Prominent Zambian Economist Dambisa Moyo appointed to the UK’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities

With the murder of George Floyd still painfully raw, and the Black Live Matter Movement continuing to be galvanised, the UK government has put in place a new Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, to “examine the cause of persistent disparities – considering racism and discrimination, as well as other factors including income, gender, age, geography and occupation.”

Zambian economist and celebrated author, Dambisa Moyo is one of the 10 Commissioners appointed by British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to  serve on the Commission, which has been mandated to come up with “evidence-led” findings, to inform a national conversation about race in the United Kingdom.

Harvard and Oxford educated, Dambisa is a renowned author of four international bestsellers, and a respected speaker on international affairs. Last year, Time Magazine listed her as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.   

“Dambisa Moyo is part of a generation of Africans who have studied modern economics and finance and pursued careers in developed economies… Moyo, 40, has written Dead Aid, an indictment of the “development industry” for creating destructive aid dependency in Africa,” her entry on the list read.   

The Commission, which has been received with mixed reactions, will submit its findings to Boris Johnson at the end of next year. The appointment of Tony Sewell as head of the Commission has also not been without controversy.

The Commission will review inequality in the UK, focusing on areas including poverty, education, employment, health and the criminal justice system.

Famous for her outspokenness, the Dead Aid author’s contribution to the Commission and its outcome, will be closely observed and examined.

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The Commission will set out a new, positive agenda for change – balancing the needs of individuals, communities and society, maximising opportunities and ensuring fairness for all. In order to understand why disparities exist, what works and what does not, the Commission will consider detailed quantitative data and qualitative evidence, commissioning new research and inviting submissions where necessary.

Its work will improve the quality of data and evidence about the types of barriers faced by people from different backgrounds to help inform actions and drive effective and lasting change.

A full list of the commissioners can be found here.

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