NOVAFRICA Lecture: Professor Sir Paul Collier on “Effective Organizations – Why they are Scarce in Africa and What Can be Done About It”

Paul Collier

Fotografia © Global Imagens

On 9th of January, NOVAFRICA kickstarted the new year with a lecture by a prestigious guest – Sir Paul Collier – Professor at Oxford University and Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies, who recently received a knighthood for services to promoting research and policy change in Africa.

Paul Collier, who is an Advisory board member of NOVAFRICA accepted the knowledge center’s invitation for a lecture on the theme “Effective Organizations – Why they are Scarce in Africa and What Can be Done About It ”. He shared several examples of effective organizations and detailed key positive differences of productive organizations such as the existence of an organizational culture that is internalized by its members and contributes to the overall productivity and success.

In an interview to the newspaper Diário de Notícias after the lecture, Sir Paul Collier made a parallel with this internalization of culture in effective organizations as something which is missing in African countries, broadly speaking. “Countries must build a national identity” commented Collier. “In general all African countries are quite recent, although African societies are ancient. The nation states are only around half a century old. So, the people’s identity is not the nation but it is the ethnic group or tribe instead”.

Author of several renowned books, Paul Collier has an extensive knowledge about the African continent and economic growth in Africa. His research covers the causes and consequences of civil war; the effects of aid and the problems of democracy in low-income and natural-resources rich societies.

You can read the interview to Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese) here.


Written by Susana Costa, Nova SBE Research Office