nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2016‒08‒21
seven papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Agricultural mechanization and south-south knowledge exchange: What can Ethiopian and Kenyan policymakers learn from Bangladesh’s experience? By Animaw, Addisu Tadege; Nkanya, Jasper Alfred Mutegi; Nyakiba, John Mogaka; Woldemariam, Tamiru Habte; Takeshima, Hiroyuki
  2. Infrastructure and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa: A review By Peters, Jörg
  3. Agricultural mechanization and agricultural transformation By Diao, Xinshen; Silver, Jed; Takeshima, Hiroyuki
  4. What is the optimal locus of control for social assistance programs? Evidence from the productive safety net programme in Ethiopia By Simons, Andrew M.
  5. Exporting and Workforce Skills-Intensity in the Egyptian Manufacturing Firms: Empirical Evidence Using World Bank Firm-Level Data for Egypt By Ahmed Fayez Abdelgouad
  6. Housing Policies in Africa & Brazil: The role of PPPs for low-income housing By Marcus Vinicius de Freitas
  7. Service Sector Development and its Determinants in Rwanda By Uwitonze, Eric; Heshmati, Almas

  1. By: Animaw, Addisu Tadege; Nkanya, Jasper Alfred Mutegi; Nyakiba, John Mogaka; Woldemariam, Tamiru Habte; Takeshima, Hiroyuki
    Abstract: This note synthesizes one of the two study tour reports written by the participating African officials. This report provides observations made by participants from Ethiopia and Kenya, the two East African countries with participants on the tour.
    Keywords: ETHIOPIA, KENYA, BANGLADESH, SOUTH ASIA, EAST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, ASIA, smallholders, mechanization, diffusion of information,
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Peters, Jörg
    Abstract: This paper reviews the book 'Infrastructure and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa' by Antonio Estache and Quentin Wodon. The authors summarize the political debate on infrastructure policy in Africa in a very compelling and knowledgeable way and make a convincing case for pro-poor subsidies. Yet, this review points out two reservations: The evidence on the welfare enhancing benefits of infrastructure investments is less conclusive than suggested in the book. The book also misses out on the recent technological developments that enable the provision of decentralized services, which might render classical network based infrastructure partly redundant in the future.
    Keywords: electrification,road infrastructure,water and sanitation
    JEL: H54 O13 O18 L91 L95 L96
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Diao, Xinshen; Silver, Jed; Takeshima, Hiroyuki
    Abstract: A renewed focus on agriculture’s potential contribution to economic transformation in Africa has resulted in increased attention paid to agricultural mechanization. African agriculture still relies predominantly on human muscle power despite anecdotal evidence on urbanization and rising rural wages, in contrast to other developing regions that have experienced rapid increases in agricultural mechanization during the past few decades. Past state-led mechanization pushes in Africa often failed due to insufficient understanding of the nature of demand for mechanization technologies among farmers and insufficient knowledge of private-sector functions. This background paper reviews the factors likely to influence farmer demand for mechanization in Africa and details different existing and potential mechanization supply models. Although an empirical analysis of mechanization demand and the effectiveness of supply chains is beyond the scope of this paper, in part due to data limitations, this paper suggests that demand for mechanization may be emerging in some parts of Africa. It also suggests that private-sector-driven supply models are better positioned to meet this demand than direct government involvement and certain types of subsidized programs. The paper then identifies possible areas for government support to complement private-sector leadership in developing mechanization supply chains. Nevertheless, significant further research is required to better understand the changing nature of mechanization demand in Africa and the extent and effectiveness of different supply models in meeting it.
    Keywords: AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, mechanization, intensification, agricultural growth, farm inputs, supply chain, production economics, private sector, value chains, agricultural transformation,
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Simons, Andrew M.
    Abstract: Centralized implementation mandates of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) require a full and uniform payment to each person in an eligible household. In practice, however, communities do not receive enough funding to fully implement the program. Therefore, communities must exercise local discretion in allocating aid. We recover the preferences revealed by local communities’ aid allocations and find they are pro-poor, allocating more to underprivileged groups with lower wage earning potential (e.g., teenage girls vs. teenage boys, adult women vs. adult men, elderly vs. working age adults). Despite communities’ pro-poor implementation, the program with constrained funding does not significantly lower overall poverty rates. In simulations with full funding, the program reduces poverty in both cases of centralized and decentralized program control, using different criteria for the allocation of funds. The major policy implication is that the financial scale of the safety net program is more important to poverty reduction than the locus of control over implementation.
    Keywords: ETHIOPIA, EAST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, welfare, food aid, children, poverty, social protection, social safety nets, equivalence scales, targeting, child cost, H53 National Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs, H75 State and Local Government: Health, Education, Welfare, Public Pensions, I38 Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Programs, Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs, O12 Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development,
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Ahmed Fayez Abdelgouad (Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany)
    Abstract: The World Bank’s Enterprise Surveys (WES( for the manufacturing firms in Egypt are used to study the characteristics of exporting firms and the determinants of the exporting behavior in the Egyptian manufacturing sector in general and to investigate the link between the exporting activities and the workforce skills-intensity in the Egyptian manufacturing sector in specific. Several methods to estimate the probability and intensity of exporting are presented. The main findings indicate that firms in the manufacturing sector in Egypt which their workforce are characterized by higher levels of skills-intensity are more likely to export compared to other firms with lower levels of skills-intensity. Firms that hire female workers are more likely to export than other firms which do not employ women. Furthermore, firms that are larger in their size, have R&D departments, and owned by foreigners are more likely to export than others and have statistically significant effects on export intensity as well. The results suggest also that firms that are larger in their size are more likely to start to export than others.
    Keywords: Exporting, Workforce skills, World Bank Enterprise Surveys, Egypt, Manufacturing
    JEL: J24 F14 F16
    Date: 2016–04
  6. By: Marcus Vinicius de Freitas
    Abstract: Housing is part of the United Nations 11th Sustainable Development Goal, which is to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. One of the most important targets of such a goal is to “ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums”. Since 2007, the world has faced rising inequality, insecurity and climate change impact. According to UN Habitat, 54% of the world´s population currently live in cities. By 2050, this number should reach 60%. A new vision is required to plan and finance housing with the improvement of living conditions.
    Date: 2016–07
  7. By: Uwitonze, Eric (Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, Kigali-Rwanda); Heshmati, Almas (Jönköping University, Sogang University)
    Abstract: The service sector is an avenue for economic transformation as not all countries have a competitive edge in manufacturing. The growing literature on service sector primarily focuses on its development in the US and Europe and on Asian emerging service economies like India. Not as much attention has been paid to the role that services can play in the economic growth of African countries primarily due to the high prevalence of agriculture in these countries. But with avenues of structural adjustments and globalization, some African countries have become service-based economies. Services are considered as an alternative to manufacturing-led development in Rwanda since its aims is to become a service-based hub to serve countries in the East African Community (EAC). Recently, the growth rate of the service sector has been impressive in the Rwandan economy. The present study is an attempt to study in detail the development of the service sector over the years in Rwanda's economy and empirically estimate its determinants by using an econometric methodology. The empirical results are based on micro-data collected during the Rwanda Enterprise Survey 2011 and the 2014 Establishment Census. The survey has data on 241 firms and establishments. Linear and limited dependent variable techniques are employed to investigate the factors behind the development of the service sector. Models are specified and estimated to assess the factors contributing to sales growth, innovation and turnovers of service firms. The results show the factors that have contributed to the development of the service sector. These factors can be used in forming public policy with the aim of using the service sector as a vehicle for speeding up the shift from a low income to a middle income state.
    Keywords: limited dependent variables, services, openness, growth, East Africa, Rwanda
    JEL: C35 F13 G29 O47 O55
    Date: 2016–08

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