PhD students

The r4d project currently employs eight PhD students from Universities from five countries doing research and writing their theses on topics related to “Employment Effects of Different Development Policy Instruments”.


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Martha Kibru Melese (Ethiopia)

Martha has BA in Economics and MSc. with specialization in Economic Policy Analysis form Addis Ababa University. She has been working as a Lecturer at the Department of Economics of Addis Ababa University since December 2009. Currently, she is enrolled at PhD level at the same university. Martha is committed and devoted to teaching. Besides her duty of teaching, she has been engaged with different research works in collaboration with colleagues. Her research interests particularly focus on issues related to employment patterns and policies, labor market fragility, the working poor, and poverty reduction through decent employment.

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Kokeb G. Giorgis (Ethiopia)

Kokeb has completed his BA and Msc in Economics from Addis Ababa University, Department of Economics in 2004 and 2008 respectively. He has a keen interest in teaching and research. He has been working as graduate assistant at New Millennium University College, and as lecturer in Arba-Minch University. He has been teaching courses such as Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Development Economics, Econometrics, Labour Economics and Monetary Economics. His research interests particularly focus on issues related to migration, functioning of labour market, international trade, and the performance of Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) in LDCs. Since 2013 he is a PhD student at Addis Ababa University, in the Department of Economics.

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Emmanuel Nii Abbey (Ghana)

Emmanuel Nii Abbey is currently a Ph.D. Candidate and a former Assistant Lecturer at the Department of Economics, University of Ghana. He obtained his M.Phil. (Economics) at the University of Ghana in 2010. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics at the University of Cape Coast in 2007. His areas of specialization are Labour Economics, and Environmental and Natural Resource Economics.

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Wayde Flowerday (South Africa)

Wayde Flowerday completed his Bachelor of Science degree with majors in Computational and Applied Mathematics, and Economic Science at the University of the Witwatersrand, graduating in the top 5 of his class in 2013, as well as receiving a place in the top 10 for a national competition for young South African economists. Completing both a BEconSci Honours, and a MEconSci at the University of The Witwatersrand, Wayde decided to pursue his PhD, and was afforded the opportunity through AMERU and the R4D project. The field of study that most interests him is that of firm level data and dynamics. Having worked on South Africa’s SME Growth Index dataset for 3 years, Wayde has acquired a great deal of knowledge surrounding the South African small, medium, and micro enterprise sector. Furthermore, Wayde has been actively sought out to consult for various enterprises including (but not limited to), the South African Department of Trade and Industry, the United Nations Development Industrial Development Organisation, the South African National Treasury, and the South African Revenue Services.

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Aalia Cassim (South Africa)

Aalia was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. She completed her Bachelors of Commerce degree with majors in economics and law at Wits University. During this time she took part in a national competition for young South African economists, receiving a place in the top 10. She subsequently completed a BEcon Sci Honours degree at Wits University and a Masters degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Aalia is currently a Senior Economist at the National Treasury. Her focus is on competition, regulation, energy and firm dynamics. Her current role allows her to undertake research as well as contribute meaningfully to policy-making in the country. The topic of her PhD at the Wits University is on the casualisation of labour in South Africa employing both firm level data as well as qualitative analysis. One of the main questions that her research will attempt to answer is around the trade-off between firm flexibility and employment protection, in the context of South Africa’s high unemployment rate.

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Huyen Huong Thi Dang (Vietnam)

Dang is a lecturer and PhD candidate at Foreign Trade University. She completed a Bachelor degree of Accounting at the National Economics University in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2001. She then entered the master’s program in Development Economics, which is jointly organized by the National Economics University (Hanoi, Vietnam) and the Institute of Social Studies (The Hague, Netherlands). After the completion of her master degree in 2003, she worked at Industry and Commercial Bank of Vietnam in the areas of credit card and debt collecting. In 2008, she moved to the position as Head of credit risk management department in HANDICO Finance Company. Her PhD thesis focuses on the factors affecting debt access of small and medium-sized enterprises, in Vietnam in general and in Hanoi in particular. To deeply understand these issues, she has investigated the operation and development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam and Hanoi after the “Doi moi” (Renovation process) and will complete a deep survey of more than 200 SMEs in Hanoi later on. She is also interested in doing research on the drivers and constraints of the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in Vietnam in general and in Hanoi in particular. She is author of several published articles in this area.

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Hoang Truong Giang (Vietnam)

Giang is a researcher at the Research Center for Petroleum Economics and Management, Vietnam Petroleum Institute. Giang obtained his Master’s degree in International Law and Economics from the World Trade Institute (University of Bern, Switzerland), and B.A. in International Business Management from Foreign Trade University (Hanoi, Vietnam). Giang has been taking part in various research projects on petroleum economics, strategic management, human resource management and innovation in the petroleum industry. He is also familiar with research in management in the context of globalization and the impacts of international trade on service industries. Giang had experience of working for Vietnam Airlines, where he participated in many strategic projects in the corporation, conducting research on the issues of integration, strategic management and strategic alliance in the global aviation industry. Giang has published extensively in local academic journals and is making effort to publish his recent research results in international peer-reviewed journals. Giang’s research interests include private sector development, strategic management, human resource development and economic growth, international trade, and international business.

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Huong (Daisy) Nguyen (Switzerland)

Daisy completed her Master in International Economics and Finance at the University of Queensland (UQ, Australia) in 2010 and continued to work as the Academic staff at the Foreign Trade University (FTU) in Vietnam. She gave lectures in Microeconomics, and was a teaching assistant for visiting Professors from the Collorado State University. At that time she was also involved in a one-year project managed by the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) in Vietnam. Daisy obtained her Bachelor in Economics at the FTU in 2005 with high distinction.

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