nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2011‒02‒19
sixteen papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. The possibility of a rice green revolution in large-scale irrigation schemes in Sub-Saharan Africa By Nakano, Yuko; Bamba, Ibrahim; Diagne, Aliou; Otsuka, Keijiro; Kajisa, Kei
  2. Persistence of Inflationary shocks: Implications for West African Monetary Union Membership By Alagidede, Paul; Coleman, Simeon; Cuestas, Juan Carlos
  3. ``Ripple" Effects in South African House Prices By Mehmet Balcilar; Abebe D. Beyene; Rangan Gupta; Monaheng Seleteng
  4. Endemic diseases and agricultural productivity: Challenges and policy response By Martine Audibert
  5. Who Gained and Who Lost from Zambia's 2010 Maize Marketing Policies? By Nkonde, Chewe; Mason, Nicole M.; Sitko, Nicholas J.; Jayne, Thomas S.
  6. Why Does cargo spend weeks in African ports ? the case of Douala, Cameroon By Refas, Salim; Cantens, Thomas
  7. Does Community Driven Development Work? Evidence from Senegal By Jean-Louis Arcand; Léandre Bassole
  8. Fiscal Performance and Sustainability of Local Government in South Africa – An Empirical Analysis By Niek Schoeman
  9. The Dilemma of Minerals Dependent Economy: The case of Foreign Direct Investment and Pollution in Nigeria By Kingston, Kato Gogo
  10. Shell Oil Company in Nigeria: Impediment or Catalyst of Socio-Economic Development? By Kingston, Kato Gogo
  11. What determines which children work? Empirical evidence from Kenya By Vimefall, Elin
  12. Trade Patterns and Trade clusters: China, India, Brazil and South Africa in the Global trading system By Silvia Nenci; Luigi Montalbano
  13. Mass media and public services : the effects of radio access on public education in Benin By Keefer, Philip; Khemani, Stuti
  14. The Dynamics of Gang Criminality and Corruption in Nigeria Universities: A Time Series Analysis By Kingston, Kato Gogo
  15. Performances et convergence des politiques économiques : La zone franc en Afrique de l'Ouest By Nasser Ary Tanimoune; Patrick Plane
  16. Can the removal of VAT Exemptions support the Poor? The Case of Niger By Dorothée Boccanfuso; Céline de Quatrebarbes; Luc Savard

  1. By: Nakano, Yuko; Bamba, Ibrahim; Diagne, Aliou; Otsuka, Keijiro; Kajisa, Kei
    Abstract: This paper investigates the potential of and constraints to a rice Green Revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa's large-scale irrigation schemes, using data from Uganda, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Senegal. The authors find that adequate irrigation, chemical fertilizer, and labor inputs are the key to high productivity. Chemical fertilizer is expensive in Uganda and Mozambique and is barely used. This is aggravated when water access is limited because of the complementarities between fertilizer and irrigation. Meanwhile, in the schemes located in four countries in West Africa's Sahel region, where water access is generally good and institutional support for chemical fertilizer exists, rice farmers achieve attractive yields. Some countries'wage rate is high and thus mechanization could be one solution for this constraint. Improvement of credit access also facilitates the purchase of expensive fertilizer or the employment of hired labor.
    Keywords: Crops&Crop Management Systems,Irrigation and Drainage,Water Supply and Systems,Regional Economic Development,Water and Industry
    Date: 2011–02–01
  2. By: Alagidede, Paul; Coleman, Simeon; Cuestas, Juan Carlos
    Abstract: Plans are far advanced to form a second monetary union, the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ), in Africa. While much attention is being placed on convergence criteria and preparedness of the five aspiring member states, less attention is being placed on how the dynamics of inflation in individual countries are (dis)similar. This paper aims to stimulate debate on the long term sustainability of the union by examining the dynamics of inflation within these countries. Using Fractional Integration (FI) methods, we establish that some significant differences exist among the countries. Shocks to inflation in Sierra Leone are non mean reverting; results for The Gambia, Ghana and Guinea-Bissau suggest some inflation persistence, despite being mean reverting. Some policy implications are discussed and possible outstanding policy questions are raised.
    Keywords: Monetary unions; West Africa; stationarity; fractional integration; Inflationary shocks
    Date: 2010–10
  3. By: Mehmet Balcilar (Department of Economics, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, North Cyprus,via Mersin 10, Turkey); Abebe D. Beyene (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Monaheng Seleteng (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the so-called “ripple” effect of house prices in five major metropolitan areas of South Africa, namely, Cape Town, Durban Unicity, Greater Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage and Pretoria, based on available quarterly data covering the period of 1966:Q1 to 2010:Q1. Following the extant literature, we contextualize the issue as a unit root problem, with one expecting the ratios of metropolitan house price to national house price to exhibit stationarity to an underlying trend value, if there is diffusion in house prices. Using Bayesian, parametric non-linear and non-parametric unit root tests, besides the standard linear parametric tests of stationarity with and without structural break, we find the linear unit root tests, with and without structural break, provide quite distinct evidence of the existence of house price diffusion, which, in turn are overwhelmingly supported by the Bayesian unit root tests. With the exception of the large middle-segment for Cape Town, the robustness of the results are confirmed by at least one of the non-linear or non-parametric unit root tests, which have been shown to have very good power properties in the presence of structural breaks and non-linearities or regime-switching. Overall, we find strong and robust evidence of ripple effect in the five major metropolitan areas of South Africa.
    Keywords: House-price ratios, “Ripple” effects, Time series properties, Unit root tests
    JEL: G10 C30 C50
    Date: 2011–02
  4. By: Martine Audibert (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: Contrary to Asian countries, the agricultural sector in Africa had not benefited from the green revolution success. After a long time of disinterest in the agriculture sector in Africa, several voices arise now in favour of greater efforts towards this sector. Several studies tend to show the crucial role of agriculture in African countries' growth and highlight the huge need of increasing the productivity in this sector. If increase in agriculture productivity requires both an expansion of irrigated areas and the adoption of high yield varieties, those innovations and their high development could be the source of negative health (and environmental) effects. Using a mega-analysis, this paper highlights first the links between health, disease and development and then agricultural productivity. The literature review shows that the negative effect of bad health was not systematically checked, and that the intensity of this effect depends of the disease, but also of the work productivity and the existence or not of a coping process. The second part of the paper focused on the development of high intensive agriculture as a risk factor for farmers' and rural inhabitants' health. This survey shows that whether irrigation and fertilizer and pest intensive use could be considered as highly health (and environmental) risk factors, appropriate control measures (such as for examples systematic maintenance of irrigation canals, alternate wetting and drying of irrigated fields or integrated pest management) considerably reduce this risk, while at the same time, increase the agriculture productivity.
    Keywords: agriculture;productivity;endemic disease;health risk factor;Africa
    Date: 2011–02–04
  5. By: Nkonde, Chewe; Mason, Nicole M.; Sitko, Nicholas J.; Jayne, Thomas S.
    Abstract: Zambiaâs record-breaking maize harvest of nearly 2.8 million metric tons (MT) in 2010 is a major achievement and a testimony to what input subsidies, output price incentives, and favorable weather can do to elicit a major supply response. Maize-growing smallholders harvested more than in previous years and so have more to eat. Public markets are currently well stocked with maize grain, to the benefit of urban consumers and maize-buying rural households. Farmers who were able to sell their crop to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) at K65,000 per 50-kg bag, a price well above market levels, have clearly benefited from the bumper crop and FRAâs involvement in maize marketing. The FRAâs high buy price and purchase of nearly 900,000 MT of maize are also likely to have put upward pressure on market prices for maize. As a result, farmers who sold maize to private sector buyers may have benefited indirectly from the FRAâs activities. However, the policies adopted by the Zambian government (GRZ) to handle the 2010 maize bumper crop have produced both winners and losers. This paper examines the key features of the 2010/11 GRZ maize marketing policies and their likely income distributional effects on various stakeholder groups: large-scale farmers, three categories of smallholder households (net sellers of maize, net buyers of maize, and those that neither buy nor sell maize), urban consumers, millers, traders, and government. We then propose a set of alternative policies GRZ could use to manage future maize bumper crops and explore the likely distributional effects of these policies on the various stakeholder groups.
    Keywords: food security, marketing, agricultural policy, zambia, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Marketing,
    Date: 2011–01
  6. By: Refas, Salim; Cantens, Thomas
    Abstract: This paper investigates the main factors explaining long container dwell times in African Ports. Using original and extensive data on container imports in the Port of Douala, it seeks to provide a basic understanding of why containers stay on average more than two weeks in gateway ports in Africa while long dwell times are widely recognized as a critical hindrance to economic development. It also demonstrates the interrelationships that exist between logistics performance of consignees, operational performance of port operators and efficiency of customs clearance operations. Shipment level analysis is used to identify the main determinants of long cargo dwell times and the impact of shipment characteristics such as fiscal regime, density of value, bulking and packaging type, last port of call, and region of origin or commodity group on cargo dwell time in ports is tested. External factors, such as performance of clearing and forwarding agents, shippers and shipping line strategies, also play an important role in the determination of long dwell times. Cargo dwell time distribution has many specificities, including broad-tail, high variance or right-censoring, which requires in-depth statistical analysis prior to any design of policy recommendations.
    Keywords: Common Carriers Industry,Transport and Trade Logistics,Transport Economics Policy&Planning,E-Business,Customs and Trade
    Date: 2011–02–01
  7. By: Jean-Louis Arcand (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Léandre Bassole (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: Community Driven Development (CDD) programs are an extremely important component of the World Bank's portfolio in the developing world, representing close to $7 billion in 2003, yet solid empirical evidence on their impact is relatively scarce, especially for Subsaharan Africa. In this paper, we consider the impact on access to basic services, household expenditures and child anthropometrics of the PNIR (Programme National d'Infrastructures Rurales) CDD project in Senegal using a unique multidimensional panel dataset on rural households that we followed over a two-year period. Using a variety of estimation procedures, including instrumental variables, and working at different levels of aggregation, we find no evidence for an impact of the PNIR on household expenditures, but find statistically significant effects of the program on access by villagers to clean water and health services, as well as on two standard measures of child malnutrition. The latter effects are particularly important, quantitatively, for children in poor households. The identification strategy we adopt in order to assess the impact of completed projects on beneficiary welfare highlights the importance of the role played by village chiefs and sub-regional politics in determining which eligible villages receive projects and which villages do not.
    Keywords: Impact evaluation;Community Driven Development;Multidimensional panel data models
    Date: 2011–02–09
  8. By: Niek Schoeman
    Abstract: This paper analyses fiscal performance in terms of own-revenue collection and sustainability of local municipalities in South Africa. Criteria such as gross value added, revenue collected from own sources, debtors outstanding, the ageing of debt and dependency on grants are considered. The conclusion is that a large number of municipalities do not comply with the requirement that a ‘reasonable’ amount of current expenditures be financed by means of own resources. Furthermore, local government finances are featured by substantial variance as far as collection of own income is concerned. While close to half of them finance more than 50 percent of their current expenditures from own resources, about one third are largely dependent on grants from upper spheres of government and generate less than 20 percent of current expenditures from own resources. As a whole, the fiscal sustainability of the local government sector, given the current scenario of flows, is a reason for concern. In order to comply with international criteria for solid fiscal performance, a number of municipalities will have to improve their performance with regard to own-revenue collection. The reason for this phenomenon seems to be the problem of ‘soft budgets’ and an historic dependence on grants to finance not only capital expenditures but also most, if not all of, current expenditures. Due to historical and political factors, local governments in South Africa differ substantially in terms of potential revenue base, but it may be that in many cases potential revenue is not exploited and that the high level of dependency on grants is the result of inefficiency and lack of political will to be more self-reliant. In view of the wide-spread protest actions against poor quality of service delivery at the local government level, fiscal authorities should take a fresh look at the extent to which these governments are accountable for being more financially independent. This would help prevent the accumulation of debt as a result of growing backlogs in service payments.
    Keywords: Local government; fiscal sustainability; South Africa.
    JEL: H71 H72
    Date: 2011
  9. By: Kingston, Kato Gogo
    Abstract: This study empirically investigates the causal relationship between mineral exploration and environmental pollution in Nigeria with specific focus on natural gas and crude oil in Niger Delta region. The model of Granger causality tests was used. Quarterly data covering 2008 and 2009 were used in accordance with the Akaike (1976) minimum lag length for time-series analysis. The ADF unit root tests show that the null hypothesis of unit root is rejected and, the KPSS stationarity test result accepts the null hypothesis of "stationarity" implying that the variables are fit for the purpose of Granger causality analysis. The test for cointegration show that the variables are cointegrated at the trace level; this imply that gas flaring, environmental pollution and foreign direct investment are statistically linked. The regression on the ordinary least square illustrates that the impact of oil and natural gas exploration on the Nigerian environment is persistent in the long-run. The Granger-causality test result shows that there is one-way causality flowing from the flaring of gas by the foreign firms to the environmental pollution in Nigeria. The study finds a long-run uni-directional causal relationship flowing from mineral exploration to air, soil and water pollution.
    Keywords: Economy; Nigeria; Mineral; Pollution; Africa; Environment
    JEL: D0 K2 F18 K3 D12 F02 Q56 O13 K1 K4
    Date: 2011–01–02
  10. By: Kingston, Kato Gogo
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate whether the She oil company, through investment and crude oil exploration, benefits socio-economic growth in Nigeria in general and in the Niger Delta of Nigeria in particular. In 1998, the United Nations Special Rapporteur's report on Nigeria accused Nigeria and Shell of violating human rights and failing to protect the environment, and called for an investigation into Shell activities in Nigeria. The report condemned Shell for arming the security forces which it regularly deploy to use lethal force civilians that protest against the oil firm.” The paper explores the matrix within which the socio-economic rights (human rights, development rights and environment rights) have been significantly marginalised and the implications of the lack corporate social responsibility and the lack of accountability of Shell to the inhabitants of the Niger Delta of Nigeria. With respect to environmental obligations, the paper discusses how environmental degradation in the Niger Delta has infringed on human rights thereby impeding growth and economic development. The paper suggests possible future directions and initiatives for civil society in making corporations more accountable to states, citizens and the planet.
    Keywords: Shell; Crude oil; Nigeria; Development; Economy
    JEL: K2 K12 K21 K14 K11 K32 K33 K13 K22 K23 K1 K42
    Date: 2010–10–29
  11. By: Vimefall, Elin (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics)
    Abstract: This paper determines which children work and how much children work in Kenya. The results show that the educational level of the head of household is important, but it does not matter if the head has primary or higher education. Social norms have a strong effect on the child’s probability of working and access to the labor market is important. The overall finding is not consistent with the view that it is children from the poorest families who work.
    Keywords: Child labor; Education; Kenya
    JEL: D19 J22 J81 O12
    Date: 2011–02–07
  12. By: Silvia Nenci; Luigi Montalbano
    Abstract: The present paper analyzes the evolution of the specialization and trade patterns of China, India, Brazil and South Africa (CIBS) and other WTO countries. It aims to provide an answer to the following questions: is there a tendency to a multi-polarization of trade patterns? If so, is CIBS’ rise leading to new clusters with or among CIBS or other emerging countries? Also, ultimately, does this multi-polarization have a regional element to it? The paper deals with the above questions by presenting: i) a world map of trade clusters involving WTO countries and CIBS; ii) a comparison of the above clusters and their key characteristics in the last decade; and iii) the key drivers of clusters’ trends. The novelty of this study is twofold: first, it adopts a more comprehensive dataset for a wide range of countries and trade dimensions; second, it provides an evolutionary look at the clusters’ trends. The empirical results do not show neither a remarkable phenomenon of multi-polarization, nor evidence of CIBS as a significant separate group and/or regional agglomeration.
    Keywords: CIBS, trade patterns, trade specialization, cluster
    JEL: F10 F14 F15
    Date: 2011–02
  13. By: Keefer, Philip; Khemani, Stuti
    Abstract: Does radio access improve public service provision? And if so, does it do so by increasing government accountability to citizens, or by persuading households to take advantage of publicly-provided services? Prior research has argued that citizens with greater access to mass media receive greater benefits from targeted government welfare programs, but has not addressed these questions for public services such as in education and health. Using unique data from Benin, this paper finds that literacy rates among school children are higher in villages exposed to signals from a larger number of community radio stations. The effect is identified based on a"natural experiment"in the northern communes of Benin where within-commune variation in village access to radio stations is exogenous to observed and unobserved village characteristics. In contrast to prior research, the authors find that this media effect does not operate through government accountability: government inputs into village schools and household knowledge of government education policies are no different in villages with greater access to community radio. Instead, households with greater access are more likely to make financial investments in the education of their children.
    Keywords: Education For All,Social Accountability,Population Policies,E-Business,Disability
    Date: 2011–02–01
  14. By: Kingston, Kato Gogo
    Abstract: This study contributes to the understanding of the causal relationship between gang culture, criminality and corruption in Nigeria universities where both criminality and corruption are very high complementary variables. Writers on gang culture in Nigeria universities have largely omitted the empirical evaluation of the causal relationship between gang criminality and corruption. This study adopts the time-series models of Granger (1969) to investigate and explain the causality relationship of the variables. Using five years data (2005-2009) from 37 Universities across 36 States of Nigeria and Abuja, the federal capital territory; the results suggest that there is existence of reciprocal relationship between university gang culture, criminality and corruption. The results suggest that there is bi-directional causality relationship flowing between gang criminality and corruption in the universities.
    Keywords: Gang; Corruption; University; Nigeria; Education; Time Series; Criminality; Granger; Unit root; Causal link.
    JEL: K13 K3 K23 K42 K14 K4
    Date: 2010–10–07
  15. By: Nasser Ary Tanimoune (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Patrick Plane (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: L'objectif de ce papier est de faire le point sur l'état de la convergence nominale dans l'Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA). En 1999, les huit pays constitutifs de cette union ont fait vœu d'harmoniser leur politique budgétaire de manière à compléter la gestion commune de la monnaie en conformité avec les exigences de convertibilité du franc CFA. Ce processus de convergence, qui devait initialement aboutir en décembre 2003, à été reporté à fin 2005. L'analyse empirique a été menée en termes de sigma-convergence sur les huit critères que comporte le Pacte, dont le solde budgétaire de base, critère clé. Les résultats mettent en évidence une évolution globalement favorable, mais insuffisante pour espérer l'entrée en phase de stabilité en janvier 2006. Le dispositif suscite des critiques internes, sur la définition des objectifs et la vérifiabilité des résultats, mais également des critiques externes, sur l'engagement de réduction de la pauvreté et l'adéquation de l'UEMOA au concept de zone monétaire optimale.
    Keywords: cerdi
    Date: 2011–02–09
  16. By: Dorothée Boccanfuso (GREDI, Department of Economics Business Faculty Université de Sherbrooke); Céline de Quatrebarbes (CERDI, Université d'Auvergne Clermont 1); Luc Savard (GREDI, Department of Economics Business Faculty Université de Sherbrooke)
    Abstract: In order to have the public funds necessary for its development, Niger is examining the possibility of expanding its VAT tax base to exempted goods and basic food products. This proposal has prompted violent opposition leading to the question of the social impacts of taxation. The first micro-macro computable general equilibrium model of Niger's actual economy has been developed. This model allows analysis of the social impact and distributional analysis of the following VAT structures: a pure VAT structure, a structure maintaining certain exemptions, and a multiple-rate VAT structure. The model’s results shows that although restoring the VAT rate would be socially costly compared to the initial situation, the distributional impact of the VAT differs according to the system implemented in the country. Maintaining VAT exemptions in food crop agriculture sectors associated with a tax base expansion in the remaining sectors will increase public revenue while taking into account the national goal of poverty reduction. The net social impact of exoneration depends on the economic structure of the concerned sector. If the national goal is the end of exemption, the model shows that applying a pure VAT conforming to the theory is preferable in terms of economic growth whereas applying a reduced-rate on food crop agriculture lightens the social impact of the end of exemptions compared to a single rate.
    Keywords: Computable general equilibrium model, micro-simulation, Value Added Tax, exemptions, distributional analysis, Niger
    JEL: D58 E62 H22 I32
    Date: 2011–02–13

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