nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2014‒04‒05
fourteen papers chosen by

  1. Exploring strategic priorities for regional agricultural research and development investments in southern Africa: By Johnson, Michael E.; Benin, Samuel; You, Liangzhi; Diao, Xinshen; Chilonda, Pius; Kennedy, Adam
  2. Agricultural policy processes and the youth in Malawi: By Mapila, Mariam A. T. J.
  3. Impact of Ghana’s agricultural mechanization services center program: By Benin, Samuel
  4. Improved dairy cows in Uganda: Pathways to poverty alleviation and improved child nutrition: By Kabunga, Nassul S.
  5. Natural resources and the spread of HIV/AIDS: curse or blessing? By Olivier C. Sterck
  6. Effects of Business Networks on Firm Growth in a Cluster of Microenterprises: Evidence from rural Ethiopia By ISHIWATA Ayako; Petr MATOUS; TODO Yasuyuki
  7. Closing the gender asset gap: Learning from value chain development in Africa and Asia: By Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Rubin, Deborah; Manfre, Cristina; Waithanji, Elizabeth; van den Bold, Mara; Olney, Deanna K.; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela
  8. Gender, control, and crop choice in northern Mozambique: By de Brauw, Alan
  9. Aid effectiveness: How is the L’Aquila food security initiative doing?: By Benin, Samuel
  10. Fragile African States: What Should Donors Do? By Paul COLLIER
  11. The political economy of Zambia’s recovery: Structural change without transformation?: By Resnick, Danielle; Thurlow, James
  12. Health information, treatment, and worker productivity: Experimental evidence from malaria testing and treatment among Nigerian sugarcane cutters By Andrew Dillon; Jed Friedman; Pieter Serneels
  13. Energy-growth nexus and energy demand in Ghana: A review of empirical studies By Kwakwa, Paul Adjei
  14. Diagnostic de la politique monétaire en Rép. Dém. Congo – Approche par l’Equilibre Général Dynamique Stochastique By Tsasa Vangu, Jean-Paul Kimbambu

  1. By: Johnson, Michael E.; Benin, Samuel; You, Liangzhi; Diao, Xinshen; Chilonda, Pius; Kennedy, Adam
    Abstract: An in-depth quantitative analysis is undertaken in this paper to assist the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat, member countries, and development partners in setting future regional investment priorities for agricultural research and development in the SADC region. A primary goal of this work was to identify a range of agricultural research priorities for achieving sector productivity and overall economic growth in southern Africa, at both the country and regional levels. This is accomplished by adopting an integrated modeling framework that combines a disaggregated spatial analytical model with an economywide multimarket model developed specifically for the region.
    Keywords: Agricultural growth, Markets, Agricultural research, yields, Simulation models, Technology transfer, Yield gap, multimarket model, spatial analysis, technology spillovers, staple crops, priority setting,
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Mapila, Mariam A. T. J.
    Abstract: Evidence exists which shows growing disillusionment with and disinterest in agricultural-based livelihoods among the youth in Africa south of the Sahara. This disillusionment raises concerns for the future of agriculture for the developing world as it can lead to higher rural urban migration, unemployment and lowered agricultural productivity. The engagement of youth in agricultural policy formulation processes is seen as one avenue for motivating youth engagement in agriculture. This research seeks to develop a contextual understanding of the level of engagement of youth in agriculture thus providing evidence which can be used to stimulate youth involvement in the sector. Using a mixed-methods approach, this study analyzes the determinants of the engagement by southern African youth in agricultural policy processes using Malawi as a case study.
    Keywords: Sustainable livelihoods, rural youth, youth, rural areas, youth participation, factor analytic approach, policy process,
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Benin, Samuel
    Abstract: Use of mechanization in African agriculture has returned strongly to the development agenda, particularly following the recent high food prices crisis. Many developing country governments—including Ghana, the case study of this paper—have resumed support for agricultural mechanization, typically in the form of providing subsidies for tractor purchase and establishment of private-sector-run agricultural mechanization service centers (AMSECs). The aim of this paper is to assess the impact of Ghana’s AMSEC program on various outcomes, using data from household surveys that were conducted with 270 farmers, some of them located in areas with the AMSEC program (treatment) and others located in areas without the program (control).
    Keywords: mechanization, productivity, Agricultural development, Agricultural policies, propensity score matching,
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Kabunga, Nassul S.
    Abstract: The introduction and dissemination of improved dairy cow breeds in Uganda is arguably the most significant step taken to develop a modern and commercial dairy industry in the country over the last two decades. This study uses a nationally representative sample of Ugandan households to rigorously examine the impact of adoption of improved dairy cow breeds on enterprise-, household-, and individual child-level nutrition outcomes. We find that adopting improved dairy cows significantly increases milk productivity, milk commercialization, and food expenditure.
    Keywords: Technology adoption, productivity, child nutrition, Poverty, Impact assessment, poverty alleviation, propensity score matching,
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Olivier C. Sterck
    Abstract: This paper answers two questions: “What impact have natural resources had on the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic so far?” and “What role can natural resource rents play in order to finance the long-run response to HIV/AIDS?” Using a panel dataset, de Soysa and Gizelis (2013) provided evidence that oil-rich countries are more deeply affected by the HIV epidemic. They concluded that government of resource-rich countries failed to implement effective public policies for dealing with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In this paper, I show that their results are not robust and are spurious because the dependent variables and explanatory variables considered in their analysis are non-stationary. After correcting for these issues, I find no specific relationship between resource rents and the spread of HIV/AIDS. I conclude by discussing the potential of resources rents for financing the long-term liability brought about by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: HIV/AIDS, natural resources, resource curse, epidemics, spurious regression, non-stationarity
    JEL: I1 I18 E6 Q32
    Date: 2014
  6. By: ISHIWATA Ayako; Petr MATOUS; TODO Yasuyuki
    Abstract: Poverty reduction in rural Africa necessitates diversification of income sources from agriculture to nonfarm activities. Clustering of micro-enterprises in rural areas can promote nonfarm income. This study examines the determinants of growth in sales and skill levels of microenterprises in a tailor cluster in rural Ethiopia, focusing on the role of business networks. We collected panel data, including measures of business networks through procurement, outsourcing, and financing, for three years from 136 firms, the population in the "survival" cluster. The results show that when firms are closer to the center of business networks, i.e., firms are characterized by a higher centrality measure, they are more likely to increase sales. However, although network centrality is also associated with a higher level of tailoring skills, the skill level itself has no significant effect on sales. The finding implies that consumers in the area are not concerned much about the quality of products. Therefore, while expanding business networks can promote sales and skill levels, incentives to upgrade skills are minimal.
    Date: 2014–03
  7. By: Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Rubin, Deborah; Manfre, Cristina; Waithanji, Elizabeth; van den Bold, Mara; Olney, Deanna K.; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela
    Abstract: This paper explores initial findings from four case studies in the Gender, Agriculture, and Assets Project on changes in gender relations in different agricultural interventions. It documents the adaptive measures projects are taking to encourage gender-equitable value chain projects. Findings suggest that the dairy and horticulture value chain cases have successfully increased the stock of both men’s and women’s tangible assets and those assets they own jointly.
    Keywords: Gender, Women, assets, Agricultural development, evaluation, food security, Smallholders, Value chain,
    Date: 2014
  8. By: de Brauw, Alan
    Abstract: This paper studies women’s empowerment in northern Mozambique as it relates to agriculture, considering in particular the factors that lead to women’s managing the plots that they nominally control. Women control about 30 percent of the plots in the data but manage only about 70 percent of those plots. Using a unique panel dataset, the study finds that women are more likely to manage plots when households have historically had access to off-farm labor, typically completed by men.
    Keywords: Gender, Women, Agriculture, Food production, crop choice,
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Benin, Samuel
    Abstract: This paper uses case studies of Bangladesh, Ghana, Rwanda, and Senegal to assess the degree to which the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI) has been implemented within the framework of managing for development results (MfDR) and to evaluate progress in various outcomes, including economic governance, agricultural growth, poverty, and food and nutrition security (FNS).
    Keywords: Agricultural development, Rural development, Development aid, food security, Agriculture, L’Aquila Food Security Initiative, aid effectiveness,
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Paul COLLIER (Blavatnik School of Government)
    Abstract: 1. Introduction Necessarily, all donors will focus increasingly on fragile states. The more successful countries in Africa have achieved growing tax bases and are consequently now gaining access to global capital markets.  For such countries, aid is becoming marginal. In contrast, fragile states, by the nature of their condition, have small tax bases and face risks which deter private capital: for them aid remains potentially important. Not only do donors provide a substantial proportion of government revenues; they bring expertise which is sorely lacking in fragile states; and they change incentives for government both intentionally through the conditions they set, and unintentionally through the revenues and expertise they provide. Donor practices have evolved considerably over recent decades. Donors have gradually learned how to operate effectively in those states which have governments that are reasonably representative of the interests of their citizens, and reasonably competent in managing public spending. In such states budget support free of policy conditions is likely to be the most effective modality for providing aid. Government ownership of an aid program maximizes the benefit from the superior local knowledge that it has, and minimizes interference in the accountability of government to citizens. Unfortunately, fragile states are not usually characterized by the combination of governments that are reasonably representative of the interests of their citizens, and reasonably competent in managing public spending: if they had both of these characteristics they would probably not be fragile. Yet without these characteristics, unconditional budget support is liable to be ineffective and can easily be counterproductive. Donor money is unlikely to be well-spent and can undermine the capacities that the state needs to develop. Donors therefore appear to face a dilemma. If the neediest countries are those in which aid is least effective, in allocating aid between countries the donor is faced with an uncomfortable trade-off between need and effectiveness.
    Date: 2014–03
  11. By: Resnick, Danielle; Thurlow, James
    Abstract: Using the case of Zambia, this paper examines whether structural change translates into reduced poverty and improved social welfare through an empirical and systematic analysis of the country’s growth trajectory during 1991–2010. We find that growth after 2002 was accompanied by positive structural change, but most new jobs were in the low-wage, insecure informal sector in urban areas. Due to the demands of an expanding middle class, construction and high-value services also generated additional jobs, but the share of employment growth from these sectors was small and skewed more toward higher-skilled Zambians. Consequently, for a majority of the population, large-scale social transformation did not follow from structural change.
    Keywords: Economic development, employment, Poverty, Social change, Social welfare, social inequality, populism,
    Date: 2014
  12. By: Andrew Dillon; Jed Friedman; Pieter Serneels
    Abstract: Agricultural and other physically demanding sectors are important sources of growth in developing countries but prevalent diseases such as malaria adversely impact the productivity, labor supply, and occupational choice of workers in these sectors by reducing physical capacity. This study identifies the impact of malaria on worker earnings, labor supply, and daily productivity by randomizing the temporal order at which piece-rate workers at a large sugarcane plantation in Nigeria are offered malaria testing and treatment. The results indicate a significant and substantial intent to treat effect of the intervention – the offer of a workplace based malaria testing and treatment program increases worker earnings by approximately 10% over the weeks following the mobile clinic visit. The study further investigates the effect of health information by contrasting program effects by workers revealed health status. For workers who test positive for malaria, the treatment of illness increases labor supply, leading to higher earnings. For workers who test negative, and especially for those workers most likely to be surprised by the healthy diagnosis, the health information also leads to increased earnings via increased productivity. Possible mechanisms for this response include selection into higher return occupations as a result of changes in the perceived cost of effort. A model of the worker labor decision that includes health perceptions in the decision to supply effort suggests that, in endemic settings with poor quality health services, inaccurate health perceptions may lead workers to misallocate labor thus resulting in sub-optimal production and occupational choice. The results underline the importance of medical treatment but also of access to improved information about one’s health status, as the absence of either may lead workers to deliver lower than optimal effort levels in lower return occupations.
    Keywords: malaria, labor supply, labor productivity, randomized experiment
    JEL: I12 J22 J24 O12
    Date: 2014
  13. By: Kwakwa, Paul Adjei
    Abstract: The paper reviews and assesses empirical studies on the causal relationship between energy and growth, and energy demand in Ghana over the years. It is found through the review that studies have not reached a consensus on the direction of causality between energy and growth, an outcome which could be attributed to the differences in the period for study, source of data and estimation methods. Generally, socioeconomic factors particularly affect demand for energy at the micro level, while the level of industrialization, urbanization, policy regime and industrial efficiency have been identified to influence demand for energy at the macro level. For policy purposes, other areas like intensity of energy use, conservation behavior and willingness to pay for energy services need to be researched into.
    Keywords: Energy consumption; Economic growth; Households, Granger causality; Ghana
    JEL: O1 O13 O4
    Date: 2014–03–24
  14. By: Tsasa Vangu, Jean-Paul Kimbambu
    Abstract: Ce papier se propose d’analyse la dynamique de la politique monétaire en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), en adoptant une approche de modélisation par l’équilibre général dynamique stochastique (DSGE). Le modèle DSGE construit à cet effet considère trois relations macroéconomiques standards ; six catégories d’agents économiques ; trois types de rigidités nominales en plus des rigidités réelles introduites via les habitudes de consommation. Les résultats obtenus à l’issue de nos investigations révèle notamment, que l’écart de production est moins sensible aux variations du taux d’intérêt, ce qui réduit l’impact des effets réels des chocs de la politique monétaire sur la demande globale, et que par ailleurs, l’inflation courante pendant la décennie 2000 a été plus sensible à l’inflation future anticipée qu’à son niveau passé.
    Keywords: DSGE; SVAR; Monetary policy
    JEL: C61 E27 E32 E5
    Date: 2014–04

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