About Us

PRD for Africa promotes policy research and dialogue for Africa’s economic transformation and prosperity.

Policy capability and productive collaborations are a cornerstone for successful economic transformation in Africa.

PRD Africa - About

Workers at eco-industrial hub Hawassa Industrial Park, Ethiopia

Africa’s largest specialized and eco-industrial hub Hawassa Industrial Park, Ethiopia

Workers at eco-industrial hub Hawassa Industrial Park, Ethiopia


a sustained and dynamic transformation of African economies informed by policy research, dialogue, advocacy, and partnerships.


is to support public and private sectors transform African economies through evidence-based policy research and productive dialogue, and collaborative networks and partnerships.

Dr Arkebe Oqubay, Founder of PRD for Africa

Professor Arkebe Oqubay, Founder of PRD for Africa

About Professor Arkebe Oqubay

Senior Minister and Special Adviser to the Ethiopian Prime Minister

Professor Arkebe Oqubay is a Senior Minister and Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and has been at the centre of policymaking for over thirty years. He has served as a chair and vice-chair on the boards of several leading public organizations and international advisory boards. He is the former mayor of Addis Ababa, won the ABN’s Best African Mayor of 2006 award for transforming the city, and was a finalist in the World Mayor Award 2006. Minister Arkebe was presented with Japan’s prestigious award, the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, by the Emperor of Japan in recognition of his distinguished achievements in Africa’s industrialisation and economic transformation. 

He is a Professor of Practice at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa), a visiting professor at Sciences Po (Paris) and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), visiting professional affiliate at Sant’anna School of Advanced Studies (Pisa, Italy), and a distinguished visiting professor at Fudan University (Shanghai). Professor Arkebe is a UNU-WIDER Honorary Research Fellow, a Distinguished Fellow at the London-based think-tank, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and a research associate at the Centre of African Studies in the University of London. He holds a PhD in development studies from SOAS, University of London. 

Professor Arkebe was recognized by the New African as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2016 and a “leading thinker on Africa’s strategic development” for his work on industrialization and industrial policies, both theoretical and practical. His research focuses on core development economics issues, including industrialization and industrial policy, structural transformation and economic catch-up, and global transformation, with a particular interest in developing countries. 

His most recent published works include the path-breaking Made in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2015); The Oxford Handbook of the Ethiopian Economy (Oxford University Press, 2019); How Nations Learn: Technological Learning, Industrial Policy, and Catch-Up (Oxford University Press, 2019); China‒Africa and an Economic Transformation (Oxford University Press, 2019); African Economic Development: Evidence, Theory, and Policy (Oxford University Press, 2020); The Oxford Handbook of Industrial Hubs and Economic Development (Oxford University, 2020); and The Oxford Handbook of Industrial Policy (Oxford University Press, 2020). He authors papers to leading journals and writes commentaries to the Financial Times and Project Syndicate.