nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2015‒06‒13
eight papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Impacts of rural electrification revisited: The African context By Peters, Jörg; Sievert, Maximiliane
  2. On the relationship between energy consumption, productivity and economic growth: Evidence from Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa By Ackah, Ishmael
  3. Smallholders? land ownership and access in Sub-Saharan Africa: a new landscape ? By Deininger,Klaus W.; Xia,Fang; Savastano,Sara
  4. A first step up the energy ladder? Low cost solar kits and household's welfare in rural Rwanda By Grimm, Michael; Munyehirwe, Anicet; Peters, Jörg; Sievert, Maximiliane
  5. Poverty and Happiness : An Examination of the Factors Influencing Happiness among the Extreme Poor in Rural Ghana By Robert Osei; Isaac Osei-Akoto; Hayford Ayerakwa
  6. Women Leaders and Social Performance: Evidence from Financial Cooperatives in Senegal By Anaïs A Périlleux; Ariane Szafarz
  7. Financial Liberalisation and Economic Growth in the SADC By Pierre Le Roux and Clement Moyo
  8. Why do households forego high returns from technology adoption: Evidence from improved cook stoves in Burkina Faso By Bensch, Gunther; Grimm, Michael; Peters, Jörg

  1. By: Peters, Jörg; Sievert, Maximiliane
    Abstract: The investment requirements to achieve the United Nations' universal electricity access goal by 2030 are estimated at 640 billion US Dollars. The assumption underlying this goal is that electrification contributes to poverty alleviation in many regards. In recent years, a body of literature has emerged that widely confirms this positive poverty impact assumption. Most of these studies, however, are based on data from Asia and Latin America. This paper challenges the transferability of impact findings in the literature to the African context. Using a unique data set that we collected in various African countries we show that impact expectations on income, education, and health should be discounted considerably for Africa, at least in the shorter run. In many cases, the low levels of electricity consumption can also be served by low-cost solar alternatives. To ensure cost-efficient usage of public investments into rural electrification, we call for careful cost-benefit comparisons of on-grid and off-grid solutions.
    Keywords: energy access,on-grid electrification,off-grid electrification,Africa
    JEL: O33 P46 Q41
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Ackah, Ishmael
    Abstract: It has been suggested that Africa’s growth is principally driven by natural resource rents. This is at variance with the growth in countries such as Korea and Taiwan where productivity has been identified as the main driver. In this study, the effect of energy consumption, investment, productivity on per capita growth in oil producing African countries is examined by employing a dynamic simultaneous panel data model. The simultaneous panel data model is able to examine the three-way causal relationship between energy consumption, productivity and economic growth. The results confirm the importance of income, productivity, price and investment influence the demand for renewable end non-renewable energy. The study recommends that there should be investment in productivity to enhance economic growth and minimize energy consumption.
    Keywords: Total Factor Productivity, Renewable Energy Consumption, Non-Renewable Energy Consumption, Economic Growth
    JEL: Q2 Q41 Q43
    Date: 2015–05–11
  3. By: Deininger,Klaus W.; Xia,Fang; Savastano,Sara
    Abstract: While scholars agree on the importance of land rental markets for structural transformation in rural areas, evidence on the extent and nature of their operation, including potential obstacles to their improved functioning, remains limited. This study uses household-level data from six countries to start filling this gap and derive substantive as well as methodological lessons. The paper finds that rental markets transfer land to land-poor, labor-rich, and more productive producers throughout. But vast cross-country variation in transfers and the fact that female managers could possibly improve their income by leasing out land point towards barriers to participation that policy might address. Methodological and substantive conclusions are derived.
    Keywords: Municipal Housing and Land,Economic Theory&Research,Land Use and Policies,Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems,Rural Land Policies for Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2015–06–02
  4. By: Grimm, Michael; Munyehirwe, Anicet; Peters, Jörg; Sievert, Maximiliane
    Abstract: More than 1.3 billion people in developing countries are lacking access to electricity. Based on the assumption that electricity is a prerequisite for human development, the United Nations initiative Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) has proclaimed the goal of providing modern energy to all by 2030. In recent years, Pico-Photovoltaic kits have become a lower-cost alternative to investment-intensive grid electrification. Using a randomized controlled trial we examine uptake and impacts of a simple Pico-Photovoltaic kit that barely exceeds the benchmark of what the UN considers as modern energy. We find significant effects on households' budget, productivity and convenience. Despite these effects, the data shows that adoption will be impeded by affordability, suggesting that policy would have to consider more direct promotion strategies such as subsidies or financing schemes to reach the UN goal.
    Keywords: energy access,household productivity,household technology adoption,Sub-Saharan Africa,Randomized Controlled Trial
    JEL: O13 O18 Q41 D13 I31
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Robert Osei; Isaac Osei-Akoto; Hayford Ayerakwa
    Abstract: Every person desires some level of inner fulfilment at different stages of life and this could come from a combination of several factors including material and resource acquisition and social prestige. The challenge, however, is whether happiness levels across the different social strata are the same, especially among the poor and the neglected. Using data from the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty survey in Ghana, we analyse the factors that influence happiness among the extreme poor. The positive and negative factors are discussed in the paper.
    Keywords: Poverty, Measurement (Poverty), Quality of life
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Anaïs A Périlleux; Ariane Szafarz
    Abstract: How do women leaders such as board members and top managers influence the social performance of organizations? This paper addresses the question by exploiting a unique database from a Senegalese network of 36 financial cooperatives. We scrutinize the loan-granting decisions, made jointly by the locally elected board and the top manager assigned by the central union of the network. Our findings are threefold. First, female-dominated boards favor social orientation. Second, female managers tend to align their strategy with local boards' preferences. Third, the central union tends to assign male managers to female-dominated boards, probably to curb the boards’ social orientation.
    Keywords: Gender; Governance; Leadership; Microfinance; Africa; Senegal
    JEL: G20 J54 O16 G34 O55 L31
    Date: 2015–05–27
  7. By: Pierre Le Roux and Clement Moyo
    Abstract: Attaining high levels of economic growth and development has been one the goals of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This paper investigates the relationship between financial liberalisation and economic growth in SADC countries. Annual data for the 15 SADC countries for the period 1985-2011 was used to develop a fixed effect model, generalised method of moments (GMM) as well as the fully-modified OLS (FMOLS) cointegration test. The results revealed that there is a positive relationship between financial liberalisation and economic growth in SADC but there is no long-run relationship between the two variables. This suggests that the relationship between financial liberalisation and economic growth is a short-run phenomenon. It is recommended that the SADC adopt measures to increase the level of financial openness in the region in order to increase economic growth. However, prior to the increase in the level of financial openness, well-defined property rights and a sound regulatory framework should be in place to monitor the financial liberalisation process in order to avoid financial crises.
    Keywords: Financial Liberalisation, economic growth, SADC
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Bensch, Gunther; Grimm, Michael; Peters, Jörg
    Abstract: Around 3 billion people in developing countries rely on woodfuels for their daily cooking needs with profound negative implications for their workload, health, and budget as well as the environment. Improved cookstove (ICS) technologies in many cases appear to be an obvious solution. Despite continuous efforts of the international community to disseminate ICS, take up rates in most developing countries are strikingly low. In this paper, we examine the reasons for (non-)adoption of a very simple ICS in urban Burkina Faso. As a first result, we find that ICS users save between 20 and 30 percent of fuels compared to traditional stoves making the investment a very profitable one. Nonetheless, adoption rates are low at a mere 10 percent. It turns out that the major deterrent of adoption are the upfront investment costs - which are much more important than access to information, taste preferences, or the woman's role in the household. These findings suggest that more direct promotion strategies such as subsidies would help the household to overcome its liquidity constraints and hence improve adoption rates.
    Abstract: Rund 3 Milliarden Menschen in Entwicklungsländern sind für ihre täglichen Kochbedürfnisse auf Holzbrennstoffe angewiesen. Dies geht einher mit tiefgreifenden negativen Auswirkungen auf individueller Ebene - insbesondere Arbeitsbelastung, Gesundheit und Haushaltsbudget - sowie auf die Umwelt. Verbesserte Herd-Technologien werden vielfach als eine offensichtliche Lösung dieser Problematik angesehen. Trotz beträchtlicher Anstrengungen der internationalen Gemeinschaft verbesserte Kochherden zu vermarkten, sind Verbreitungsquoten in den meisten Entwicklungsländern auffallend gering. In diesem Beitrag werden anhand von Daten aus dem städtischen Burkina Faso mögliche Gründe untersucht, die Haushalte dazu bewegen oder davon abhalten, sich einen verbesserten Kochherd anzuschaffen. Ein erstes Ergebnis der Studie ist es, dass die untersuchten Öfen zwischen 20 und 30 Prozent an Kochbrennstoffen im Vergleich zu herkömmlichen Öfen einsparen. Dies hat zur Folge, dass sich der Kauf des Herdes für einen Großteil der Haushalte bereits nach weniger als drei Monaten rentiert. Dennoch verfügen nur 10 Prozent der Haushalte in den Untersuchungsregionen über einen solchen Herd. Eine weiterführende Analyse ergibt, dass die Anfangsinvestitionen in den Kochofen das wohl größte Hindernis darstellt und sich damit als bedeutend wichtiger erweist als der Zugang zu Informationen über verbesserte Kochtechnologien, Geschmackspräferenzen oder die Rolle der Frau im Haushalt. Diese Ergebnisse legen nahe, dass direktere Förderstrategien wie nachhaltige Subventionsmechanismen bei der Überwindung von Liquiditätsengpässe helfen und damit die Verbreitung verbesserter Kochherde befördern würden.
    Keywords: household technology adoption,liquidity constraints,weak beliefs,norms and traditions,energy access,Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: D01 D12 D80 O33 Q56
    Date: 2014

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