nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2017‒04‒09
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Push factors of emerging multinational corporations: evidence from South Africa and Egypt By Mustafa Sakr; Andre Jordaan
  2. Mobile Money in Sub-Saharan Africa and its Implications By Jang, Jong-Moon; Park , Hyunju
  3. Global Kids Online South Africa: barriers, opportunities and risks. A glimpse into South African children’s internet use and online activities By Joanne Phyfer; Patrick Burton; Lezanne Leoschut
  4. How should rural financial cooperatives be best organized? Evidence from Ethiopia By Abay, Kibrom A.; Koru, Bethlehem; Abate, Gashaw T.; Berhane, Guush
  5. Measuring Extractive Institutions: Colonial Trade and Price Gaps in French Africa By Federico Tadei

  1. By: Mustafa Sakr; Andre Jordaan
    Abstract: As literature remains sparse regarding emerging African multinational corporations (EAMNCs), this article focuses on examining the key push factors (i.e. home country macroeconomic specifications) influencing the outward foreign direct investment flow from South Africa and Egypt. Based on dynamic panel data model estimation, the empirical research proves that trade openness, patent and the gross domestic product (GDP) and the GDP growth rate of South Africa and Egypt are dominant drivers of their outward foreign direct investment. In contrast, the number of investment treaties and inward foreign direct investment rate do not significantly influence outbound investment decisions of South African and Egyptian corporations.
    Keywords: South African MNCs, Egyptian MNCs, emerging African MNCs, Emerging MNCs, push factor determinants of OFDI
    JEL: P45 F21
    Date: 2017–02
  2. By: Jang, Jong-Moon (Korea Institute for International Economic Policy); Park , Hyunju (Korea Institute for International Economic Policy)
    Abstract: Africa is currently rising as a major area where mobile money is spreading. According to the 2015 global index report by the World Bank, the 13 countries whose penetration rate for mobile money accounts was over 10% were all located in sub-Saharan Africa. The example of Africa's mobile money diffusion is assessed as meaningful creation of new services from local African demand. The mobile money of Africa was known as first serviced in South Africa in the year 2000, and its full-fledged expansion is recognized as subsequent to the great success of Kenyan mobile communication operator due to M-Pesa in 2007. Mobile money is currently supplied centering in the East Africa region including Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, and Sudan, and also displays a high penetration rate in Cote d'Ivoire and South Africa. The background to the fast spread of mobile money in Africa includes low financial access, quickly diffusing mobile communications infrastructure, and the quick response of corporations to local demand. The proportion of the adult population who can use orthodox financial institutions excluding mobile finance in sub-Saharan Africa is just 24%, but the diffusion of mobile communications is 70%. Multinational corporations like Vodafone paid attention to the informal financial dealings between individuals in Africa and released a new service that could replace them. The mobile money system, M-Pesa, which began in Kenya, is a typical example of success and pioneering, which has had a ripple effect on not only countries nearby but also other sub-Saharan countries, although there are examples of mobile money diffusion failure like Nigeria. In the case of Nigeria, a cash-oriented economic structure and the excessive regulations of the government are pointed out as the biggest causes for the failure of diffusion. The diffusion of mobile money in Africa display differing aspects according to region and country. Mobile money was a success in the East Africa region including Kenya because of the complex functioning of several factors including the efficient institutions of each government, the peculiarity of the financial environment, and consumer demand. Local market analysis must precede to revitalize FinTech domestically and enter overseas markets. As you may see from the case of Africa, the diffusion of mobile money, unlike a top-down transmission of technology, tends to begin with local demand, so a close analysis on the demand and institutions of the local market must be preceded.
    Keywords: FinTech; Mobile Money; M-Pesa; Sub-Saharan Africa; Kenya
    Date: 2016–01–29
  3. By: Joanne Phyfer; Patrick Burton; Lezanne Leoschut
    Abstract: How do children use the internet? How do they access it? Does it present risks or opportunities for them, or both? What do parents think of their children’s online activities? Do they support it as an opportunity for learning? Or do they see it as harmful? We asked 913 children between nine and seventeen years, from three provinces in South Africa, and from different levels of household incomes, these questions and more. To compare their answers and find out more about the parents’ internet use, we asked 532 parents of the same children the same questions. Finally, we dug deeper into the children and parents’ answers with focus group discussions with 49 children and 20 of their parents. The report contains some of the things we found – some surprising, some not. It also makes some recommendations for opportunities for parents, teachers and schools, policy makers and reserachers, and mobile companies.
    JEL: L91 L96
    Date: 2016–09
  4. By: Abay, Kibrom A.; Koru, Bethlehem; Abate, Gashaw T.; Berhane, Guush
    Abstract: What is the optimal size and composition of Rural Financial Cooperatives (RFCs)? With this broad question in mind, we characterize alternative formation of RFCs and their implications in improving the access of rural households to financial services, including savings, credit, and insurance services. We find that some features of RFCs have varying implications for delivering various financial services. The size of RFCs is found to have a nonlinear relationship with the various financial services RFCs provide. We also show that compositional heterogeneity among members, including diversity in wealth, is associated with higher access to credit services, while this has little implication on households’ savings behavior. Similarly, social cohesion among members is strongly associated with higher access to financial services. These empirical descriptions suggest that the optimal size and composition of RFCs may vary across the domains of financial services they are designed to facilitate. This evidence provides suggestive insights on how to ensure financial inclusion among smallholders, a pressing agenda and priority of policy makers in developing countries, including Ethiopia. The results also provide some insights into rural microfinance operations which are striving to satisfy members’ demand for financial services.
    Keywords: ETHIOPIA, EAST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA,finance, economic development, rural finance, Rural financial cooperatives, compositional heterogeneity, wealth diversity, social cohesion
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Federico Tadei (Department of Economic History, Universitat de Barcelona.)
    Abstract: A common explanation for current African underdevelopment is the extractive character of institutions established during the colonial period. Yet, since colonial extraction is hard to quantify, the magnitude of this phenomenon is still unclear. In this paper, I address this gap in the literature by focusing on monopsonistic colonial trade in French Africa. By using new archival data on export prices, I provide yearly-estimates of colonial extraction via trade, measured as the gap between actual prices that the colonial trading companies paid to African agricultural producers and prices that should have been paid in a counter-factual competitive market (i.e. world prices minus trade costs). The results show that African prices were about half than what they would have been in competitive markets. This suggests that colonial trade dynamics was characterized by a considerable amount of extraction.
    Keywords: Africa, Development, Extractive Institutions, Colonization, Trade, Price Gaps
    JEL: N17 O43
    Date: 2017–03

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