themes.

  • The capacity to formulate original research questions and write critical essays corresponding their academic level on a subject of their choosing related to the course content


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The mode of instruction will consist of lectures (1 hour, 50 minutes every week) and class seminars/ guest lectures (1 hour, 50 minutes every week). Students are expected to participate actively during class seminars. Students will regularly be required to make presentations, sometimes on their own and sometimes in groups, on aspects of the course syllabus especially during seminars. Attendance of lectures and class seminars are compulsory


Class attendance and in-class participation, 15%, ongoing
Class assignments (Weeks 1/3/6, three in total, 750 words each), 30% (10% per essay)
Weekly group assignments/presentations, 15%, weekly
Individual assignment; final essay (3000 words), 40%, week 8


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Literature will be assigned corresponding to the weekly themes in the course syllabus.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Chibuike Uche