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BRIEF July 31, 2018

World Bank Group Africa Fellowship Program: 2018 Profiles

Ashenafi Belayneh Ayenew

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Office of the Chief Economist, Human Development Global Practice, (from Ethiopia)

Prior to joining the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Africa Fellowship program, Ashenafi was a visiting student researcher at University of California, Berkeley, USA.

He is currently a final year Ph.D. candidate in economics at University of Copenhagen, Denmark, where he is also a teaching assistant for graduate level courses. He completed a Master’s degree in Economics from the same university before joining the Ph.D. program. Additionally, he holds an MSc degree in Resource and Environmental Economics from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. 

Ashenafi’s research interest spans within applied development economics focusing mainly on shocks, insurance, and health in rural areas of developing countries. Specific research topics he has explored include how climatic water scarcity affects the spread of infectious diseases, the preciseness of alternative safety nets in reaching out to drought affected households, how households adapt family labor to agricultural risk and shocks, and the role of migration in facilitating structural transformation within migrant sending communities.

Aïssata Coulibaly

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, (from Côte d'Ivoire)

Prior to joining the World Bank, Aïssata was a teaching and research assistant at the University Clermont Auvergne in France, where she taught Introduction to Economics and Macroeconomics to undergraduate students. She also worked as a consultant for the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) of UNESCO and the University of Berkeley in California. 

After completing a Bachelor of Arts in economics and a Master of Science in international development and project analysis at the Center for Studies and Research on International Development (CERDI), Aïssata completed her Ph.D. in development economics from the same institution.

Her current research interest falls under the topics of financial inclusion, decent work, the informal sector, migration, poverty and inequality. She is especially interested in understanding the effect of financial development on the labor market in developing countries.

Apart from economics, Aïssata has been engaged in the implementation of development projects in Africa. For two years, she led  the AFRICAVENIR International association in France, promoting cultural events and solidarity projects for Africa.

Belinda Archibong 

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Governance Global Practice, (from Nigeria)

Belinda Archibong is an assistant professor of economics at Barnard College in New York City (NYC). Her research areas include development economics, political economy, economic history and environmental economics with an African regional focus. Her research investigates the role of historical institutions and environment in inequality of access to public services (particularly infrastructure, education and measures of public health). Some current research studies the impact of climate-induced health shocks on the gender gap in human capital investment. Other work includes studies on the role of domestic labor coercion in public infrastructure construction in British colonial Africa, and the effects of taxation on public service provision in Nigeria. She is a faculty affiliate at Columbia University's Center for Development Economics and Policy (CDEP), The Earth Institute at Columbia University, the Institute of African Studies and the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University, in NYC. 

She joined the Barnard Economics faculty in 2015 and received a B.A. in Economics/Philosophy and a Ph.D. in sustainable development from Columbia University. 

Claudia Noumedem Temgoua 

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Poverty Global Practice, (from Cameroon)

Claudia Noumedem Temgoua is a former finance and accounting process analyst who worked for a multinational firm for a year before leaving her job to start doctoral studies.

She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in economics at the University of Bordeaux in France, where she got experience teaching  econometrics at the undergraduate level. She is a recipient of the “Initiative of Excellence” (IDEX) grant, a French State grant aiming, among other things, at promoting international mobility. This has led her to spend several months yearly at Bocconi University in Milan-Italy as a visiting scholar. She holds an M.A. in development economics from Warsaw University in Poland.

Her research interests cover various areas, including migration – highly skilled international migration, rural-urban migration and forced displacement – international knowledge diffusion and innovation.

Florence Nimoh 

WBG Africa Fellow, UNHCR, (from Ghana)

Prior to joining the World Bank Group Africa Fellowship Program, Florence was a teaching assistant at the Mathematics Department at University of Ghana.

She is currently a Ph.D. student at International Doctorate in Economic Analysis (IDEA) at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Spain. She holds a Master’s degree in quantitative economics through the Erasmus Mundus scholarship at Univeriste Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, France and Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Ghana.

Florence’s research lies in the purview of development economics, with a broader interest in providing quantitative evidence aimed at improving welfare policies in developing countries. Some of her works are on impact evaluations of existing social interventions in these countries, and how households respond to economic shocks such as conflict.   

Ibrahima Sarr

WBG Africa Fellow, UNHCR, (from Senegal)

Ibrahima  was an intern at Senegalese Agricultural Research Insitute (ISRA), research assistant, and teaching assistant at Laval University in Canada before joining the World Bank Group Africa Fellowship Program.

Currently a Ph.D. student at Laval University, he teaches economics and econometrics classes to graduate and undergraduate students. Prior to his Ph.D. studies, he obtained a Master’s degree in applied mathematics and computer science from University Gaston Berger in Senegal and a Master’s degree in economics and statistics from the National School of Statistics and Economical Analysis (ENSAE) in Senegal. 

His research interests include labor economics, development economics, experimental economics and microeconometrics.

Kaleb Girma Abreha 

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Office of the Chief Economist for Africa, (from Ethiopia)

Prior to joining the World Bank Group’s Africa Fellowship Program, Kaleb held postdoctoral, research and graduate assistant positions at universities in both Denmark and Ethiopia. Besides research, he lectured and assisted several undergraduate and graduate courses in economics, international business and strategic management.  

He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at  The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and junior faculty member of the Tuborg Research Centre for Globalisation and Firms at the Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University in Denmark.

He has a Ph.D. in economics from Aarhus University, an MSc in agricultural economics from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and BA in economics from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. 

Kaleb’s research focuses on international trade and foreign direct investment, productivity analysis,  CEOs and firm performance , and women’s career outcomes. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as The World Bank Economic Review and The World Economy. 

Kebba Jammeh

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Office of the Chief Economist for Africa, (from The Gambia)

Kebba is a final year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Essex, United Kingdom (UK). He previously attended the London School of Economics, Queen Mary University of London and the University of the Gambia. 

Prior to joining the World Bank, Kebba worked as a consultant with the Macroeconomic Policy, Debt Sustainability and Forecasting Division of the African Development Bank (AfDB), where he led in developing a structural econometric model for policy analysis in African economies. He also led AfDB’s effort in compiling and documenting data on the growing number of assets under management of African Sovereign Wealth Funds. Kebba is one of the main contributors to South Africa's 2018-2022 Country Strategy Paper and co-authored a chapter on ``Financial Sector Regulation and Governance in Africa" in a forthcoming book on ``Extending Financial Inclusion in Africa." He previously worked with the University of Essex (UK), the Institute for Social and Economic Research (UK), OneSight International, the University of the Gambia and Gambia’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. 

His main research interest is in the micro-foundations of macroeconomic issues especially in the use of computational tools to understand welfare cost of risk and uncertainty, earnings/income dynamics, optimal taxation, and remittances as a source of insurance for households in developing economies.

Kevwe Pela

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Education Global Practice, (From Nigeria)

Prior to joining the World Bank Group’s Africa Fellowship Program, Kevwe worked as a project manager at Universal Learning Solutions where she managed the early childhood literacy (Synthetic Phonics) budget for teacher professional development for a number of Nigeria’s States - including Delta, Kogi, Oyo and Ekiti State. 

She completed her Ph.D. in development policy and management from the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. She also holds a Master’s degree in innovation management and entrepreneurship from the University of Manchester. 

Her research focuses on a range of issues that influence the efficient structural transformation process of developing countries, particularly education, labor allocation, income and gender, using both quantitative and qualitative methodology. 

Kevwe believes in a world where everyone should have equal opportunity to education, as education is key to ending poverty, eliminating gender inequality and creating a sustainable world.

Komlavi Akpoti

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Office of the Chief Economist for Africa, (from Togo)

Prior to joining the World Bank Group’s Africa Fellowship Program, Komlavi held internship position with Earth Observation Research and Innovation Center (EORIC) at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (Sunyani-Ghana) with expertise in Geographical Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing.

He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in environmental engineering management at the same university where he also serves as research assistant at the EORIC Center. He holds a Master’s degree in climate change and energy from the Université Abdou Moumouni (Niger) in collaboration with the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL). 

Komlavi’s research interest focuses on a range of issues related to the land suitability modeling, especially rice crop suitability mapping in inland valleys in West Africa under current and future climate conditions as part of the AfricaRice project ‘Novel Approaches for Efficient Targeting and Equitable Scaling of Rice Technologies in Togo and Benin (ETES-Rice)’. His research includes bio-physical and socio-economic environmental covariates that could play key roles in boosting West African rice production.

Lauretta Sandra Kemeze

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Agriculture Global Practice, (from Cameroon)

Prior to joining the World Bank Group’s Africa Fellowship Program, Sandra completed a Ph.D. in agricultural economics and policy from the University of Ghana, Legon. She also holds an MPhil degree in economics from the University of Yaoundé II in Cameroon.

Sandra’s research interests are related to rural development, bioenergy economics, climate smart agriculture, impact evaluation, choice modelling, technology adoption and economic valuation of public goods.  

Nene Oumou Diallo 

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, (From Guinea)

Prior to joining the World Bank Group’s Africa Fellowship Program, Nene was a short-term consultant on the follow-up survey of Safety Net Program’s impact evaluation in Guinea. She  also worked for Développement International Desjardins (DID) to evaluate the impact of their Entrepreneurs Financial Center in Panama and Uganda on entrepreneurial activity.

Nene is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Sherbrooke in Canada, where she has also been a teaching assistant for economics courses at both graduate and undergraduate levels. She holds a Master’s degree in international development from the Centre d’Études et de Recherche sur le Développement International (CERDI), Clermont-Ferrand, France.

Her research interest covers issues related to the emergence of a dynamic private sector in developing countries with a special focus on the alleviation of credit constraints for micro, small and medium enterprises. More specifically, she analyzes how scaled-up microcredit might help enterprises trapped in the financial missing middle (between traditional microcredit and commercial bank) grow their business and create jobs.

Prudence Dato

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Energy and Extractives Global Practice, (from Benin)

Prudence is joining the World Bank Group Africa Fellow Program as an energy economist with 10 years of consultancy and research experience in the areas of energy, climate change and environment. He was recently a temporary teaching and research fellow at Savoie Mont Blanc University in France. 

His research focuses on the economic analysis of the transition to renewable energy and investment in energy saving technologies. He is particularly interested in smart-grids, micro-grids, energy poverty, household behavior and in economic instruments that favor energy transition. He has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals and in the areas of energy and environmental economics.

Prudence holds  a Master’s degree (Ph.D. track) in environmental and energy economics from Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in  France, and a Ph.D. in economics with specialization in energy economics from Grenoble Alpes University, France. His country experience includes Benin, France, Hong Kong, Central Africa and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries. He enjoys traveling, cooking, reading and playing soccer and basketball.  

Roukiatou NIKIEMA 

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Office of the Chief Economist for Africa, (from Burkina Faso)

Roukiatou holds a  Ph.D.in economics from the University Ouaga II (Interuniversity Postgraduate Program-PTCI, Burkina Faso) where she received a Master’s degree on applied macroeconomics. She has been an intern with the United Nations University-World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER).

She is currently an assistant professor at the University Norbert Zongo (Koudougou, Burkina Faso) where she teaches economics courses at both graduate and undergraduate levels.

Roukiatou’s research interest focuses on a range of issues related to development economics, especially issues related to domestic resources mobilization, quality of institutions and economic growth.

Setou Diarra

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Education Global Practice, (from Mali)

Prior to joining the World Bank Group’s Africa Fellowship Program, Setou worked as postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Economics and the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada.  

Setou holds a Ph.D. in economics from Laval University in Canada, (December 2016) and a Master’s degree in Statistics from the Graduate School of Statistics and Information Analysis (ESSAI, Tunisia).

Her research interests include health economics, maternal and child health, gender issues, human capital development, and applied econometrics. 

Soazic Elise WANG SONNE

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group (from Cameroon)

Soazic is a fellow in the Innovation, Economics and Governance for Development (IEGD) Ph.D. program of the United Nations University (UNU-MERIT) in Maastricht, the Netherlands. She also teaches econometrics, data science and research transparency courses in the UNU Msc of Public Policy and Human Development (MPP) of UNU-MERIT. She holds a double degree in statistics and applied economics and a Msc in program evaluation and sustainable development, funded by the UK Chevening Cameroon Women Excellence Scholarship.

Prior to becoming a World Bank Group Africa Fellow, Soazic was a research scholar at the University of California at Berkeley (BITSS-CEGA), New York University Global TIES for children and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). She also held consultancy positions with the United Nations University-World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) and the World Bank Social Protection and Labor division. Soazic is also a former intern within the economics division of the French Ministry of Economy and Finance-Central Africa region department.

Soazic’s research interests lie on the intersection of applied impact evaluation on health, education, agriculture and gender in conflict and post-conflict affected countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is a strong advocate of research transparency and reproducibility in social sciences, and her work  across the U.S., Europe, and Africa has been awarded the 2017 UC Berkeley Leamer-Rosenthal Prize in the Emerging Researcher category.

Toyimi Médès Frida Adjalala

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Poverty Global Practice (from Benin)

Before becoming a World Bank Group Africa Fellow, Toyimi  worked as research assistant at the Institute of Fiscal Study and Democracy (IFSD) in Ottawa, Canada, and for the Millennium Challenge Account in Benin.

She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in economics at the University of Ottawa, where she also holds a teaching assistant position for graduate and undergraduate economics courses. Toyimi also holds a Master’s degree in economics from the University Lyon II in France. 

Toyimi’s research interests include macroeconomics, monetary economics and international development. Her urrent research is related to the shock transmission mechanisms in monetary union, with a focus on the West African countries.

Tigist Mekonnen Melesse 

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Office of the Chief Economist for Africa (from Ethiopia)

Tigist Mekonnen Melesse has obtained a Ph.D. in economics from Maastricht University, Netherlands. Prior to joining the World Bank Group’s Africa Fellowship Program, Tigist was a researcher at United Nation University- UNU-MERIT in Maastricht the Netherlands for one year. She is also affiliated to the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA-EASST), University of California, Berkeley. Tigist has extensively engaged in evidence-based policy researches in development economics. 

Tigist’s research focuses on agriculture, poverty and social impact analysis, as well as impact evaluation of development programs and policies using large cross-sectional and panel household surveys. She also has experience in teaching at Maastricht University (Netherlands) and Jimma University (Ethiopia). 

Tigist presents her works at international conferences and actively participates in policy forums such as the Working Group in African Political Economy Annual meeting at the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Uche Eseosa Ekhator, Ph.D

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Office of the Chief Economist for Africa (from Nigeria)

Prior to joining the World Bank Groups Africa Fellowship Program, Uche was a research assistant with the Center for Nonprofit and NGO studies at Northern Illinois University (NIU) while completing her doctoral studies in economics. In this role, she was a principal investigator and co-author for the 2017/2018 DeKalb County Nonprofit Study (DCNS) in Dekalb, Illinois,  USA. 

In May 2018, she completed her doctorate studies at NIU. During her studies, she was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Graduate Scholar Award in the Department of Economics. She was also a recipient of the 2018 Dissertation Completion Fellowship and recognized as an outstanding graduate student for her research and scholarly activities at NIU. 

Uche holds an MSc degree in applied probability and statistics from NIU, an MSc degree in economics and finance from  Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), and a BSc in economics and statistics from the University of Benin, Nigeria.

Her research focuses on issues related to health, gender, and conflict in developing economies. As an WBG Africa Fellow, she will be examining gender-based violence and the Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin Region.

William Theophile Ewane 

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Development Economics Research Group (Cameroon)

William is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Quebec (Montreal). He holds a Master’s degree from the Interuniversity Postgraduate Program (PTCI). 

Prior to joining the World Bank Africa Fellowship Program, William held a teaching position (Lecturer) at the University of Quebec (Montreal). He also worked as a research assistant.

As an applied economist, he is interested in estimating intra-national trade costs. 

Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice (from Nigeria)

Zahrah previously worked as an independent consultant providing technical support, as well as research, evaluation and training to clients on gender and social inclusion across a diverse scope of thematic areas including social protection and women’s economic empowerment. Prior to that, Zahrah worked as a Technical Specialist on women’s economic empowerment at Social Development Direct (SDDirect) in the United Kingdom(UK), and as a research fellow in the Cities Cluster at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex. 

Zahrah’s research interests are in the areas of social protection, women’s economic empowerment, the care economy (paid and unpaid), and urban development. 

Zahrah holds a BSc in Human and Physical Geography from University of Reading, UK, an MSc in urbanization and development and a Ph.D. in human geography and urban studies - both from the London School of Economics, UK.

Ismael ISSIFOU

WBG Africa FellowWorld Bank Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group (from Togo)

Ismael graduated from Centre d’Études et de Recherche sur le Développement International (CERDI) and joined the University of Orleans, where he defended his thesis in June 2016. 

Ismael was a research associate at Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orléans (LEO). In June 2017, Ismael held  a summer internship at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He currently serves as a consultant to the World Bank.

Ismael’s research interests are in development economics and my papers cover a variety of topics such as international migration, natural resources, civil conflicts, governance and institutions.

Yvette Efevbera 

WBG Africa FellowWorld Bank Health Global Practice (from Nigeria)

Yvette Efevbera is currently an advanced doctoral candidate at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, where she specializes in population and reproductive health, children and adolescents, and program leadership. Her research uses quantitative and qualitative methods to understand contexts affecting the health and well-being of children, adolescents, youth, and women in settings of adversity, and she is currently principal pnvestigator of a qualitative research study on child marriage and health in Guinea. 

Yvette previously served as program associate for the International Children’s Rights, Protection, and Education Programs at Wellspring Advisors and Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator for mothers2mothers in Malawi. She has led research activities for several organizations including the UBS Optimus Foundation, mHealth Alliance of the United Nations Foundation, and the Harvard Center for Population Studies. She brings nine years of experience in diversity, inclusion, and culture work in higher-education and non-profit organizations. 

Yvette holds a Bachelor of Arts, High Honor in international relations from the Honors College and James Madison College at Michigan State University, Michigan, and a Master of Science in global health and population from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Teegwendé Valérie Porgo

WBG Africa Fellow, World Bank Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice (from Burkina Faso)

Valérie is an epidemiologist who is passionate about contributing to human development. Her career objective is to support the development of evidence-based policies to improve healthcare resource allocation. 

Valérie will be awarded a doctorate degree in epidemiology at Université Laval, Québec, Canada in July 2018. As part of her Ph.D. thesis, she developed a hospital indicator of resource use intensity to increase the efficiency of injury care in for-profit and single-payer healthcare systems.

Prior to becoming a WBG Africa Fellow,  she held teaching positions at both undergraduate and graduate levels and was an internat the Guidelines Review Committee Secretariat of the World Health Organization in Switzerland. Valérie has also contributed to over 20 research papers. In her spare time, she loves to read and play the piano.