nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2015‒11‒07
seven papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. But what do rural consumers in Africa think about GM food? By De Groote, Hugo; Gitonga, Zachary; Kimenju, Simon; Keter, Fredric; Ngigi, Obadiah
  2. Rwanda: developmental success story in a unique setting By Zsuzsanna Biedermann
  3. Real governance and practical norms in Sub-Saharan Africa: the game of the rules By De Herdt, Tom; Olivier de Sardan, Jean-Pierre
  4. In Search of Fiscal Space in Africa: The Role of the Quality of Government Spending By Djedje Hermann Yohou
  5. Cow or Goat? Population pressure and livestock keeping in Burundi By Desiere, Sam; Niragira, Sanctus; D'Haese, Marijke; Vellema, Wytse
  6. Comparing cash and voucher transfers in a humanitarian context : evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo By Aker,Jenny C.
  7. Corruption, EU Aid Inflows and Economic Growth in Ghana: Cointegration and Causality Analysis By Forson, Joseph Ato; Buracom, Ponlapat; Baah-Ennumh, Theresa Yabaa; Chen, Guojin; Carsamer, Emmanuel

  1. By: De Groote, Hugo; Gitonga, Zachary; Kimenju, Simon; Keter, Fredric; Ngigi, Obadiah
    Abstract: So far few African countries have accepted genetically modified (GM) crops, despite their high potential for increasing food production. The opinion of African consumers is missing in the debate, especially in rural areas, so a survey was conducted among rural consumers in the major maize growing areas of Kenya to gauge their acceptance of GM food. A third of respondents were aware of GM crops, mainly from the radio in rural areas. Most respondents would buy GM maize meal at the same price as conventional maize, and even pay a premium. The rural population of Kenya lacks access to the relevant information to make informed decision and contribute to the debate on the use of GM crops in Africa. A concerted, public policy effort is therefore needed, where the wider use of radio to reach the rural population should be explored. Provided with balanced information, rural consumers show a high degree of acceptability of GM maize.
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, International Development,
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Zsuzsanna Biedermann (Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: The paper discusses the applicability of the developmental state concept in Africa via the illustrative case study of Rwanda and through the detailed analysis of the country’s unconventional institutional framework that enables the acceleration of "primitive accumulation", the leap from precapitalism to capitalism. The Rwandan state features several attributes of the classic developmental state: a transformative leadership with a developmental vision, closely intertwined business and political sectors and a highly effective public bureacracy. What makes Rwanda different from states with similar developmental ambitions, is the unique post-genocidal setting and special homegrown solutions. The 1994 genocide was a shock that moved Rwanda out of the high-corruption equilibrum and opened a window of opportunity for deep-seated reforms. Homegrown solutions combine classic developmental tools with indigenous knowledge and mobilize people to take part in the long-term development of their own country. These tactics and the dynamic economic development ensure the exceptionally wide support of the regime: the government and military is backed by 80 to 90 per cent of the population in most of its endeavours.
    Keywords: developmental state, Rwanda, development-oriented leadership, effective public service, post-genocidal setting
    JEL: A13 O17 H41
    Date: 2015–07
  3. By: De Herdt, Tom; Olivier de Sardan, Jean-Pierre
    Abstract: This Analysis and Policy Brief presents the main ideas of an edited volume on real governance and practical norms that was published this year at Routledge. The book traces the concept of practical norms back to the social science literature and the network of ideas from which it emerged, it extends the field of its application to other regions and sectors in Sub-Sahara Africa and it reflects on the concept’s usefulness for researchers engaged in processes of improving public service delivery.
    Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; policy; governance
    Date: 2015–11
  4. By: Djedje Hermann Yohou (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: Taking advantage of African experience, this paper proposes to enrich empirically the issue of fiscal space. Africa has markedly achieved significant economic progress since the 80's decade crisis. However, this progress has been proven insufficient to curb dramatically the infrastructures gap and poverty because of the shortage of funding. While several ways are being looked for creating a sustained fiscal space, this paper argues that improving the quality of public spending remains the key avenue. It then derives fiscal space by computing Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) efficiency scores of public spending using a group of 62 African and non-African countries over the period 1980-2013. The results indicate that on average African countries are less efficient than their peers. The average efficiency score of public spending for African countries relatively to their peers is 0.585 suggesting that they could reduce their spending by 41.5% to achieve the same results. This results in a lost fiscal space of about 11.5% of GDP equivalent to 43.8% of the outlay used and 3/4 of the current level of tax revenues. However, they have achieved a substantial improvement in efficiency change over time. Moreover, the results evidence that this estimated lost fiscal space is tied to the other indicators of fiscal space. In particular, larger lost fiscal space is positively correlated with foreign aid and external debt inflows but negatively with tax capacity.
    Keywords: Fiscal space,Efficiency of public spending,DEA,Africa
    Date: 2015–10–30
  5. By: Desiere, Sam; Niragira, Sanctus; D'Haese, Marijke; Vellema, Wytse
    Abstract: Livestock contributes significantly to peoples’ livelihoods in developing countries. Yet, most studies focus on dairy cattle, overlooking the fact that many smallholder farmers in mixed-cropping systems prefer to keep goats, sheep, pigs or poultry rather than cattle. For this paper we applied a multivariate probit model to a unique dataset from a national, representative, agricultural survey in Burundi, to estimate the determinants of livestock keeping. We found that wealthier households keep more livestock, but that population density and access to markets are also key determinants. Moreover, in densely populated regions, even the wealthiest households prefer smaller animals to cattle, as the pressure on land is high and access to pastures is limited. This has important policy implications as it raises questions as to whether the focus on dairy cattle, which has been adopted in most NGO and governmental development programs in Sub-Saharan Africa, is justified.
    Keywords: livestock, cattle, smallholders, agricultural policy, Burundi, International Development, Livestock Production/Industries,
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Aker,Jenny C.
    Abstract: Despite recent calls in support of cash transfers, there is little rigorous evidence of the relative impacts of cash versus in-kind transfers, especially in humanitarian contexts, where a majority of such programs take place. This paper uses data from a randomized experiment in the Democratic Republic of Congo to assess the relative impacts and costs of equivalently valued cash and voucher transfers. The voucher program distorted households? purchases along both the extensive and intensive margin as compared with unconstrained cash households. Yet there were no differences in food consumption or other measures of well-being, in part due to the fact that voucher households were able to resell part of what they purchased. As there were no significant benefits to vouchers, cash transfers were the more cost effective modality for both the implementing agency and program recipients in this context.
    Keywords: Housing&Human Habitats,Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping,Economic Theory&Research,Rural Poverty Reduction,Food&Beverage Industry
    Date: 2015–10–30
  7. By: Forson, Joseph Ato; Buracom, Ponlapat; Baah-Ennumh, Theresa Yabaa; Chen, Guojin; Carsamer, Emmanuel
    Abstract: This paper uses the Johansen cointegration technique to examine the causal relationship between aid inflows and economic growth for Ghana during the period 1970-2013. To better reflect causality, corruption (governance) and trade are included as control variables. In order to test for causality in the face of cointegration among variables, a vector error correction model (VECM) is used in place of vector autoregressive (VAR) model. This is complemented with Toda and Yamamoto’s test to point to causal direction. Appropriate stability test to account for structural breaks in the series is undertaken. Our estimation results suggest that GDP growth has one cointegrating vector relationship with governance, EU aid inflows and trade in both short and long runs. There is a long run unidirectional causal relationship from EU Aid inflows to GDP growth, and a short run unidirectional causality from trade to GDP. Governance was ineffective to power growth. The error correction terms are the source of causation in the long. The results indeed confirm popular conjecture that corruption in Ghana stifles development. Therefore government’s decision to launch a national anti-corruption plan in 2011 though long overdue, but is justifiable. However, such an attempt will only be effective if and only if a conscious effort is made by all stakeholders to work in hand in deepening good governance (reducing corruption) as a trajectory for promoting economic growth and to serve as inducement for a continue aid inflows from multilateral donors to sustain efforts at achieving the millennium development goals in Ghana.
    Keywords: Ghana; Corruption; EU Aid Inflows; Economic Growth; Co-integration; T-Y Causality.
    JEL: C1 H7 O1 O4
    Date: 2014–09–24

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