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PRISM Researchers

  • Anthony Black

    Anthony Black is the Director of PRISM and Professor in the School of Economics. He is also a Senior Research Fellow in the Environmental Policy Research Unit (EPRU). He was Director of the School of Economics from 2003-2005. He has published widely in the fields of industrial policy and the automotive industry, trade, regional integration, foreign direct investment and employment. He was a leading advisor to the South African government on its programme to develop the automotive industry. Black has also acted as an advisor or consultant to a number of other African governments as well as to international organisations including UNIDO and UNCTAD. Research collaborations or fellowships with institutions internationally have included the International Motor Vehicle Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Centre for New and Emerging Markets (London Business School); Groupe d’Etudes et de Recherche Permanent surl'Industrie et les Salaries de l'Automobile (GERPISA) in Paris; the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) in Helsinki and the United Nations University Institute for New Technology (UNUIntech) in Maastricht. His books include an edited volume entitled Towards Employment-intensive Growth in South Africa (2016) and Value Chains in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges of Integration into the Global Economy (2019). He holds a PhD from the University of Cape Town.   

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  • Jing Woei Chien

    Jing is an Assistant Lecturer in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town. He is also the Research Coordinator of Policy Research in International Services and Manufacturing (PRISM) research unit. He holds a Masters of Commerce degree in economics from the University of Cape Town. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Economics at the University of Cape Town. His research interests include international trade, development economics, finance and banking, behavioural economics and industrial policy. 

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  • John Paul Dunne

    J Paul Dunne is Emeritus Professor of Economics and Associate of SALDRU, in the School of Economics, University of Cape Town and Emeritus Professor at the University of the West of England, Bristol. He has worked at the British University in Egypt and the Universities of Middlesex, Leeds, Cambridge, Warwick and London. An applied economist, his main area of research is the economics of peace, security and military spending. He edits the Economics of Peace and Security Journal with Jurgen Brauer and Mike Brown and is a Fellow of Economists for Peace and Security (EPS). Links to many of his publications are available at his RepEc webpage(https://ideas.repec.org/e/pdu43.html#person), where he is ranked in top 5% worldwide and 3rd in South Africa. 

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  • Lawrence Edwards

    Lawrence Edwards is a Professor in the School of Economics, University of Cape Town, and a Research Associate at the South African Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), Policy Research on International Services and Manufacturing (PRISM) and the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA). Lawrence is a graduate of the University of Cape Town where he completed his PhD, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Rhodes University. Lawrence’s research interests focus on international trade, trade policy, firms and labour markets. He is the author (with Robert Lawrence) of Rising Tide: Is Growth in Emerging Economies Good for the United States and has published articles in World Development, Review of International Economics, Journal of International Development, Economics of Transition and Harvard Business Review. He has consulted widely on trade policy issues for the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the International Growth Centre, the OECD, the Southern African Development Community Secretariat and various governments in Africa, including South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Zambia.


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  • Lukasz Grzybowski

    Lukasz Grzybowski is a Professor within the School of Economics. His research is focused on microeconomics and industrial organization with a particular emphasis on network industries, telecommunications, Internet and digital markets. He has published in a number of international journals, including the International Journal of Industrial Organization, Journal of Industrial Economics, Review of Industrial Organization, Journal of Regulatory Economics, Economic Inquiry, Information Economics and Policy, Telecommunications Policy and others. He acts as an Editor in Chief of Review of Network Economics. He has previously worked and consulted with international and South African institutions, including the UK Competition Commission, European Commission, and South African Competition Commission.


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  • 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).


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  • David Kaplan

    David Kaplan is an economist who has been at the University of Cape Town for more than 37 years. Prior to that he taught at the University of Massachusetts. He has undertaken work for inter alia the World Bank: the African Development Bank; the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. He has held positions in government and a number of governmental agencies. Inter alia he was Chief economist of the Department of Trade and Industry; 2000-2003. Chief Economist (part-time), Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Provincial Government of the Western Cape, 2004-2011. He served on the Presidential Commission to Investigate the Development of a Comprehensive Labour Market Policy and on the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI) and has recently completed a four year term as a board member of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). His primary research and engagement in policy are in the broad areas of innovation and technological change.

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  • Refilwe Lepelle

    Refilwe is a Lecturer in the School of Economics, University of Cape Town. She is also a Graduate Associate at South African Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU). She worked in the private sector and then at South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) as an industry analyst. She completed her Masters in economics at the University of Witwatersrand. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Economics at the University of Cape Town. Her research interests include international trade, labour markets, development economics and gender. 

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  • Mike Morris

    Mike Morris is Emeritus Professor within the School of Economics and and Honorary Research Associate in the IDS at the University of Sussex. Prior to this was the founder and Head of School of Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal from 1995 – 2002. His recent research, policy activities and publications have focused on the dynamics of global value chains, industrial restructuring and international competitiveness, sector analysis, industrial clusters, renewable energy, and industrial policy. During his career he has published over 75 articles in journals such as: World Development, European Journal of Development Research, Competition and Change, Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford Development Studies, Geoforum, International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, Institute of Development Studies Bulletin and others. He has also published over 35 book chapters, and one book. Morris has undertaken research and policy work for a number of international organisations such as, World Bank, ILO, DANIDA, UNIDO, UNCTAD, and ITC. He has been the recipient of a number of major international research grants and managed or participated in a large number of research projects. Most recently, last ten years, amongst others these include: ‘Tendering Sustainable Transitions on Renewable Energy in South Africa’ (DANIDA funded); Value Chain and Cluster Development Component for Local Economic Development Assistance Programme in iLembe, KwaZulu-Natal’ (UNIDO-SECO funded); ‘The Political Economy of Renewable Energy in South Africa’ (IDS – DFID funded); ‘Developing Industry Clusters and Supply Chains to support Diversification and Sustainable Development of Exports in Africa’ (African Export/Import Bank funded); ‘Reaping the Benefits of Value Addition in the Commodities Sector in Africa’ (United Nations Economic Commission on Africa funded); ‘Making the Most of Commodities Program for Africa – industrialization and linkages’ (IDRC funded); ‘Asian Drivers (China) Impact on Africa’ (funded by Rockefeller Foundation and the International Development Research Centre of Canada).

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  • Michael Smith

    Michael Smith is an Assistant Lecturer in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He holds an M.Phil in Politics, Economics and Philosophy from the University of Cape Town and is currently a doctoral candidate in Sociology at York University in Toronto, Canada. Michael was previously the Deputy Director of the Institute for African Alternatives (IFAA). His research interests include industrialisation in Africa, political economy, development economics, and economic and social theory and history. 


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  • Djiby Thiam

    Djiby Thiam is Associate Professor within the School of Economics. His research focuses on environmental and resources economics, green industrial development, agricultural industrialisation and agricultural value chain in Africa. He has published in a number of international journals including Agriculture and Food Economics, Agroforestry Systems, Water Economics and Policy, Water Resources and Economics, Energy Policy, Water Policy to name just a few. He is a member of the editorial board of the highly influential academic journal Water Economics and Policy. He has consulted for the United Nations. He is leading and co-leading various national and international projects funded by various institutions in South Africa (NRF, GCGC) and Canada (IDRC). 


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