nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2014‒08‒16
eleven papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Land Grab in Africa: A Review of Emerging Issues and Implications for Policy Options By Ayodele F. Odusola
  2. Does Gender Diversity on board lead to Risk-Taking? Empirical Evidence from Tunisia By Nadia Loukil; Ouidad Yousfi
  3. Climate Change, Hydro-dependency and the African Dam Boom By Matthew A. Cole; Robert J.R. Elliott; Eric Strobl
  4. Transitions in a West African Labour Market: The Role of Family Networks By Nordman, Christophe Jalil; Pasquier-Doumer, Laure
  5. This Mine is Mine! How minerals fuel conflicts in Africa By Nicolas Berman; Mathieu Couttenier; Dominic Rohner; Mathias Thoenig
  6. Eroded Coffee Traceability and Its Impact on Export Coffee Prices for Ethiopia By Leonard Leung
  7. Remittances and sustainability of family livelihoods in Zimbabwe: Case Study of Chegutu Town By Syden Mishi and Lilymore Mudziwapasi
  8. The Good African Society Index By Ferdi Botha
  9. Aid and institution-building in fragile states: The case of Somali-inhabited eastern Horn of Africa By Menkhaus, Ken
  10. Aid and the environment: The case of Botswana By Juana, James S.
  11. Foreign aid effectiveness in African economies: Evidence from a panel threshold framework By Alia, Didier Yelognisse; Anago, Romuald E. Kouadio

  1. By: Ayodele F. Odusola (MDG and Development Policy Adviser, UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, New York)
    Abstract: Over the past decade, large-scale land acquisition in Africa has become quite intense, especially in DRC, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia. While African countries are motivated by the need to transform the agricultural sector and diversify their economies, the urge to meet the needs of future food and biofuel security, among others, underpins foreign interest. This divergence of interest makes the realisation of the prospective benefits elusive in Africa. Maximsing the benefits of large-scale land acquisition requires bold actions against the following structural impediments: (i) weak land governance and a failure to recognise, protect and properly compensate local communities? land rights; (ii) lack of country capacity to process and manage large-scale investments; (iii) foreign investors? proposals that are inconsistent with local and national visions; (iv) resource conflict with negative distributional and gender effects; and (vii) inadequate capacity to assess the social, economic and environmental impact of the project on local communities. This paper suggests a 10-point agenda for maximising the benefits of the land grab in Africa. (?)
    Date: 2014–04
  2. By: Nadia Loukil; Ouidad Yousfi
    Abstract: The current paper studies the impact of board gender-diversity on firm risk-taking in a developing market. Our study is drawn on a sample of 30 Tunisian listed firms between 1997 and 2010. First, we found that women have a risk perception that leads to a risk avoidance behavior: the presence of women directors, even when there is one woman director, is positively associated with cash ratio. Second, we showed no significant relationship between gender-diversity on board and the propensity to take risk when we considered other measures of risk-taking (strategic and financial). Third, State officer/bureaucratic and politically connected women have a positive effect on cash holding and investment opportunities. Finally, foreign investors do not invest in firms with gender-diverse boards.
    Keywords: Corporate Governance, Gender-Diversity, Board of directors, Risk-Taking, Emerging economy
    Date: 2014–07–24
  3. By: Matthew A. Cole; Robert J.R. Elliott; Eric Strobl
    Abstract: We examine Africa’s increasing reliance on hydropower in light of climate change induced variations in rainfall and the potential power outages that may result. We use a continent wide riverflow model and IPPC climate change scenarios and show that current plans for African dam building are fairly well matched with river-flow predictions so that fears that international donors and national governments are making a series of expensive and environmentally damaging investments may be overstated. However, predictions of an increase in extreme events and reduced rainfall for certain countries means there are still viability concerns for certain planned hydropower investments.
    Keywords: Hydropower, Climate change, Africa, Energy
    Date: 2014–07–24
  4. By: Nordman, Christophe Jalil (IRD, DIAL, Paris); Pasquier-Doumer, Laure (IRD, DIAL, Paris)
    Abstract: This paper sheds light on the role of family networks in the dynamics of a West African labour market, i.e. in the transitions from unemployment to employment, from wage employment to self-employment, and from self-employment to wage employment. It investigates the effects of three dimensions of the family network on these transitions: its structure, the strength of ties and the resources embedded in the network. For this purpose, we use a first-hand survey conducted in Ouagadougou on a representative sample of 2000 households. Using event history data and very detailed information on family network, we estimate proportional hazard models for discrete-time data. We find that family networks have a significant effect on the dynamics of workers in the labour market and that this effect differs depending on the type of transition and the considered dimension of the family network. The network size appears to not matter much in the labour market dynamics. Strong ties however play a stabilizing role by limiting large transitions. Their negative effect on transitions is reinforced with high level of resources embedded in the network.
    Keywords: family network, labour market dynamics, event history data, survival analysis, Burkina Faso
    JEL: D13 J24 L14
    Date: 2014–07
  5. By: Nicolas Berman; Mathieu Couttenier; Dominic Rohner; Mathias Thoenig
    Abstract: This paper studies empirically the impact of mining on conflicts in Africa. Using novel data, we combine geo-referenced information over the 1997-2010 period on the location and characteristics of violent events and mining extraction of 27 minerals. Working with a grid covering all African countries at a spatial resolution of 0.5 x 0.5 degree, we find a sizeable impact of mining activity on the probability/intensity of conflict at the local level. This is both true for low-level violence (riots, protests), as well as for organized violence (battles). Our main identification strategy exploits exogenous variations in the minerals' world prices; however the results are robust to various alternative strategies, both in the cross-section and panel dimensions. Our estimates suggest that the historical rise in mineral price observed over the period has contributed to up to 21 percent of the average country-level violence in Africa. The second part of the paper investigates whether minerals, by increasing the financialcapacities of fighting groups, contribute to diffuse violence over time and space, therefore affecting the intensity and duration of wars. We find direct evidence that the appropriation of a mining area by a group increases the probability that this group perpetrates future violence elsewhere. This is consistent with "feasibility" theories of conflict. We also find that seccessionist insurgencies are more likely in mining areas, which is in line with recent theories of secessionist conflict.
    Keywords: Minerals, Mines, Conflict, Natural Resources, Rebellion
    JEL: C23 D74 Q34
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Leonard Leung (Department of Economics, Queen’s University, Canada)
    Abstract: In December 2008, the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) opened a new coffee platform that has transformed Ethiopia’s coffee trade. The way ECX handles coffee in a commodity fashion has eroded traceability, a characteristic sought after by overseas coffee buyers. This paper traces the forces that give rise to the commoditization of coffee. An empirical analysis using a dataset on export coffee transactions supports the view that eroded traceability suppresses the export price of non-traceable, ECX-sourced coffee, relative to fully traceable coffee. The cumulative monetary is estimated to be 280 million USD, equivalent to 26% of farmer’ farm gate income from coffee.
    Keywords: Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, Ethiopian coffee, coffee traceability, commoditization
    JEL: C12 D80 Q17 Q28
    Date: 2014–02
  7. By: Syden Mishi and Lilymore Mudziwapasi
    Abstract: Zimbabwe had witnessed socio-economic challenges that resulted in mass exodus of its populace across its boarders mainly from the late 1990s. Migration can be individual or household strategy for survival and remittances play a role in transforming the household income. Making use of ordinary least squares estimation techniques, this article examines the impact of international remittances on sustainability of family livelihood in small mining town of Chegutu located in Mashonaland West Province of Zimbabwe using survey data. I found out that remittances go a long way in providing income for basic services like municipal services, food, medical expenses and disturbingly to a lesser extent education.
    Keywords: Consumption, Households, International Migration, Remittances, Economics of labour migration
    JEL: D10 D12 F22 F24
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Ferdi Botha
    Abstract: This paper constructs a Good Society Index for 45 African countries, termed the Good African Society Index (GASI). The GASI consists of nine main indexes: (i) economic sustainability, (ii) democracy and freedom, (iii) child well-being, (iv) environment and infrastructure, (v) safety and security, (vi) health and health systems, (vii) integrity and justice, (viii) education, and (xi) social sustainability and social cohesion. Each component is split into four sub-components for a total of 36 indicators. Tunisia ranks highest on the GASI, followed by Cape Verde and Botswana. Chad has the lowest GASI score, followed by Central African Republic and Cote d’Ivoire. The GASI is strongly related to the 2012 Human Development Index and, to a lesser extent, GNI per capita.
    Keywords: Good Society Index, Well-being, quality of life, suffering, Africa
    JEL: I31 O55 Z13
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Menkhaus, Ken
    Abstract: Institution-building in Somalia has met with high levels of failure for two decades. But successes have occurred in other Somali-inhabited regions of the eastern Horn, and have been especially present at the local and municipal level. The most effective a
    Keywords: Somalia, failed state, institution-building, local governance, municipalities, hybrid state
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Juana, James S.
    Abstract: Botswana has serious environmental problems which, if not addressed, will undermine the attainment of sustainable economic development. This study attempts to determine what aid flows have actually been doing with regard to the environment in Botswana. Th
    Keywords: aid flow, development expenditure, environmental issues, sustainable development
    Date: 2014
  11. By: Alia, Didier Yelognisse; Anago, Romuald E. Kouadio
    Abstract: The aid-growth literature has been explored using a wide range of econometric methodologies. The evidence of the effectiveness of aid to promote economic growth is mixed, suggesting that the link between aid and growth is complex and may not be well ident
    Keywords: aid effectiveness and growth, nonlinear models, panel threshold, Africa
    Date: 2014

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