PROGRAMS

All programs supported by:

New York University Abu Dhabi Research Institute

 

COMMODITIES CAPACITY-BUILDING PROGRAMS

October 31-November 2, 2017, CTED Commodities Exchange Capacity-Building Program (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, UAE): Yaw Nyarko hosted a weeklong capacity-building program at NYUAD and in Dubai. Under the theme “Economics and the Transformation of Africa: Commodities Exchanges,” the program drew leaders from the long-established Ethiopian Commodities Exchange (ECX) and the Ghana Commodities Exchange (GCX) to share best practices, insights, and lessons from the field with NYU faculty, students, and researchers. A key point of discussion during the program focused on CTED’s research and the development of mobile phone apps for rural farmers and sellers to access new markets. For several years, CTED has worked on the development, training, and integration of mobile phone apps to enable rural farmers to trade, market, and access capital and price data through technology.

October 31, 2017, CTED Business and Economic Roundtable with H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana (Dubai, UAE): On the occasion of Vice President of Ghana, H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s, participation in the 2017 Global Business Forum in Dubai. This meeting in Dubai brought together UAE and Ghana government officials, business leaders, and investors to interface. During the roundtable, Yaw Nyarko facilitated the discussion between Vice President Bawumia and guests from the UAE. The conversation focused on trade, business and investment, and using technology for economic development. Guests included: H.E. Jamal Al Jarwan, Secretary General, UAE Investors Council; H.E. Abdullah Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of the UAE Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry; Suhail Albanna, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Middle East and Africa, DP World (one of the largest companies in the UAE); Binay Shetty, Vice Chairman and CEO, BRS Ventures (oversees a portfolio that includes NMC Hospital and UAE Exchange – one the world’s leading foreign remittance and exchange institutions); members of the Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC); and Ghana and Ethiopian Commodities Exchanges.

January 10-17, 2017, Ghana Commodities Exchange (GCX) Knowledge Building Seminar (New York, USA): Yaw Nyarko led a capacity-building training for four members of the Ghana Commodities Exchange (GCX) at NYU NY. The participants had one-on-one meetings with NYU faculty and leading financial institutions such as the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the Museum of American Finance (with Chris Meyers, Director of Education), and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group Inc.) in New York and Chicago. This meeting laid the groundwork for the launch of the exchange in 2018.

September 5-10, 2014, Commodity Markets Seminar (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, UAE): CTED convened members of the Ethiopian and Ghanaian Commodities Exchanges to meet with the Abu Dhabi Exchange and the Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC) for knowledge sharing and best practices. CTED PhD students and staff also provided technical training seminars to the ECX and GCX participants.

 

CTED SUMMER INTERNSHIPS

2018 CTED Summer Field Research Internship
Summer 2018
Kumawu, Ghana

With support provided by the New York University Abu Dhabi Research Institute, in 2018 Prof. Yaw Nyarko led the 4th CTED Summer Field Research Internship in Kumawu, Ghana. This internship culminates lessons from the Technology and Economic Development: Markets and Networks (ECON-UH 2411) course in a field setting. The program provides students opportunities to work on real-world research problems in a traditional rural field research environment. In addition to the international work experience gained, interns work closely with researchers in Ghana on developing technological solutions with significant impact at the community and national policy level.

Specifically, interns work on research projects including the following focus areas: (a) Economic Governance, Mapping, and Drones; (b) Networks, Big Data, and Image Processing; (c) MarketPlace Commodities Markets; (d) Migration and Remittances; and (e) the “Biography of a People” project.

In 2018, NYUAD faculty member Heitor Pellegrina, Assistant Professor of Economics, participated in the internship by delivering lectures to interns and providing feedback on their CTED projects.

CTED Student Interns
Teona Ristova
Ahmed Meshref
Laura Deryng
Ali Shazal
Mukhtar Hamzat (Ashesi University, Ghana)
Ruth Nyakio Karimi (Ashesi University, Ghana)

2017 CTED Summer Field Research Internship
Summer 2017
Kumawu, Ghana

With support provided by the New York University Abu Dhabi Research Institute, in 2017 Prof. Yaw Nyarko led the 3rd CTED Summer Field Research Internship in Kumawu, Ghana. This internship culminates lessons from the Technology and Economic Development: Markets and Networks (ECON-UH 2411) course in a field setting. The program provides students opportunities to work on real-world research problems in a traditional rural field research environment. In addition to the international work experience gained, interns work closely with researchers in Ghana on developing technological solutions with significant impact at the community and national policy level.

Specifically, interns work on research projects including the following focus areas: (a) Economic Governance, Mapping, and Drones; (b) Networks, Big Data, and Image Processing; (c) MarketPlace Commodities Markets; (d) Migration and Remittances; and (e) the “Biography of a People” project.

In 2017, three NYUAD faculty members participated in the internship by delivering lectures to interns and providing feedback on their CTED projects (Morgan Hardy, Assistant Professor of Economics; Heitor Pellegrina, Assistant Professor; and Jerome White, Lecturer of Computer Science, worked with CTED staff in Ghana on a new research project).

CTED Student Interns
Karolina Wilczyńska
Syed Faizan Zaidi
Peter Chen
Aleksandra Markov
Bokang Jia
Yobin Timilsena
Hayat Abual Hassan
Zenani Orengo
Tochi Eni-Kalu
Angela Orozco
Clara Bicalho Maia Correia (CTED Research Assistant)
Mercy Guriyire (Ashesi University, Ghana)

2016 CTED Summer Field Research Internship
Summer 2016
Kumawu, Ghana

With support provided by the New York University Abu Dhabi Research Institute, in 2016 Prof. Yaw Nyarko led the 2nd CTED Summer Field Research Internship in Kumawu, Ghana. This internship culminates lessons from the Technology and Economic Development: Markets and Networks (ECON-UH 2411) course in a field setting. The program provides students opportunities to work on real-world research problems in a traditional rural field research environment. In addition to the international work experience gained, interns work closely with researchers in Ghana on developing technological solutions with significant impact at the community and national policy level.

Specifically, interns work on research projects including the following focus areas: (a) Economic Governance, Mapping, and Drones; (b) Networks, Big Data, and Image Processing; (c) MarketPlace Commodities Markets; (d) Migration and Remittances; and (e) the “Biography of a People” project.

CTED Student Interns
Angela Orozco
Nischal Mainali
Prashant Sharma
Muaz Ahmad
Gabor Csapo
Mina Kim
Jaehurn Nam
Caroline Slama (Temple University)
Joseph Nsiah (Ashesi University, Ghana)

2015 CTED Summer Field Research Internship
Summer 2015
Kumawu, Ghana

With support provided by the New York University Abu Dhabi Research Institute, in 2015 Prof. Yaw Nyarko led the 1st CTED Summer Field Research Internship in Kumawu, Ghana. This internship culminates lessons from the Technology and Economic Development: Markets and Networks (ECON-UH 2411) course in a field setting. The program provides students opportunities to work on real-world research problems in a traditional rural field research environment. In addition to the international work experience gained, interns work closely with researchers in Ghana on developing technological solutions with significant impact at the community and national policy level.

Specifically, interns work on research projects including the following focus areas: (a) Economic Governance, Mapping, and Drones; (b) Networks, Big Data, and Image Processing; (c) MarketPlace Commodities Markets; (d) Migration and Remittances; and (e) the “Biography of a People” project.

CTED Student Interns
Abdoulaye Ndiaye
Mac Davel Kalumbi
Dhruv Gandhi
Jovtina Audain
Stephen Kho
Oscar Morrison
Robert Cacharani
Mary Larocque

 

DEPLOYMENTS

Several times a year, CTED conducts field deployments in our study area in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. CTED works with the Ghana Ministry of Food and Agriculture and local farmers to address their challenges with technological interventions.

 

CONFERENCES

September 4-5, 2018, UAE-Ghana Trade and Investment Mission (Accra, Ghana): CTED Advisory Council member, H.E. Abdullah Al Saleh, UAE Under-Secretary of Foreign Trade and Industry (UAE Ministry of Economy), delivered the keynote address at the Inaugural UAE-Ghana Trade and Investment Mission. H.E. Al Saleh acknowledged CTED and Yaw Nyarko’s role in creating bridges between the two countries for investment opportunities and economic growth.

December 21, 2017, 3rd Annual CTED Ghana Rural Economic Development Forum (Kumawu, Ghana): Under the theme “Biography of a People – Cultural Heritage Preservation, Museums, GIS Mapping and Apps,” CTED’s annual forum featured a range of cultural heritage projects including: an art competition, a theatrical performance of the play “The Legend of Dwenti – Death on Trial,” and the launch of the newly developed CTED Kumawuman Palace Museum mobile app that weaves together a cultural heritage trail in the Kumawuman Traditional Area. This app was designed by CTED and NYUAD student interns who participated in the 2017 CTED Internship. Participants in the event included: Ghana Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School Art Department, Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School Performing Arts Department, and Daniel Appiah-Adjei, Playwright of "The Legend of Dwenti." CTED staff presented findings on projects as a dissemination of results to local community partners.

December 21, 2016, 2nd Annual CTED Ghana Rural Economic Development Forum (Kumawu, Ghana): During the forum, CTED hosted regional leaders of the Ghana Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), farmers, the Ghana Commodities Exchange (GCX), the Kumawuman Traditional Council, Dr. Nii Sowa and Dr. Henry Telli of the International Growth Centre (IGC) at the London School of Economics, and the leadership of NYU Accra. The program highlighted the culmination of CTED research activities, including the “CTED Tech Lab: Markets, Mapping and Mobile App Presentations with MOFA Farmers.” Research team members presented the latest findings in CTED’s markets research and acknowledged the MOFA leaders, staff, and community farmers who play a crucial role in our research. Hon. Fuseini Donkor, District Chief Executive for Drobonso Sekyere Afram Plains, attended the forum and spoke about the impact CTED trainings have on the community.

December 21, 2015, 1st Annual CTED Ghana Rural Economic Development Forum  (Kumawu, Ghana): Featuring the theme “Unlocking Africa’s Rural Tourism Potential,” the first annual forum convened 300 public and private sector leaders, practitioners, academics, farmers, park rangers, and community stakeholders to explore best practices to expand Africa’s rural tourism potential. Hon. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Ghana’s Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Creative Arts delivered the keynote address where she announced the launch of a partnership between the ministry and NYU Africa House/CTED. Additionally, CTED inaugurated the Kumawu Palace Museum, which showcases cultural heritage documentary films on the research project “Biography of a People,” Kumawu tourism attractions, the wildlife of the Bomfobiri Wildlife Sanctuary, and GIS mapping and agriculture. CTED’s research projects are presented in the museum as part of community outreach and engagement. Yaw Nyarko, Barima Sarfo Tweneboah Kodua (Kumawumanhene, Chief), and Minister Ofosu-Adjare led the dedication of the museum. The program also included a CTED Mobile App Lab, which highlighted the role of technology and mobile apps to spur economic development, showcasing CTED’s apps. CTED-trained farmers demonstrated the apps to guests.

Media:

Unlocking Africa’s rural tourism potential is crucialGhana News Agency, December 23, 2015
The Kumawu Palace Museum,” Ghanaweb, December 30, 2015
Unlocking Africa’s rural tourism potential is crucial,” B & FT Online, December 28, 2015

February 27-28, 2014, International Conference on Food Price Volatility (Rabat, Morocco):With partners OCP Policy Center and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Research Department, CTED sponsored the international conference on “Food Price Volatility: Causes and Challenges.” The program, organized by Yaw Nyarko, Rabah Arezki (IMF), Karim El Aynaoui (OCP Policy Center), and Prakash Loungani (IMF), consisted of the presentation of twelve papers with formal discussants for each paper. Papers from the conference were considered for a special issue of the Oxford Economic Papers, subject to the journal’s normal refereeing process. The purpose of this conference was to discuss new research on the origins of food price volatility and its associated domestic and international challenges.

February 25, 2014, 4th Annual CTED Conference (Abu Dhabi, UAE): CTED’s conference focused on the possibilities for innovative technologies to contribute to economic development in emerging regions, within the areas of: finance, education, energy, agriculture, and health. The event showcased CTED’s ongoing research collaborations in the UAE, Pakistan, India, Ghana, Ethiopia, and the USA. The program brought together scholars, practitioners, distinguished guests, and friends of CTED. The program included presentations by Yaw Nyarko, Tiffany Tong, Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, Nicole Hildebrandt, and Sunandan Chakraborty on topics: “The Economics of the Food Crop Network in a Small Developing Nation (Ghana),” Experience of Designing a Mobile GIS Mapping Tool for Rural Farmers in Ghana,” “Fine-grained Dengue Surveillance with Citizen-Driven Data in Lahore, Pakistan,” “Summarization Search: A New Search Abstraction for Mobile Devices,” and “Information is Power? Impact of SMS-based Market Information System on Farmers in Ghana.”

March 3-4, 2013, 3rd Annual CTED Conference (Abu Dhabi, UAE): CTED’s conference focused on the overarching theme of “Technology and Economic Development” related to agriculture, remittances, health, mapping, and data mining technologies for development. The conference included the presentation of CTED’s findings on “Market Information Systems (MIS) Research Project with Esoko,” “Food Crop Prices and Market Integration,” “The Impact of Commodities Exchanges,” “Tracking Agricultural Crops Across Food Markets,” “Computing Rate of Change in Land Patterns,” “Drought Detection from Data Mining the Web,” “Remittance Analysis Project with the UAE Exchange,” “Energy Research with Simbalink,” “Health Behaviors Study,” “Epothecary: Using Mobile Phones to Reduce the Risk of Fake Pharmaceutical Drugs by Tracking the Supply Chain,” and education research on “Rural Café,” “SMS Find,” and “Web Browsing Interfaces.”

February 10- 11, 2012, 2nd Annual CTED Conference (Abu Dhabi, UAE): Under the theme “Enhancing Economic Development through Technology: Focus on Africa and Other Developing Countries,” the conference was co-sponsored by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade with the keynote address delivered by Minister H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi. The “Mobile Money” panel was organized in partnership with UAE Exchange, a leading global remittance and foreign exchange company and also CTED’s research collaborators and data partners. The “Energy” panel was organized in partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the UAE-based international organization created to promote a rapid transition towards the widespread and sustainable use of renewable energy worldwide. The conference also provided a specific focus on Africa and its development, including a distinguished lecture by H.E. Jerry Rawlings, Former President of the Republic of Ghana and African Union High Representative for Somalia, and the African Union Face for Humanitarian Efforts in the Horn of Africa. The program convened more than 250 guests and was covered by six newspapers (The National, Al Ittihad, Al Khaleej) and eight Emirati news websites. Vice Chancellor Dr. Al Bloom and Provost Dr. Fabio Piano delivered introductory remarks on behalf of NYUAD. The panel on "Mobile Banking and Its Role in Financial Inclusion" included three African Central Bank Governors from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda with leaders from the private sector represented by Herman Chinery-Hesse, Chairman and Co-Founder, SOFTtribe Limited (Ghana), and Sudhir Shetty, COO of Global Operations, UAE Exchange. A salient outcome of this conference was the publication of two volumes in the Journal of African Development on topics presented at the conference – "Africa and the Arab Gulf: A New Economic Alliance?" and "Africa and the Indian Ocean: Trade, Investments, Global Partnerships, and Lessons.”

March 8, 2011, 1st Annual CTED Conference (Abu Dhabi, UAE): With the theme “Enhancing Economic Development Through Technology,” participants explored the question “How can technology help underdeveloped areas around the world?” Researchers and experts from the areas of information technology and economic development presented how cutting-edge technology can be applied to overcome problems in the developing world related to energy, communication, health care, and financial services. Sessions covered topics of: “The Role of Technology in Economic Development,” “Sustainable Development of the Energy Sector: Policy Perspectives,” “Solar Initiatives,” “Applications of ICT,” and “Opportunities and Challenges for International Development Using ICTs in Education.”

 

CTED SEMINARS & WORKSHOPS

NYUAD Development Faculty Seminar Series (Abu Dhabi, UAE): Held from February-May 2018, NYUAD Social Science faculty and CTED-affiliated researchers, were invited to attend the seminars. NYUAD Economics faculty gave presentations on their current research.

October 10, 2013, Dubai Multi-Commodities Center (DMCC) Seminar (Dubai, UAE): CTED staff, researchers, and students attended a presentation by the DMCC at their offices to learn about their business operations. The DMCC was established in 2002 as a strategic initiative of the Government of Dubai, with a mandate to provide the physical, market, and financial infrastructure required to set up and operate a thriving commodities marketplace. Today they are officially recognized as the largest Free Zone in the UAE with over 8,000 registered companies under license.

October 9, 2013, Ministry of Labor Remittances Workshop (Abu Dhabi, UAE): CTED staff and researchers hosted a workshop with 20 academics at the UAE Ministry of Labor to discuss policy research in the UAE and Gulf on labor and mobility issues, minimum wage legislation, and skills and employment of nationals.

June 11, 2013, Seminar on “The Natural Effort to Better One’s Conditions” (New York, NY, USA): Co-hosted by CTED and the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute (NY), Professor Iqbal Z. Quadir, Founder and Director of MIT’s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship, was hosted by Yaw Nyarko for a conversation inspired by the famous Adam Smith quote, “The Natural Effort to Better One’s Conditions.” Iqbal Z. Quadir is a long-time champion of the critical role of entrepreneurship and innovations in creating prosperity in low-income countries. He is an accomplished entrepreneur who, 20 years ago, saw the potential of mobile technology to transform low-income countries. Quadir realized in the early 1990s that the ensuing digital revolution could facilitate the introduction of telephone access throughout Bangladesh, including its rural areas. To make this vision a reality, he established a New York-based company, Gonofone Development Corp (meaning “phones for the masses” in Bengali), and assembled a global consortium of Gonofone, micro-credit pioneer Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, and Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor to create Grameenphone. Grameenphone is now Bangladesh’s leading telecommunications operator providing access to over 35 million subscribers irrespective of their geographic location or economic standing.

June 6-27, 2013, “Building and Sustaining Markets Program” Seminar Series (New York, NY, USA): This weekly seminar hosted by CTED, the Development Research Institute (DRI), and Africa House covered topics such as “Coffee Prices and the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange (ECX) – Building and Sustaining Markets Program” and “Exploring International Coffee Prices and the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange (ECX).” Yaw Nyarko and David Johnson, NYU PhD student in the Department of Economics gave presentations on CTED’s research evaluation of the ECX.

April 23, 2013, “Mobile Health (mHealth): From Smart Phone Apps and Sensor Streams to Behavioral Biomarkers” (New York, NY, USA): Co-hosted by CTED and the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute (NY), Deborah Estrin, a Professor of Computer Science at Cornell Tech campus in New York City and Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College, discussed the most significant health and wellness challenges and the potential of mobile health (mHealth) in addressing chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma to depression, chronic pain, sleep and neurological disorders. She discussed that mHealth can leverage the power and ubiquity of mobile and cloud technologies to monitor and understand symptoms, side effects, and treatment outside the clinical setting, thereby closing the feedback loops of self-care, clinical-care, and personal-evidence-creation.

April 11, 2013, “People, Food and Globalization: Perspectives on the Production, Trade and Consumption of Food in Africa and Beyond” (New York, NY, USA): Yaw Nyarko moderated a discussion on global food consumption and food commodities trade between Dr. Marco Polo Hernandez-Cuevas; a culinary arts chef, gastronome, published scholar and poet; and Dr. Jessica Harris, author of eleven cookbooks documenting the foods and foodways of the African Diaspora.

American University of Sharjah Seminar Series (Sharjah, UAE): Held in 2012-2013, this weekly seminar series was hosted by the American University of Sharjah. CTED PhD students and NYUAD faculty presented at five of the seminars during the Fall and Winter terms.

CTED Seminar Series (Abu Dhabi, UAE): Held weekly from September 11-October 16, 2012, CTED staff and researchers, as well as NYUAD Social Science faculty and CTED-affiliated undergraduates, were invited to attend. CTED PhD students and NYUAD Economics faculty gave workshops on their research.

April 25, 2012, “Setting Up a Commodity Exchange and Doing Business in Africa" (New York, NY, USA): In this lecture highlighting CTED’s commodities research, Yaw Nyarko hosts Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, CEO of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX), to illuminate the tremendous potential and challenges in establishing the ECX.

April 5, 2012, “Alleviating Road Traffic Congestion in the Developing World through Information Technology” (New York, NY, USA): CTED Co-PI and NYU Courant Professor Lakshminarayanan Subramanian delivered a talk on road traffic jams in cities around the world, highlighting those in developing regions. The talk explored the challenges this created – massive delays, increased fuel wastage and monetary losses. Due to the poorly planned road networks, a common outcome in many developing regions is the presence of small critical areas which are common hot-spots for congestion; poor traffic management around these hotspots potentially results in elongated traffic jams. Lakshminarayanan Subramanian discussed CTED’s research to develop methods of analyzing and alleviating traffic congestion in developing cities via CCTV camera feeds.