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Professor Olabisi Akinkugbe awarded SSHRC Insight Development Grant

Posted by Joel Guerin on August 23, 2021 in News, Research, Awards
Professor Olabisi Akinkugbe
Professor Olabisi Akinkugbe

The Schulich School of Law is pleased to announce that Olabisi Akinkugbe, the Viscount Bennett Professor of Law, has won a $45,000 Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant. His research project Illicit Financial Flows, Trade, and the Sustainable Development Conundrum will contribute to the valuable knowledge of curbing illicit financial flows (IFFs) that impeded the sustainable development of African States.

The annual SSHRC Insight Development Grant supports research in its initial stages and enables the development of new research questions and experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches, and ideas. The acceptance of the SSHRC grant builds on Akinkugbe's ongoing research previously supported by the Dalhousie Belong Research Fellowship Award.

Professor Akinkugbe's research interests span international economic law, international human rights law, international investment law, development and law, international courts, and African business laws. He explores these issues from the national, regional, and global contexts. He uses interdisciplinary materials from political science, sociology, international development studies, economics, and history to explore economic development issues and international economic law.

Speaking about the project and this award, Professor Akinkugbe said: "Given that my research focuses on Africa, the SSHRC Insight Development Grant provides significant resources to travel and conduct fieldwork that will potentially bring meaningful insight to the substantive issues I am undertaking. The opportunity to publish the research generated in open access peer-reviewed journals and disseminate them with the impacted core constituencies is a plus.”

The funded research project focuses on the impact of trade-related IFFs on the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Nigeria and Ghana. Unfair trade and activities of business actors that deny countries revenue destabilize developing countries' economic and sustainable development goals. The context, causes, and implications of illicit financial flow and illicit trade for economic integration within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have not been fully explored and demand a critical analysis.

Accordingly, his research project has two principal objectives. The first is to examine the political economy of illicit financial flows in trade relations between Nigeria and Ghana. The second is to investigate the implications of IFFs for intra-African trade and its potentials impacts on the promise of economic integration in Africa. Theoretically and methodologically, the research will draw on the analytical tools of socio-legal scholarship.