The honor is named for Joseph “Topps” Wallace, an American entrepreneur who was involved in raising awareness and support in the United States’ African American community for the anti-colonial movement in Kenya in the 1950s.
Mbaku attended the conference to present a paper on effective ways to deal with corruption in Africa. During his presentation, Mbaku stressed that the most effective way for African countries to minimize corruption is for each country to provide itself with institutional arrangements that guarantee the rule of law.
“I hope the award and any recognition that comes from it helps shine a light on the political, social and economic issues that Africans face today,” Mbaku said. “It is important for my students and others to remember that we live in an interconnected world. The more we know and understand about each other, the better our relationship and support for each other’s needs.”
According to the dean of the John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics, Jeff Steagall, students receive a greatly enhanced world view of economics from Mbaku’s outstanding research and teaching.
Mbaku’s books include “The Transition to Democratic Governance in Africa: The Continuing Struggle,” “Multiparty Democracy and Political Change: Constraints to Democratization in Africa,” “Institutions and Development in Africa,” “Culture and Customs of Cameroon,” and “Corruption in Africa: Causes, Consequences, and Cleanups.”
Mbaku joined the faculty in WSU’s John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics in 1991. He earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Georgia and completed his Juris Doctorate from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah.