Aziz Dao was born in 1993 in Burkina Faso.  After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in Statistics and Computer Science in 2014 at the Polytechnic University of Bobo-Dioulasso, he joined the African School of Economics, where he earned a Master in Mathematics, Economics and Statistics (MMES). His is currently completing an internship at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) headquarters in Rome.

During two years of intense practical and technical studies, Aziz specialized in impact evaluation. He worked on multiple projects that have exposed him to data acquisition and analysis, field surveying, and sample methodology. He also cultivated statistical skills and knowledge of statistical software such as R, Stata, SPSS, and MATLAB as a research assistant in the IT department of ASE’s Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy (IERPE). Additionally, he worked on an impact evaluation project that sought to measure the voting behavior of people in the face of different electoral campaigning strategies during elections in Benin, where he was a field coordinator.

After his graduation, he was hired by ASE for a four-month consultation as a research assistant and field coordinator of a project that aimed to evaluate an index insurance program operated by PADAER (Program to Support Agricultural Development and Rural Entrepreneurship) in Senegal. Now, Aziz is completing an internship at IFAD headquarters in Rome with the Platform for Agricultural Risk Management, an outcome of the G8 and G20 discussions on food security and agricultural growth. Its objective is to make agricultural risk management an integral policy plan in nine sub-Saharan African countries.

What does ASE remind him of?

“I met many people from diverse backgrounds. Not only did ASE give me strong analytical and research skills, but it also made me dream and think big. Never giving up and continuing to do things well – these are precious values that ASE cultivates in its students that help them achieve their goals.”

 

 

Former students of the ASE continue to testify about the school. One such student is Marietou Sanogo from Mali who is currently working in Nigeria, after obtaining her Master at ASE in December 2016.

Mariétou holds 2 Masters: the 1st in actuarial sciences at the Badji Mokhtar University in Algeria; the second is a Master in Mathematics, Economics and Statistics (MMES) from the African School of Economics, a pan-African university based in Benin. Immediately after graduating, Mariétou was recruited as an "Impact Evaluation Field Coordinator" at the World Bank's Gender Innovation Laboratory (GIL) for the African region. Marietou's current position is linked to skills acquired at the ASE, as she testifies: "The ASE has improved my English and my skills in quantitative analysis. Now I can effectively use the analytical tools I acquired before and during my training.

She adds about the ASE: "I liked the committed character of teachers. They give the best of themselves to help students succeed. I also appreciate the School's efforts to promote quality training for Africans. The future is bright for students of the African School of Economics. "

April 8, 2017. The African School of Economics community once again organized its 3rd one-to-ones chat session, a forum for students to interact with a researcher via WhatsApp.

The guest was Louphou Coulibaly, a 4th year PhD candidate from the University of Montreal in Canada. The conversations between ASE students and Mr. Coulibaly revolved around macroeconomic theory topics including business cycles, monetary policy, macroeconomic effects of financial crises, and optional financial regulation, which are Mr. Coulibaly’s areas of interest.

According to Mr. Coulibaly, doing a PhD in Economics is the best way to learn more about economics and thus be able to participate in the development of students’ respective countries. ASE students also gained insights from him about the best way to proceed when writing a Master thesis in Economics. He said that first, students need to be involved in and love what they want to do as researchers. Next, they should find the field in which they are interested, then find a supervisor, and finally choose a relevant research question. Mr. Coulibaly’s experience sharing and contributions were very helpful to students. At the end of the session, Mr. Coulibaly said that what was achieved through this chat session was very great and that he expects to have another opportunity to interact with ASE students.

These sessions are an initiative of Simplice Adjisse, an ASE pre-doctoral fellow and moderator of the event. Further WhatsApp discussions are yet to be organized, and students are looking forward to the next guest.

 

On March 21th, 2017, the African School of Economics (ASE) received at its weekly Academic Research Seminar Alex Dobyan, current Princeton-in-Africa fellow at ASE. His topic was: Who sells the truth? A case study of reporting in the Boko Haram crisis. Alex explained the manipulation of information in the media with the effect of creating an environment of uncertainty and mistrust among the Nigerian population.

 

For example, he showed for the same period and the same attack, very varied figures in the newspapers: from 30 to 300 victims. In this context of manipulation, populations unable to identify credible sources and are suspicious of government sources.

 

Going further, Mr. Dobyan reports that in case of defeat on the ground, the actors in conflicts invent statistics and give information that suits them. According to the researcher,  this information failure is hampering the Nigerian government from getting more support from the affected population to ultimately defeat Boko Haram.

 

 

Four ASE students, Ibrahim Lanignan, Luc Zanmenou, Salman Abibou, and Wilfried Adohinzin, have launched the new Data Science Community for African School of Economics students. This community aims to unite students around the common purpose of learning how to collect and analyze data using the latest software.

During the first session, which took place on Saturday, February 25th, community members presented their experiences in data collection and analysis, and spent some time getting to know one another. The group hopes to create opportunities for students to collaborate on coding and share research ideas.

The group plans to focus on using two software programs: STATA, with Ibrahim as moderator, and R, with Wilfried as moderator. 

The community plans to meet weekly for discussions on topics related to data science and student-led training in software programming.