nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2011‒06‒25
fifteen papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Fiscal capacity and government accountability in sub-Saharan Africa By Baskaran, Thushyanthan; Bigsten, Arne
  2. Dynamics of biosciences regulation and opportunities for biosciences innovation in Africa: Exploring regulatory policy brokering By Kingiri, Ann; Hall, Andy
  3. Linking farmers to markets through valorisation of local resources:the case for intellectual property rights of indigenous resources By Bienabe, Estelle; Bramley, Cerkia; Kirsten, Johann; Troskie, Dirk
  4. Nudging Boserup? The impact of fertilizer subsidies on investment in soil and water conservation By Vondolia, Godwin K.
  5. Working Paper 17-10 - A macro-econometric model for the economy of Lesotho By Ludovic Dobbelaere; Igor Lebrun
  6. Malnutrition, Subsequent Risk of Mortality and Civil War in Burundi By Philip Verwimp
  7. Why Use ROSCAs When You Can Use Banks? Theory and Evidence from Ethiopia By Kedir, Abbi M.; Disney, Richard; Dasgupta, Indraneel
  8. Beyond knowledge brokerage: An exploratory study of innovation intermediaries in an evolving smallholder agricultural system in Kenya By Kilelu, Catherine W.; Klerkx, Laurens; Leeuwis, Cees; Hall, Andy
  9. Mobile Banking: The Impact of M-Pesa in Kenya By Isaac Mbiti; David N. Weil
  10. Double, Double Toil and Trouble: An Investigation on Occult Forces Expenditures in Southern Benin By Philippe Lemay-Boucher; Vincent Somville; Joël Noret
  11. Unequal Property Rights: A study of land right inequalities in Rwanda By Isaksson, Ann-Sofie
  12. Quel enseignement supérieur pour une meilleure insertion professionnelle au Bénin ? By SENOU, Barthélemy Mahugnon
  13. Challenges of formal social security systems in Sudan By Mohamed, Issam A.W.
  14. Daily Collectors, Public Good Provision and Private Consumption: Theory and Evidence from Urban Benin By Vincent Somville
  15. Optimization of hydroelectric power generation, case study of Roseires Dam in Sudan By Mohamed, Issam A.W.

  1. By: Baskaran, Thushyanthan (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Bigsten, Arne (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Historical evidence from the developed world suggests that the expansion of the mod- ern states’ fiscal capacity (i. e. its ability to tax citizens) eventually led to more democratic and less corrupt governments. Since sub-Saharan African countries are currently in a pro- cess of state building, we study whether a positive effect of fiscal capacity on government accountability prevails in contemporaneous sub-Saharan Africa, too. We conduct the em- pirical analysis with data covering 23 African countries over the 1960-2008 period. The results suggest that fiscal capacity increases government accountability in sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: Fiscal capacity; taxation; government accountability; democracy
    JEL: H20 O23 P14
    Date: 2011–06–15
  2. By: Kingiri, Ann (RIU); Hall, Andy (RIU, LINK, Open University, and UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: Knowledge brokering has been explored in the innovation literature to understand how different innovation tasks are organised toward technological development. This paper reflects upon the role of different organisations as knowledge brokers in regulatory policy processes towards putting biosciences research into use. It identifies a practical function-based typology that describes four categories of policy brokers who perform different tasks, with the potential to impact biosciences regulatory policy change. The paper concludes with a brief exploration of how policy can support the different functions of regulatory policy brokerage to enhance the translation of biosciences research into use for the benefit of the poor. Using regulatory policy-making in Kenya as an example, it contributes to growing scholarship that seeks to link knowledge emanating from research with policy-making and economic development, particularly in an African context.
    Keywords: Biosciences, Biotechnology Regulation, Knowledge Brokers, Policy Brokering, Africa, Kenya
    JEL: L26 L33 N57 O13 O19 O32 O33 O55 P48 Q12 Q16 Q28
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Bienabe, Estelle; Bramley, Cerkia; Kirsten, Johann; Troskie, Dirk
    Abstract: This is the scientific report from a research programme which explored the current lack of a suitable public system for protecting GIs in Southern Africa. In contrast to the European Union, the current South African legal framework only provides for the protection of GIs as collective and, in certain circumstances, as certification trademarks. The lack of a public system through which to valorize GIs was identified as excluding resource poor farmers (but also commercial larger scale farmers) from a potentially useful tool for improving their market access. The need for a public system of protection also emanates from the significance of the wild resources found in South Africa and Namibia, which are often the only source of income for resource poor communities and which is threatened by bio‐piracy. It thus appeared important to assess the merits of developing an institutional framework for protecting GIs in Southern Africa and to evaluate the needs for a sui generis legal system. Secondly, an analysis was done of the local dynamics based on specific agro‐food products. Two central questions were therefore addressed in this study: "How can local communities successfully protect their resources and differentiate their production through GIs?" and "What is the nature and extent of the required institutional and legal framework to achieve this objective?”.
    Keywords: Geographical indications; indigenous resources; intellectual property rights; collectivae action; Southern Africa
    JEL: Q13 O13
    Date: 2011–04
  4. By: Vondolia, Godwin K. (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: The new fertilizer subsidies in Sub-Saharan Africa are intended to increase agricultural production and ensure fertilizer market development. Fertilizer adoption requires complementary inputs such as investment in soil and water conservation for efficient and optimal nutrient uptake, and many fertilizer subsidy programmes implicitly assume that fertilizer subsidies crowd in such investments. The present study, therefore, evaluates the impact of fertilizer subsidies on the provision of soil and water conservation efforts in Ghana. The results indicate that beneficiaries of the studied fertilizer subsidy programme do not invest significantly more in soil and water conservation, which advises against excessive reliance on farmers to respond to fertilizer subsidies with substantial investment in soil and water conservation. Thus, in order to achieve increased investment in soil and water conservation for sustainable agricultural development, more comprehensive measures that include these investments explicitly (such as integrated soil fertility management programmes) may be needed.
    Keywords: soil and water conservation; soil fertility; fertilizer subsidy; endogenous switching
    JEL: N57 Q15 Q18
    Date: 2011–06–15
  5. By: Ludovic Dobbelaere; Igor Lebrun
    Abstract: The Federal Planning Bureau took part, in collaboration with the German institute diw Berlin, in a technical assistance project aimed at developing different modelling approaches for the economy of Lesotho, a small country landlocked within the territory of South Africa. This paper summarises the major characteristics of the macro-econometric model that was elaborated in the context of this project. The modelling strategy relies on its complementarities and interactions with the so-called ‘Financial Programming', implemented by other partners of the project team. In addition, the paper presents a baseline up to the fiscal year 2012/2013 as well as an alternative scenario in which public expenditures are reduced in response to the expected decrease in customs receipts.
    JEL: C5 E6
    Date: 2010–10–20
  6. By: Philip Verwimp
    Abstract: The paper investigates the effect of child malnutrition on the risk of mortality in Burundi, a very poor country heavily affected by civil war. We use anthropometric data from a longitudinal survey (1998-2007). We find that undernourished children, as measured by the height-for-age z-scores (HAZ) in 1998 had a higher probability to die during subsequent years. In order to address the problem of omitted variables correlated with both nutritional status and the risk of mortality, we use the length of exposure to civil war prior to 1998 as a source of exogenous variation in a child’s nutritional status. Children exposed to civil war in their area of residence have worse nutritional status. The paper finds that one year of exposure translates into a 0.15 decrease in the HAZ, resulting in a 10% increase in the probability to die for the whole sample as well as a 0.34 decrease in HAZ per year of exposure for boys only, resulting in 25% increase in the probability to die. We show the robustness of our results. Food and income transfer programs during civil war should be put in place to avoid the long-term effects of malnutrition.
    Keywords: malnutrition; mortality; children; war; Africa; instrumental variables
    Date: 2011–06
  7. By: Kedir, Abbi M. (University of Leicester); Disney, Richard (University of Nottingham); Dasgupta, Indraneel (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta)
    Abstract: Much of the existing literature on the use of informal credit arrangements such as ROSCAs (Rotating and Credit Saving Associations) theorises the use of such institutions as arising from market failures in the development of formal saving and credit mechanisms. As economic development proceeds, formal institutions might therefore be expected to displace ROSCAs. We show, using household data for Ethiopia, that in fact use of formal institutions and ROSCAs can co-exist, even in the same household. We examine usage of both formal and informal institutions across the household income gradient, and provide a theoretical model consistent with these empirical facts.
    Keywords: household saving, credit institutions, ROSCAs, Ethiopia
    JEL: O16 O17
    Date: 2011–06
  8. By: Kilelu, Catherine W. (RIU, Communication and Innovation Studies Group, Wageningen University); Klerkx, Laurens (Communication and Innovation Studies Group, Wageningen University); Leeuwis, Cees (Communication and Innovation Studies Group, Wageningen University); Hall, Andy (RIU, LINK, Open University, and UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: The recognition that innovation occurs in networks of heterogeneous actors and requires broad systemic support beyond knowledge brokering has resulted in a changing landscape of the intermediary domain in an increasingly market-driven agricultural sector in developing countries. This paper presents findings of an explorative case study that looked at 22 organisations identified as fulfilling an intermediary role in the Kenyan agricultural sector. The results show that these organisations fulfill functions that are not limited to distribution of knowledge and putting it into use. The functions also include fostering integration and interaction among the diverse actors engaged in innovation networks and working on technological, organisational and institutional innovation. Further, the study identified various organisational arrangements of innovation intermediaries with some organisations fulfilling a specialised innovation brokering role, even as other intermediaries take on brokering as a side activity, while still substantively contributing to the innovation process. Based on these findings we identify a typology of 4 innovation intermediation arrangements, including technology brokers, systemic brokers, enterprise development support and input access support. The results indicate that innovation brokering is a pervasive task in supporting innovation and will require policy support to embed it in innovation support arrangements. The paper is not normative about these arrangements.
    Keywords: Smallholder agriculture, innovation intermediaries, agriculture innovation, knowledge brokers, Kenya
    JEL: L26 L32 N5 N57 O13 O19 O31 O32 O55 Q12 Q13 Q16
    Date: 2011
  9. By: Isaac Mbiti; David N. Weil
    Abstract: M-Pesa is a mobile phone based money transfer system in Kenya which grew at a blistering pace following its inception in 2007. We examine how M-Pesa is used as well as its economic impacts. Analyzing data from two waves of individual data on financial access in Kenya, we find that increased use of M-Pesa lowers the propensity of people to use informal savings mechanisms such as ROSCAS, but raises the probability of their being banked. Using aggregate data, we calculate the velocity of M-Pesa at between 11.0 and 14.6 person-to-person transfers per month. In addition, we find that M-Pesa causes decreases in the prices of competing money transfer services such as Western Union. While we find little evidence that people use their M-Pesa accounts as a place to store wealth, our results suggest that M-Pesa improves individual outcomes by promoting banking and increasing transfers.
    JEL: E40 O16 O33
    Date: 2011–06
  10. By: Philippe Lemay-Boucher (Heriot-Watt University); Vincent Somville; Joël Noret (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
    Abstract: In many African societies, beliefs in `occult forces' play a crucial role in mobilizing powerful social energies. Anthropologists, and more recently economists, have also stressed the importance of magico-religious practices in supporting redistributive norms and the important role played by these norms in (and against) economic development. This study is the first to use quantitative evidence about the recourse to magico-religious protection. We measure expenditures in protection, using first-hand data collected in Benin. These expenditures are widespread and independent of people's education, religion and ethnicity. They are as high as 6% of the household head's income, and 4,5% of the total household income, on average, and exceed the expenditures made on important items such as school furnitures or electricity. We show that the main factors that affect the recourse to magico-religious protection are economic success and the death of relatives, colleagues or friends. Moreover, we find that redistribution of income and protection are substitutes: economically successful people who do not make gifts to their relatives and acquaintances tend to resort more heavily to magico-religious protection.
    Date: 2011–04
  11. By: Isaksson, Ann-Sofie (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: The aim of the present paper is to examine the existence and patterns of systematic within-country inequalities in effective land rights in Rwanda. The results of empirical estimations drawing on data on the land tenure arrangements of over 5,000 Rwandan households indeed suggest systematic within-country inequalities in land rights, with households headed by women or young individuals, households that have been displaced due to conflict, and households in the Imidugudu village settlements reporting significantly weaker rights than their respective comparison groups. The observed inequalities are not only the result of variation in tenure arrangements, but also exist when comparing households cultivating plots under similar land tenure regimes. Finding within-country inequalities in effective property rights highlights the need to – unlike much of the quantitative literature in the field – carefully evaluate how property rights apply to different segments of a country’s population. For Rwanda, which is in the process of implementing an extensive land reform, this is especially relevant.
    Keywords: property rights; land rights; inequality; Rwanda
    JEL: D02 K11 O12 O55 Q15 R14 R52
    Date: 2011–06–15
  12. By: SENOU, Barthélemy Mahugnon
    Abstract: This article aims to identify factors that influence the integration of graduates of higher education on the labor market in Benin. To this end, we adopted a methodology based on an analysis of empirical data collected from graduates from universities and higher education centers over the past decade. Processing and analysis of results show the mismatch between training opportunities in higher education in Benin, and constraints related to employability of graduates. Among these constraints is the lack of professional training, poor quality of education both in public universities than in private higher education centers and the lack of multidisciplinary graduate.
    Keywords: marché du travail; emploi; insertion professionnelle ; adéquation ; chômage ; formation professionnelle.
    JEL: E24
    Date: 2011–02
  13. By: Mohamed, Issam A.W.
    Abstract: The present paper discusses issues of challenges of social security systems in Sudan. Following parameters advanced by ILO and UNCOSOC, those systems are analyzed. The conclusions focus on their applicability that faces axial difficulties mainly presented in the state of institutional interregnum facing the country. Moreover, it is important to revisit aspects of social cohesion that serves greater role in traditional social security in the Sudan.
    Keywords: Sudan;institutional interregnum; Social Cohesion; Social Security
    JEL: D0 H55 A13 A12 A19 D02 H5 A10 A14
    Date: 2011
  14. By: Vincent Somville (Center for Research in the Economics of Development, University of Namur)
    Abstract: Daily collectors operate worldwide; they charge a fee in exchange for the collection of their client's deposits. The clients recover their savings after one month. With a negative nominal return of -3.3% per month, the service is quite expensive but nonetheless prevalent among the very poor. The economic literature so far emphasizes two motives for making deposits: (i) it is safer than bringing the money home, (ii) people want to commit to save. I argue that in addition to these two motives, people make deposits in order to reduce their contribution to the household's expenses and increase their private consumption. This intra-household motive is first modelled and then tested using a unique panel data set collected in Benin. The panel structure of the data allows me to isolate the effect of the third motive. Additionally, I show that daily collectors enable women to make more gifts to their children and acquaintances, and allow men to reduce those gifts and their participation to household's public goods. There is large positive effect of the deposits on people's purchase of new clothes, and making deposits increases women's expenditures on frivolous goods by 200% to 300%. Finally, the commitment motive appears to be an important determinant of men's deposits.
    Keywords: Intra-household, deposit collectors, micro-savings, non-cooperative household's members, public good provision, commitment
    Date: 2011–04
  15. By: Mohamed, Issam A.W.
    Abstract: Water reservoirs are large pools of water created stream or river catchment's areas and torrential rains and for storing water for use in many ways, and perhaps electric power generation is one of the most important uses of these reservoirs and for agriculture. That is extremely beneficial considering a rare and limited economic resources. Applied stochastic processes model has been applied in the work of Roseires dam, in order to develop a system to generate the highest possible power in the resources available. The current paper aims to apply another model, which is a dynamic programming model to verify the possibility of developing the same system and thus generate the highest possible electricity from the reservoir. Data collected from the Ministry of Irrigation and the National Electricity Cooperation and international information network during the years 2006-2007.
    Keywords: Englsih
    JEL: C00 C0 C40 A10 C01 C80
    Date: 2011

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