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New book explains complex theories on economics, banking, finance in emerging markets

With a creative writing style, a new book launched into Nigerian market recently has simplified the complex theories that define economics, banking and finance in emerging markets and economies, providing everyday examples to make it more relatable

The book, written by Ola Brown, a medical doctor-turned finance and economy expert, addresses the dire need to focus on emerging markets, given that there is very little information on emerging markets.

Brown is an entrepreneur, investor and Founder of the Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company. Though she is not the first to take the audacious step of training as a medical doctor and becoming an authority in a field that she did not start out practicing, she has done well as a finance expert.

Jim Yong Kim, co-founder and executive director of Partners in Health, a nonprofit healthcare organization, is another shining example like Brown. Kim was a practicing medical doctor before assuming position as the 12th President of the World Bank in 2012.

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“My personal journey started when I left medical school, but really wanted to make an impact in African healthcare. The death of my sister in Nigeria at just 12 years old had made me acutely and painfully aware of the challenges with African healthcare systems.

“ I became determined to try to be part of the solution,” Brown said, talking about her transition from medicine to finance and economics as a young business owner in Africa’s largest market, Nigeria.

“But I began to find it increasingly difficult to balance a medical practice with running a growing business. So, after confiding in Sonny Kuku, the first ever Nigerian doctor to list his company on the Nigerian stock exchange and became chairman of one of Africa’s largest banks, I gave up my medical license voluntarily and committed fully to the impact, investment and business journey,” she added.

In pursuit of further education in Finance and Economic Policy, Brown chose to focus her attention on contextualizing theories created for more affluent markets and this led to the publication of her 4th book Economics, Banking and Finance in Emerging Markets.

According to her, emerging markets and economies are more nuanced and complex than available scholarly resources fully articulate, adding that without adequate local knowledge of the complexities in developing economies, the attempt to transpose economic theories and business practices which have been successful in richer countries have turned out to be, most times, disastrous.

“I hope that this book and similar books written by Nigerians, Kenyans, Bangladeshis and Indians will begin to refocus the world on the complexity of entrepreneurship and policy-making in emerging markets,” Brown, a four-time author, said in her opening remarks during the virtual book launch.

In her keynote address, Toyin Sanni, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Emerging Africa Capital Group and Founder, Women in Finance Nigeria, said “Dr Brown educates her readers in plain language about economics, finance and banking concepts, and also challenges them to make more informed decisions based on their knowledge of the interplay between different market forces.”

“I thank and congratulate Brown on her great work and wholly recommend her book to anyone who wants to know more or get fresh perspectives on this topic. I urge everyone of us to think upon, talk about, and more importantly do something about developing our economy and improving the lot not only for ourselves but also of the next Nigerians coming down the lane,” she added.

Sindy Foster, a book reader, serial entrepreneur and Founder, NYLON Marketing, noted that there were so many topics that would directly impact the reader. “It is so topical in terms of the Nigerian economy and the existence that we live daily. You may think that economics is a dry topic, it is not, if you live in Nigeria. You have a civil responsibility to educate yourself on the functioning or otherwise of the Nigerian system,” she said.

The virtual book launch event included a panel session where the subjects of minimum wage, savings in the economy, monetary and credit policies were discussed extensively. The panel, moderated by Tunji Andrews, included Amaka Anku, Director and Practice Lead, Eurasia Group and Chioma Egwim, Economist at FBN Quest.

The book, divided into 4 sections on macroeconomics, microeconomics, the IMF and Banking and Finance, also includes a “how to read this book guide”, explainers and a beautifully rendered sketch note that provides a graphic summary of each section.

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