nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2015‒09‒05
nine papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Social Networks and Risk Management in Ghana’s Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Programme By Sudhanshu Handa; Benjamin Davis; Silvio Daidone; Mike Park; Robert D. Osei; Isaac Osei-Akoto
  2. The Impacts of Malawi’s Social Cash Transfer Programme on Community Dynamics By Pamela Pozarny; Clare O’ Brien
  3. Discourses, fragmentation and coalitions: the case of Herakles Farms’ large-scale land deal in Cameroon By Same Moukoudi, Teclaire Author Name: Geenen, Sara
  4. Education and electoral participation: Reported versus actual voting behaviour By Ivar Kolstad; Arne Wiig
  5. Self-Selection into Credit Markets: Evidence from Agriculture in Mali By Beaman, Lori; Karlan, Dean; Thuysbaert, Bram; Udry, Christopher
  6. Social Cash Transfer Scale-up for Zambia By Stanfield Michelo
  7. A chequered African history of commodity markets, part one: bauxite and aluminium By Yves Jégourel
  8. Do Resource Windfalls Improve the Standard of Living in Sub-Saharan African Countries?: Evidence from a Panel of Countries By Munseob Lee; Cheikh A. Gueye
  9. The Effectiveness of Public Works Programmes in Reinforcing the Social Protection System in Namibia By Ojijo Odhiambo

  1. By: Sudhanshu Handa; Benjamin Davis; Silvio Daidone; Mike Park; Robert D. Osei; Isaac Osei-Akoto
    Abstract: Understanding how household consumption, investment and saving decisions respond to transfer income is critical to public policy. In developing countries, saving or otherwise investing in the future is difficult for poor households which often struggle to meet basic expenses, while high debt burdens are also obstacles to saving. Poor households in rural areas of developing countries typically manage risk via informal exchanges or transfers among extended family, friends and neighbours. Motivated by the community dynamics observed in the qualitative assessment of LEAP and the unpredictable and lumpy payments made by the programme during the evaluation period, the main interest of this paper is to assess within a quantitative framework the impact of LEAP on household risk reduction strategies via reintegration in, and strengthening of, social networks and reduction of debt exposure.
    Keywords: cash transfers; debt management; income household; social development policies; social protection;
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Pamela Pozarny (IPC-IG); Clare O’ Brien (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: Malawis Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme was launched in Mchinji district in 2006. The programme provides regular cash payments to ultra-poor and labour-constrained households. It seeks to reduce poverty and hunger; increase school enrolment and attendance; and improve the health, nutrition and well-being of vulnerable children. Operated by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Community Development, the programme had reached approximately 30,000 households in seven districts by August 2013 and is expected to serve 300,000 households by 2015.(…)
    Keywords: PtoP, Cash Transfer Programme, Protection to Production, Malawi, Social Cash Transfer Programme, Community Dynamics
    Date: 2015–02
  3. By: Same Moukoudi, Teclaire Author Name: Geenen, Sara
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the recent debate on ‘land grabbing’ by analysing the case of Sithe Global Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SGSOC), a subsidiary of Herakles Farms. The acquisition of over 73,086 hectares of land by this company has spurred the ‘land grabbing debate’ to the limelight in Cameroon, leading to a renegotiation of the initial agreement. The paper concentrates on the following questions: How did the different actors claim their rights to land in the case of the SGSOC - Herakles Farms land deal? What strategies and narratives did they use? And what were the outcomes of these competing claims over land rights? Based on an analysis of both primary and secondary data, the paper makes two main arguments: 1) different sub-groups that are opposing or supporting the large-scale land deal make use of particular (and sometimes similar) discourses; their narratives are manifestations of power relations and have real effects, leading to action and/or legitimation. But on the other hand they are also pretty mainstream in echoing prevailing development discourses; 2) agency in this struggle translates into fragmentation within and between groups as well as (un)likely old and new coalitions. Former allies start to compete and
  4. By: Ivar Kolstad; Arne Wiig
    Abstract: Using survey data of voters in Tanzania, this paper shows that while education does not affect self-reported voting in general elections, it increases actual voting. The less educated are more likely to claim to have voted without having done so, which may explain why previous studies of voting in developing countries fail to find an effect of education. We demonstrate the importance of this finding by using our survey data to generate predicted voting probabilities for the respondents to the 2012 Afrobarometer survey in Tanzania, and show that while mean self-reported voting does not differ much at different levels of education, the differences become significant when taking into account voting misrepresentation.
    Keywords: Voting, elections, participation, education, Tanzania
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Beaman, Lori (Northwestern University); Karlan, Dean (Yale University and Innovations for Poverty Action); Thuysbaert, Bram (Ghent University); Udry, Christopher (Yale University)
    Abstract: We partnered with a micro-lender in Mali to randomize credit offers at the village level. Then, in no-loan control villages, we gave cash grants to randomly selected households. These grants led to higher agricultural investments and profits, thus showing that liquidity constraints bind with respect to agricultural investment. In loan-villages, we gave grants to a random subset of farmers who (endogenously) did not borrow. These farmers have lower--in fact zero--marginal returns to the grants. Thus we find important heterogeneity in returns to investment and strong evidence that farmers with higher marginal returns to investment self-select into lending programs.
    JEL: D21 D92 O12 O16 Q12 Q14
    Date: 2014–05
  6. By: Stanfield Michelo (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: What started as an experiment on the desirability and feasibility of a social cash transfer programme in Zambia has now mutated into the national flagship social protection programme. How did this happen?(…)
    Keywords: Social Cash Transfer, Scale-up, Zambia
    Date: 2015–04
  7. By: Yves Jégourel
    Abstract: The African endowment in mineral resources is well known and has often been a mixed blessing, according to the so-called “natural resources curse”. Bauxite, an ore that serves as a feedstock for aluminium production, is particularly present in Guinean soil but, notwithstanding its efforts to do so, this country has not yet succeeded in transforming this red treasure into a real source of social and economic development. Despite the difficult economic context and a long road ahead, there are a number of reasons to expect improvements on this front.
    Keywords: Africa, History, Commodities, economy
    Date: 2015–07
  8. By: Munseob Lee; Cheikh A. Gueye
    Abstract: We examine the impact of resource windfall on the standard of living both in the short-run and long-run, using a sample of 130 countries, 1963-2007. Then, we systematically investigate the effect of resource windfall on welfare in three different groups of countries: We find that in the short-run resource windfall is welfare enhancing in the whole sample, especially via increases in income and decreases in inequality. However, in SSA countries, the size of welfare improvement is small and it is smaller and almost zero after one year in fragile Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. In the whole sample, a resource windfall shock leads to significant welfare growth even in the long-run, but we couldn’t find any significant long-run effect of resource windfall in SSA countries.
    Keywords: Equatorial Guinea;Eritrea;Ethiopia;Cameroon;Burundi;Burkina Faso;Botswana;Benin;Africa;Angola;Djibouti;Commodity boom;Commodity prices;Comoros;Congo, Republic of;Congo, Democratic Republic of the;Chad;Central African Republic;Cross country analysis;Corruption;Guinea-Bissau;Guinea;Governance;Income;Inclusive growth;Gambia, The;Gabon;Ghana;Mauritania;Mali;Mauritius;Nigeria;Niger;Mozambique;Namibia;Natural resources;Lesotho;Liberia;Malawi;Madagascar;Kenya;Panel analysis;Rwanda;Rent;Sierra Leone;Senegal;Seychelles;South Africa;Uganda;Togo;Sub-Saharan Africa;Swaziland;Sudan;Tanzania;Zimbabwe;Zambia;Welfare;gdp, development, Models with Panel Data, General, Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development, Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development, Resource Booms, Government Policy,
    Date: 2015–04–28
  9. By: Ojijo Odhiambo (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: Compared to many African countries, Namibia has a very well-developed social protection system, comprised of seven formal and wholly publicly funded programmes, as well as contributory pension schemes. There are, however, still a large number of Namibians—especially those who are able-bodied albeit with low levels of education and limited-to-no skills—who are excluded from the existing social protection system. Despite impressive economic growth, averaging 5 per cent per annum between 2002 and 2012, and a 40 per cent increase in per capita income between 2004 and 2012, an estimated 29 per cent of the population are still classified as poor, while 30 per cent of the labour force are unemployed. Women and young people are affected most, with unemployment rates of 33 per cent and 53 per cent (for those aged 20–24), respectively.(…)
    Keywords: Effectiveness, Public Works Programmes, Reinforcing, Social Protection System, Namibia
    Date: 2015–02

This nep-afr issue is ©2015 by Sam Sarpong. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.