• Robin Bloch

    Robin Bloch is Technical Director: City and Regional Development at ICF, London. He is an urban planner with over 25 years of experience. His principal areas of expertise include urban and regional economic development, urban and metropolitan spatial and land use planning, and urban environmental management and sustainability and has published extensively on urban planning and governance. Robin’s work has incorporated the full spectrum of the policy cycle, from project identification and formulation through implementation, and evaluation. He has significant experience in managing and directing complex multi-stakeholder projects for clients including the UK Government and the World Bank.

  • Horman Chitonge

    Horman Chitonge is a full professor at the Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town (UCT). His research interests include agrarian political economy, hydro-politics, and alternative strategies for economic growth in Africa. He has published extensively on these and related themes. His most recent books include: Economic Growth and Development in Africa: Understanding Trends and Prospects (by Routledge, 2015), Contemporary Customary  Land Issues in Africa: Navigating the Contours of Change  (By Cambridge Publishers, 2017), Social Welfare Policy in South Africa: From the Poor White Problem to a Digitised Social Contract (by Peter Lang, 2018), Land, The State and the Unfinished Decolonisation Project in Africa: Essays in Honour of Professor Sam Moyo (By Laanga Publishers, 2019);  Industrialising Africa: Unlocking the Economic Potential of the Continent (by Peter Lang, 2019).

  • Masuma Farooki

    Dr. Masuma Farooki is a development economist and the Consulting Director at MineHutte, where her focus is on creating the 'due process' that must accompany mineral policies and strategies. She has worked with governments in Papua New Guinea, Lao, Liberia and Guyana as well as with the UNDP, the World Bank and BGR on diagnosing and devising strategies for resource led development. She was also the lead researcher in the 3-year EU funded Horizon2020 STRADE project, that looks at developing a strategic dialogue between the EU, industrial countries and resource-rich developing countries to promote sustainable supply of raw materials

  • Judith Fessehaie

    Judith is Head of Policy and Data, SheTrades Initiative, at the International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint agency of UNCTAD and the WTO. In this capacity, she manages projects related to trade policy and women’s economic empowerment at global and regional levels; gender-disaggregated data collection and analysis; and technical support to national trade and trade-related policy reforms. Prior to joining ITC, Judith managed the trade and development programme at a leading Geneva-based think tank; and worked as a trade, industrial and regional value chain advisor at the Johannesburg-based Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED); TradeMark Southern Africa, Zambia's Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. She also taught an MPhil in Industrial Policy run by UN IDEP – University of Johannesburg. She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Cape Town, a MA in Development Economics from Norwich University, a post-graduate diploma in International Trade Law from the Università di Torino, and a Bachelor of Arts from the Università di Milano. 

  • Stephen Gelb

    Stephen Gelb is Principal Research Fellow and leads on Private Sector Development at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London.  He worked as an economist in South Africa for thirty years, doing research on macroeconomics and growth, foreign investment, political economy and inequality, and advising the Presidency, the Treasury and other government departments on policy. He has taught economics, political science and development studies in South Africa, Canada, the US and Switzerland, and has research experience in a dozen countries in Africa and Asia. He has written extensively on foreign direct investment and value chains in Asia and Africa. His work has been shaped by a long-standing interest in business strategy and decision-making, and its broader economic and political effects. His current research focusses on corporate collective action to improve ESG standards; on the economics of migration; and on the renewal of political economy.

  • Ayanda Hlatshwayo

    Ayanda is a senior economist in the National Treasury’s Economic Policy division. Her focus areas include industrial policy, manufacturing and trade. She also serves as a part-time commissioner on the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC). She also worked as an assistant consultant at Oxford Policy Management (OPM) South Africa. During her time at OPM she worked on several projects including: an evaluation of the Malawi Social Cash Transfer; conducting a Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS) in Durban-South Africa; and a large mixed methods impact evaluation to assess the impact of the Uganda Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) Programme. Ayanda is currently enrolled for her PhD through the University of Stellenbosch looking into labour mobility, wages, productivity and foreign connected companies in the formal South African labour market.

  • Faizel Ismail

    Professor Faizel Ismail was Adjunct Professor at UCT from July 2015 to February 2019. During this time he served as a part-time staff member of the School of Economics, a part-time staff member at the UCT School of Law and taught at the UCT Graduate School of Business. From February to June 2019 he assumed the role of Professor and Acting Director of the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, and from July 2019 he serves as Professor and Director of the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance. Prior to this he served as South Africa’s head of delegation and Ambassador to the World Trade Organization from 2002 to 2014. He also served as the Advisor to the Minister of Trade and Industry, and in various roles including Deputy Director General of the Department of Trade and Industry from 1994 to 2002. He served in several professional and leadership roles as head of South Africa’s negotiating team on various trade negotiations, including with the EU, SACU, SADC, Mercusor, USA, China, Brazil and India. While in the WTO he served as the Chair of several forums including that of the Special Session of the Committee on Trade and Development and the Working Group on Trade Debt and Finance. He is the author of two books on the WTO: Mainstreaming Development in the WTO. Developing Countries in the Doha Round (2007) and Reforming the World Trade Organization. Developing Countries in the Doha Round (2009). The latter book has been translated into Chinese (2011).

  • Raphael Kaplinsky

    Raphael Kaplinsky is Professor in the Department of Development Policy and Practice at the Open University in the UK. He has a long association with UCT and his current work focuses on the historical significance of the rise of the Asian economy (China and India in particular) and its impact on Africa, on the commodities sector and the terms of trade, and on innovation paths which provide the potential for pro-poor development strategies. He is a co-principal investigator on a number of PRISM projects.

  • Mamello Nchake

    Mamello is a senior lecturer in the department of economics at Stellenbosch University. She is also a research associate at Policy Research in International Services and Manufacturing (PRISM). Her research focuses on international trade and economic development with a special emphasis on Africa. She works with various research and academic institutions and is a recipient of various research fellowships including a prestigious AfDB/AERC research fellowship, where she conducted individual and collaborative research. Mamello has published in regional and international peer-reviewed journals including the International Review of Economics and Finance, the Journal of African Economies, and the Agricultural Finance Review. She has conducted commissioned research for various Government Ministries and international organizations, for which she has produced policy and technical documents and reports. These include among others, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Commission for Africa (UNECA), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Through research assignments, she gained both local and regional experience in various countries including Lesotho, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini, Angola, and Cote d'Ivoire.

  • Alexander O'Riordan

    Alexander O'Riordan is a development policy and strategy advisor. His focal areas are development finance and effectiveness, country strategies, national aid architectures, policy dialogue and political economy analysis. O'Riordan also has a strong background in private sector development, institution building and governance. He recently led an Open Society Foundation study on emerging donors and was the principal researcher on an EU funded study on joint programming and development effectiveness. O'Riordan has worked as an advisor to the Ministries of Finance in Kenya and in Ethiopia, the European Union and United Nations Development Programme. He has provided advisory and analytic services in South, East and North Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, the Caucuses, the Pacific, South and South East Asia.

  • Glen Robbins

    Glen Robbins works as both as an independent economic development researcher and also works in collaboration with research teams at a number of universities in South Africa and internationally. He specialises in research and policy work on urban and regional economic development, industrial policy and local government. His career has involved work as a senior manager in government in South Africa, specialist consulting roles for a range of international multi-lateral organisations and an extended association with academia. Most recently he completed a three Research Fellowship at the School of Built Environment and Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal working as a lead researcher in the EU-funded Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development commissioned research on the 2014 eThekwini/Durban Medium and Large Manufacturing Survey.

  • Sören Scholvin

    Sören Scholvin is a lecturer at the Institute of Geographical Sciences, University of Berlin. His research interests are global value chains and world cities in the Global South, regional development in South America and sub-Saharan Africa, and the energy policy of emerging economies. From 2015 to 2018, he worked on a research project on 'Gateway Cities and their Hinterlands' financed by the German Research Foundation. In the course of this project, he carried out field research on oil and gas value chains in Argentina, Bolivia, Ghana, Mauritius, Namibia and South Africa. A main output of the project is the edited volume 'Value Chains in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges of Integration into the Global Economy' (Springer, 2019).

  • Cornelia Staritz

    Cornelia Staritz is Senior Researcher at the Austrian Research Foundation for International Development (ÖFSE). She holds Masters degrees in Economics and Commerce and a Doctorate in Economics from the Vienna University of Economics and Business and a Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research in New York. Her research and work focuses on economic development, international trade, global value chains and production networks, private sector development, and commodity-based development. Prior to joining ÖFSE, Cornelia worked as a Junior Professional Officer at the International Trade Department of the World Bank in Washington D.C. and at the Institute for International Economics and Development of the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

  • Asha Sundaram

    Asha is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics, University of Auckland, New Zealand. Before this, she was Senior Lecturer at the School of Economics, University of Cape Town, South Africa (with tenure since 2014). She holds an M.Phil in Economics from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Economics from Syracuse University. Her research interests are in the fields of International Trade and Development Economics. Topics include trade liberalization effects and their interaction with domestic institutions, trade and firm behavior, trade and inequality and buyer-seller matches in international trade.