6. A Critical Engagement with Financial Stability in Africa


Financial Stability Working Group

The increase in new forms of financial flows and expansion of both traditional and new forms of financial services on the African continent has been met largely with optimism among both academics and policy-makers. With this event we wish to open up space for critical engagement and debate about the nature of financial development in Africa, its relationship to financial stability and development, and how best we can understand these new developments both theoretically, empirically, and politically. To what extent are theories and methods traditionally used to examine the role of finance in advanced economies, whether Neoclassical, Keynesian, Minskyan, or Marxian, appropriate in an African context?

We welcome contributions by junior researchers who wish to present their work at the Convening. We encourage papers from all theoretical traditions and methodological approaches. The contributions should be in the form a brief abstract (300 words) and be related to following fields and research questions:

  1. Financialization in Developing Economies: To what extent has there been financialization in developing economies, and what are the similarities and differences to the trend in developed economies? How has it affected financial stability? What is the relationship between financialization and government policy? How has financialization affected the link between the real and financial sector? What are effects of financialization that are specific to developing economies, and how are these dealt with?

  2. The Role of Foreign Finance in Africa: What kind of sector does foreign finance typically operate in? How does it relate to the operations of the domestic financial sector? How does it impact fiscal, monetary, and other government policy? What kind of opportunities, constraints, and vulnerabilities are associated with foreign finance? To what extent does foreign finance contribute to the development of Africa? What are the political implications of foreign finance

  3. Financial Innovations: Given the historical exclusion of African economies from the global financial markets, what kind of new instruments are being used to circumvent/address credit constraints? What kind of roles do older innovations like microfinance, Fintech and other forms of ‘financial inclusion’ play today in African economies? How does the traditional financial sector relate to financial innovations that arose in response to the underdevelopment of the traditional financial sector, such as mobile banking?

  4. Commodity Prices, Financial Instruments, and External Financing: How has commodity price volatility affected growth and distribution in African economies? How has it affected diversification, industrialization, and/or financial stability? How significant is the ‘Dutch Disease’ in the African context?

  5. Financial Institutions: What are the specific institutions governing financial development in African countries, and how do they shape the nature of financial development? What is the role of international financial institutions in shaping African financial development? How do private and public financial institutions intervene in African financial development?   

Questions regarding this call can be directed to: