nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2015‒12‒01
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Changes in Per Capita Food Availability in West Africa:Implications for Agricultural Market Development By Me-Nsope, Nathalie M.; Staatz, John M.
  2. Do firms learn by exporting or learn to export? Evidence from Senegalese manufacturing plant By Cié Fatou; Ji Eun Choi
  3. Silicon Savanna? Local Competence Building and International Venture Capital in Low Income Countries. The Emergence of Foreign High-Tech Investments in Kenya By Daniel S.Hain; Roman Jurowetzki
  4. Trends and Drivers of Crop Biomass Demand: Sub-Saharan Africa vs the Rest of the World By Kuhn, Arnim; Endeshaw, Kassahun
  5. An investigation into the determinants of hydropower generation in Ghana By Kwakwa, Paul Adjei

  1. By: Me-Nsope, Nathalie M.; Staatz, John M.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2015–11
  2. By: Cié Fatou; Ji Eun Choi
    Abstract: The increasing quantity of literature investigating the impact of trade openness on firm efficiency has not yet provided a definite prediction of the direction of causality. This paper investigates how the relationship between exporting and productivity impacts on manufacturing sectors in Senegal. Using unique firm-level panel data for the period 1998.2011, we estimate productivity and exporting dynamics, controlling for other unobserved effects, and using General Method of Moments. Our results indicate evidence both that the most efficient firms self-select for entry into the export market and that learning has an impact on the export market. From a policy perspective, this evidence of learning by exporting suggests Senegal has much to gain from encouraging exports by helping domestic firms overcome barriers to entering foreign markets, particularly by investing in skilled workers and promoting access to patents and licenses
    Keywords: exporting, total factor productivity, learning by exporting, general method of moment; Economic assistance and foreign aid, Infrastructure (Economics), Millennium Development Goals
  3. By: Daniel S.Hain; Roman Jurowetzki
    Abstract: With the beginning of the current decade, Africa’s emergence appears to be a new consensus. In contrast to investments earlier this centure, which had mostly aid-characteristics, we nowadays see some flourishing investment hubs emerging – such as Nairobi in Kenya and Lagos in Nigeria – attracting the attention of global growth-oriented tech-investors.This development is pioneered by a number of silicon valley venture capitalists. That such investments finally arrived in sub-Saharan Africa is a positive signal, as it suggests that there exist young companies with innovative products, services, or business models which are potentially fit for international or even global markets. In this paper we investigate the pattern of current technology investments in Kenya – one of sub-Saharan Africa’s buzzing ICT centers. In many cases these financial investments are accompanied by intensive technical and business support. Besides, some of these investors are actively building up networks, and thus, connecting supported companies. This scenario is new for companies and institutions in sub-Saharan Africa and likely to contribute to local capacity building and potentially even catching-up. We explore this new phenomenon of international high-tech investments, focusing on the case of Kenya. Classifying investors and start-ups, and mapping the interaction structure between them, we aim at identifying investment patterns that can contribute to compe- tence building and sustainable development in less developed economies in the global South. To gather the data required, we are among the first to exploit the rich information and graph-based structure of the CrunchBase dataset to explore technology investments in an economically less developed context.
    Keywords: Venture Capital, frugal innovation, local knowledge, local capacity building, tech start-ups, East Africa, Kenya
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Kuhn, Arnim; Endeshaw, Kassahun
    Abstract: The global demand for crop biomass for both food and non-food use has markedly increased during the last decade. This recent trend was driven by population growth, income growth by consumers, industrial demand for non-food raw materials, and demand for energy in the form of crop biofuels. Consequently, relative price levels for plant biomass have intermittedly doubled since 2006. The aim of this study is identify and compare global drivers, trends and projections of this process, looking at biomass production, consumption and related resource use in Sub-Saharan Africa as opposed to the Rest of the World. Model-based quantitative projections of global crop biomass markets are reviewed and compared, and supplemented by own projections.
    Keywords: crop production, long-term projections, land use, Agricultural and Food Policy, Demand and Price Analysis, International Development, Land Economics/Use, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, Q02, Q11,
    Date: 2015–11–26
  5. By: Kwakwa, Paul Adjei
    Abstract: The role of electricity to the growth and developmental process of an economy cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, it is the quest of authorities in every economy to meet the supply of electricity needs of the citizens and industries. Although both renewable and non renewable energy source are available for an economy to generate electricity from, the recent concern for cleaner environment has raised interest of many government, environmentalists and policy makers to generate electricity power from renewable source - that are noted for emitting low carbon emission - prominent among them is hydro source. Meanwhile, the electricity supply for the Ghanaian economy which for years was mainly from hydro source has witnessed a reduction in her hydropower generation in the midst of growing electricity consumption but limited supply pushing the country to resort to power sharing. The paper thus investigates into the drivers of the declining hydro power generation in Ghana using annual time series data for the period 1977-2011. Estimations from the Fully Modified Ordinary Least Squares, Dynamic Ordinary Least Squares and Canonical Cointegration Regression estimators revealed Ghana’s hydropower generation is influenced by foreign direct investment, alternate source of energy, environmental degradation and trade openness.
    Keywords: renewable energy; electricity, hydropower, FMOLS, CCR, DOLS, Ghana
    JEL: Q2 Q25 Q42 Q43 Q5
    Date: 2015–11–09

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.