nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2015‒04‒02
nine papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Software piracy and scientific publications: knowledge economy evidence from Africa By Asongu, Simplice
  2. East africa in the Malthusian trap? A statistical analysis of financial, economic, and demographic indicators By Andrey Korotayev; Julia Zinkina
  3. Social Obstacles to Technology, Technological Change, and the Economic Growth of African Countries: Some Anecdotal Evidence from Economic History By Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich
  4. Knowledge Transfer in Global Supply Chains: Multinationals in Sub-Saharan Africa By Zhan QU; Horst Raff; Nicolas Schmitt
  5. Direction of International Trade of African Regional Economic Communities By Eduard Marinov
  6. The effects of remittances on support for democracy in Africa: Are remittances a curse or a blessing? By Konte M.
  7. Corporate Governance Compliance of Companies Listed on the Alternative Exchange (ALTX) In South Africa By Henriette Scholtz
  8. Do Aid Donors Specialize and Coordinate within Recipient Countries? The Case of Malawi By Peter Nunnenkamp; Albena Sotirova; Rainer Thiele
  9. A Socio-Religious Evaluation of Predestination, Destiny and Faith Among the Africans. By Abiola Theresa Dopamu

  1. By: Asongu, Simplice
    Abstract: This paper is an extension of the debate on the nexus between the strength of IPRs and prospects for knowledge economy. It assesses the relationships between software piracy and scientific publications in African countries for which data is available. The findings which reveal a positive nexus are broadly consistent with the school of thought postulating that, the East Asian miracle has been largely due to weaker IPRs regimes at the early stages of development. As a policy implication, less stringent IPRs regimes on scientific-related software (at least in the short-run) will substantially boost contributions to and dissemination of knowledge through scientific and technical publications in Africa. IPRs laws (treaties) on scientific-oriented software should be strengthened in tandem with progress in: scientific and technical publications and; knowledge spillovers essential for economic growth and development. More policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Publications; Piracy; Intellectual property rights; Governance; Africa
    JEL: A20 F42 O34 O38 O55
    Date: 2014–08–11
  2. By: Andrey Korotayev; Julia Zinkina
    Abstract: A statistical analysis of financial, economic, and demographic indicators performed by the authors demonstrates (1) that the main countries of East Africa (Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania) have not escaped the Malthusian Trap yet; (2) that this countries are not likely to follow the "North African path" and to achieve this escape before they achieve serious successes in their fertility transition; (3) that East Africa is unlikely to achieve this escape if it does not follow the "Bangladeshi path" and does not achieve really substantial fertility declines in the foreseeable future, which would imply the introduction of compulsory universal secondary education, serious family planning programs of the Rwandan type, and the rise of legal age of marriage with parental consent. Such measures should of course be accompanied by the substantial increases in the agricultural labor productivity and the decline of the percentage of population employed in agriculture.
    Date: 2015–03
  3. By: Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich
    Abstract: This paper comments on a number of social obstacles to the economic growth and technological change of African economies from the perspective of economic history. Economic history is full of evidence about what held African economies back for years. Some obstacles are of domestic origin such as excessive consumption and luxury masqueraded as public investment. Other obstacles were imposed from outside such as the destruction and weakening of traditional African religions and religious leadership as well as other wide ranging institutions. The combined effects can be summed up in one word: de-institutionalization. De-institutionalization devalued local knowledge (technology) thereby reducing performance. It is not possible to turn the clock back, but current policy is better-off bringing these obstacles into discussion as they stand a good chance of lowering the socalled “Africa dummy” variable common to growth regressions. Future research would also benefit if it sought to adjust conventional economic theory to allow space for the special features of African economies. Market theory is misleading in treating private use rights as antithetical to private ownership rights. For example, the suggestion that land tenure in Africa is anti-growth is inconsistent with the spectacular growth China has experienced even without private property rights.
    Keywords: Social obstacles, growth and change, African economies, ‘primitive’ economies, African traditional economies
    JEL: N17 Z1 Z13
    Date: 2015–03–26
  4. By: Zhan QU; Horst Raff; Nicolas Schmitt
    Abstract: We analyze in this paper determinants of voluntary knowledge transfer from foreign investors to their local suppliers in 19 Sub- Saharan African countries using data from the 2010 Africa Investor Survey by UNIDO. We argue that not all backward linkages entail the same potential for spillovers since not all local sourcing activities by multinationals involve a transfer of knowledge to suppliers. Our findings support the idea that foreign investor´s heterogeneity and country environment are key factors shaping the spillover potential of backward linkages. Local management autonomy and the long-term nature of local procurement contracts are positively associated with the transfer of knowledge. Also sourcing strategies that seek to meet local market requirements, to optimize value chain efficiency and that respond to social responsibility commitments are more likely to involved a transfer of knowledge to suppliers. Additionally, host country institutional quality and institutional distance relative to the origin country of the MNE are relevant determinants of the degree of knowledge transfer. Investment policies that merely focus on promoting larger shares of locally sourced inputs might fail to get the most of FDI positive externalities. Instead, quality linkages that involve a transfer of knowledge should be promoted over quantity linkages
    Keywords: knowledge transfer, global value chains, institutional distance, supplier upgrading, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: F23 O33
    Date: 2015–03
  5. By: Eduard Marinov (VUZF University)
    Abstract: African countries and their regional economic communities are trying to achieve integration through free trade, creation of customs unions and organization of common markets. International trade is a means for acquisition of fixed assets, equipment, materials and processed goods that are critical to economic growth. In this regard, African countries and the institutions of their integration entities must work to expand the volume of total trade, as well as the trade flows between each other, using the means of trade liberalization. The paper analyses the dynamics of trade flows and the trends in trade patterns of African countries and regional economic communities with special focus on intraregional and intra-continental trade. The study presents the main import and export destinations both in continental and global terms thus outlining the trends in African countries’ and Regional economic communities’ direction of trade for the period 2003-2012 and trying to draw some conclusions on the realization of potential benefits of integration.
    Keywords: African integration, Regional economic communities, African trade
    JEL: F15 N17
    Date: 2014–12
  6. By: Konte M. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: We examine the effect of remittances on the legitimacy of democracy in Africa, testing whether remittance recipients are less likely to support democracy than are non-recipients. We hypothesise that the effect of remittances on support for democracy varies across groups of individuals sharing similar but unobserved background characteristics. Using the Afrobarometer surveys, we try to find out whether the respondents fall into different hidden clusters in such a way that the effect of remittances on the degree of support for democracy depends on the cluster. Our results support that remittances may be a curse for the degree of endorsement and support for democracy depending on the cluster of individuals that we consider. The analysis of the probability of being in the remittance curse cluster indicates that the perception of national priorities plays an important role. Indeed, people who attest that freedom and rights are the main national priorities have a lower probability of belonging to the remittances curse cluster than individuals who choose national priorities that are oriented towards the economic conditions of their country.
    Keywords: Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles; Remittances; Economywide Country Studies: Africa;
    JEL: D01 F24 O55
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Henriette Scholtz (University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: Corporate governance has been implemented by several companies to strengthen accountability, reinforce trust and confidence in companies where ownership and management are separated. Concerns have however been raised regarding the cost of corporate governance compliance for smaller listed companies. Some countries allowed smaller listed companies some relief as to the corporate governance compliance. Examples includes the Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies in the US which recommended a threeâ€tier governance and regulatory system for publically traded companies and the Combined code in the UK, which provided smaller companies some leeway with regard to board composition and the composition of audit and remuneration committees. The purpose of this study is twofold firstly to provide an overview of the corporate governance practices available in South Africa and secondly to investigate the corporate governance compliance of a sample of companies listed on the AltX in South Africa. The corporate governance indicators tested include inter alia the internal audit division, audit committees, boards of directors, the governance of risk and information technology. The results demonstrate substantial variation in rates of adoption of individual corporate governance recommendations. Overall the conformance with the corporate governance recommendations has increased over time. The AltX companies received a high level of disclosure on the statement of compliance with the King report, boards of directors, audit committee, integrated reporting and remuneration, whereas the governance of IT and internal auditing had relatively low adoption rates. The governance of risk and IT governance showed a significant increase in adoption rates in 2011 due to the King III recommendation regarding IT governance. Two areas namely IT governance and internal auditing had low adoption rates.
    Keywords: corporate governance, agency theory, small companies, boards of directors
    JEL: D22
    Date: 2014–10
  8. By: Peter Nunnenkamp; Albena Sotirova; Rainer Thiele
    Abstract: Acknowledging that aid proliferation and a lack of coordination impair aid effectiveness, donors have repeatedly promised to specialize and better coordinate their aid activities, most notably in the Paris Declaration of 2005. We exploit geocoded aid data from Malawi to assess whether the country’s bilateral and multilateral donors have acted accordingly at the district and sector level. We do not find compelling evidence for increased aid specialization after the Paris Declaration, and the regional division of labor among donors may even have deteriorated. Our within-country evidence thus broadly corroborates what previous studies found at the national level of recipient countries
    Keywords: foreign aid, aid proliferation, donor coordination, Malawi
    JEL: F35
    Date: 2015–03
  9. By: Abiola Theresa Dopamu (University of Ilorin)
    Abstract: Africans believe that whatever happens to man in life has already been decided by God and is unalterable. The Yoruba believe that man chooses his destiny while coming into the world. Man kneels down to choose his lot before the presence of God and Orunmila (divinity) and God sanctions it. But according to Awolalu and Dopamu, man's destiny is unalterable except by the deities, wicked people , what man does on his own free-will , bad head (lot), and man's character. Philosophers like J. Omoregbe, critics like R. C. Sproul, Universal thinkers like H. Ballou, C. S. Lewis and Calvanists, believe that God has the final authority over man, that man is compelled to certain situations in life, irrespective of faith. Scientists like S. Kosslyn, R. Rosenberg and others submit that, gene affects and plays a major role in shaping man's abilities. Behavioural genetic researchers succinctly observe that heritability of various characteristics occur in specific environments, and gene contributes a certain amount of differences among people in particular environment, and the environments contribute a certain amount of such differences when people have particular genes. J. Edwards, succinctly states that as external force, which can affect a person's actions, compel him and lead him to an action. Some however, do not believe in predestination, destiny or fate. It is on this premise, that this paper seeks to assess: the extent to which predestination is evident, the extent to which faith works, and the extent to which God permits man have his own permissive will, which either works according to God's own planned way of salvation or damnation. This paper also examines: the relevance of faith in the face of fate, and the determinant of man's existence: fate or faith? In order to achieve the objectives of study, this paper therefore adopted the use of historical, descriptive and interpretative methods of research. From various arguments, observations, theories and historical documents, this paper finally concludes that: Christs' atonement is unlimited in its benefits, salvation is by grace save from good works, man's faith is tested at any point in time by God, God carries out His plans differently when dealing with men who have faith and those who do not have, God is the determiner of man's destiny, God has every authority, power and will over his creations, man is therefore compelled (to die) at God's own right time.
    Keywords: Socio-Religious, Predestination, Destiny, Fate, Akunleyan, Akunlegba, Ayanmo, Afowofa, iwa (character),
    Date: 2014–05

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