nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2016‒02‒04
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. The expansion of regional supermarket chains: Changing models of retailing and the implications for local supplier capabilities in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe By Reena das Nair; Shingie Chisoro
  2. Pension patterns in Sub-Saharan Africa By Dorfman,Mark Charles
  3. Understanding Ghana.s growth success story and job creation challenges By Ernest Aryeetey; William Baah-Boateng
  4. Colonial legacy, state-building and the salience of ethnicity in Sub-Saharan Africa By Merima Ali; Odd-Helge Fjeldstad; Boqian Jiang; Abdulaziz B. Shifaz
  5. Understanding the relationship between growth and employment in Nigeria By Olu Ajakaiye; Afeikhena T. Jerome; David Nabena; Olufunke A. Alaba

  1. By: Reena das Nair; Shingie Chisoro
    Abstract: Over the past two decades, southern African countries have experienced rapid growth in the number and spread of supermarkets. Several factors have been attributed to this growth, including increasing urbanization, increased per capita income, the rise of the middle class, economies of scale and scope, and transport economies. The format and location of supermarkets have also evolved over the years, moving away from serving the traditional highend affluent consumers in urban areas to successfully penetrating new markets in low-income rural communities, including through more efficient procurement and distribution systems. This spread into rural areas and the rapid proliferation of supermarkets generally has given rise to some important consequences for competitive rivalry between grocery retail outlets, as well as for local suppliers who want to participate in supermarket value chains in the southern African region.
    Keywords: supermarkets, southern Africa, regional development, strategy, suppliers, capabilities
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Dorfman,Mark Charles
    Abstract: This report provides an initial stocktaking of the characteristics, environment and performance of public and private pensions and elderly assistance programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. It identifies key challenges and suggests reform options for consideration. Considerations for future work and principles for pension policies are also suggested. Two major challenges noted in the report are the need to increase coverage of the labor force by pensions and social insurance schemes, and to increase the proportion of poor elderly covered by social assistance. The report suggests that improving coverage will require a number of parametric reforms to existing contributory schemes, strengthening institutions to serve informal sector workers, and piloting new design options. The report also proposes other parametric reforms, including the harmonization or merger of civil service and national pension schemes. Finally, the report recommends principles to consider for reform, including measures to improve coverage, protect the elderly poor, and better align pension design with needs and enabling conditions, including the needs of rural and informal sector workers.
    Keywords: Safety Nets and Transfers,Population Policies,Debt Markets,Emerging Markets,Pensions&Retirement Systems
    Date: 2015–07–01
  3. By: Ernest Aryeetey; William Baah-Boateng
    Abstract: Ghana.s status as one of the African Lions is linked to the country.s remarkable growth performance, which culminated in the attainment of lower middle-income status. However, employment response to growth has been weak. Additionally, growth has been accompanied by substantial reduction in poverty, albeit increasing inequality. This development is explained by a slower growth in high labour absorption sectors of agriculture and manufacturing as against high growth in low employment generating sectors of mining and oil extraction. Fixing the problem of the missing middle of dwindling manufacturing and raising productivity in agriculture are recommended for the promotion of growth inclusiveness.
    Keywords: elasticity, employment, Ghana, growth, inequality, labour productivity
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Merima Ali; Odd-Helge Fjeldstad; Boqian Jiang; Abdulaziz B. Shifaz
    Abstract: Ethnicity has received increased attention in studies of Africa's economic and institutional development. We present evidence on the long-term effects of Britain's "divide-and-rule" colonial strategy that deliberately fostered ethnic rivalries to weaken and control locals. Using micro data from Sub-Saharan Africa, we found that citizens of Anglophone (as compared to Francophone) countries are more likely to: (1) attach greater importance to ethnic identity (vis-a-vis national identity); (2) have weaker norms against tax evasion; and  (3) face extortion by non state actors. We address endogeneity concerns using IV regression and regression-discontinuity. These results suggest that Britain's divide-and-rule strategy may have undermined state-building.
    Keywords: Colonial legacy, development, ethnicity, state capacity, Sub-Saharan Africa, tax, tax evasion
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Olu Ajakaiye; Afeikhena T. Jerome; David Nabena; Olufunke A. Alaba
    Abstract: This study examines the relationship between growth and employment in Nigeria to gain insights into the country.s paradox of high economic growth alongside rising poverty and inequality. The methodology adopted is the Shapley decomposition approach, complemented with econometric estimation of the country.s employment intensity of growth. The findings indicate that Nigeria.s growth over the last decade has been .jobless. and sustained largely by factor reallocations rather than productivity enhancement. Labour reallocations have been mainly from agriculture and manufacturing towards the low productive services sector. Employment elasticity of growth was positive and quite low, reflecting the country.s poor overall employment generation record, especially in manufacturing.
    Keywords: Employment, growth, poverty, employment elasticity, growth decomposition, Nigeria
    Date: 2015

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