These are some of the readings I assign for my African Economics Development class. (Some of them are gated and require a campus IP address.)
Understanding why African political and economic institutions that promote investment and hence development are weak
- Acemoglu, Daron, and James A. Robinson. “Why is Africa Poor?“, Economic History of Developing Regions 25, no. 1 June 2010 (2010): 21-50 .
- Jerven, Morton. “African Growth Recurring: An Economic History Perspective On African Growth Episodes, 1690-2010“, Economic History of Developing Regions
- Nunn, Nathan and Leonard Wantchekon. 2009, “The Slave Trade And The Origins Of Mistrust In Africa” NBER Working Paper 14783.
Importance of human capital, financial capital, and new technology for growth: randomized micro trials
- Mano, Yukichi, Alhassan Iddrisu, Yutaka Yoshino, Tetsushi Sonobe, 2011, “How Can Micro and Small Enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa Become More Productive? The Impacts of Experimental Basic Managerial Training” and see published version here.
- Ashraf, Nava, Xavier Giné, Dean Karlan, 2008, “Finding Missing Markets (and a disturbing epilogue): Evidence from an Export Crop Adoption and Marketing Intervention in Kenya“
- Fafchamps, Marcel, David McKenzie, Simon Quinn, Christopher Woodruff, 2012, “When is capital enough to get female microenterprises growing? Evidence from a randomized experiment in Ghana“
Here are links to some general interest books on African economic development that are good places to start.
- Duflo, Esther, and Abhijit Banerjee, Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty
- Miguel, Edward, and Ray Fisman. Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations
- Collier, Paul. The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It
Spending time in an African village? Try these:
- Holloway, Kris. Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali
- Robertson, A.F. Community of Strangers: A Journal of Discovery in Uganda
(one of my all-time favorite books)