nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2017‒07‒30
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Chinese mining investments in Africa By Henri-Louis VEDIE
  2. The Wave of Jihadist Insurgency in West Africa: Global Ideology, Local Context, Individual Motivations By Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim
  3. Higher Education and Economic Growth: Evidence from Africa By Boopen SEETANAH; viraiyan teeroovengadum
  4. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Photovoltaic (PV): Has time come for solar energy in Africa? By Jennifer MBABAZI MOYO; Ralf KRÜGER; Driss BELAMINE; Anna von WACHENFELT
  5. Resource curse: Case study of Nigeria By Adela Zubikova

  1. By: Henri-Louis VEDIE
    Abstract: Chinese investors are increasingly interested in Africa. Some criticize them for privileging mining investments. A 2017 analysis of these investments shows that investments in mining have not been the only ones privileged by the Chinese operators. Many other sectors such as transport and energy have benefited from Chinese investments, much more so than the mining sector, for example.
    Date: 2017–04
  2. By: Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim (Sahel Research Group, University of Florida)
    Abstract: The recent rise of jihadist movements in West Africa, including Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its affiliates in the Sahel-Saharan region, has puzzled many observers. The easy spread of the jihadist ideology, the jihadist movements’ success in massively recruiting followers among local populations as well as their ability to conquer and administer territories, are unprecedented in the region’s contemporary history. This paper sheds light on the factors and processes that contribute to the emergence of these movements. It argues that the phenomenon of jihadist insurgencies in West Africa emerges as a result of a series of processes at the global, local, and individual level. At the global level, there is the formation and dissemination of the global ideology of jihadism, conceptualised by Muslim activists and scholars based on a particular understanding of Islam and the challenges that are facing contemporary Muslim societies. At the local level, the appropriation of jihadist ideologies by “Muslim activists” who then use it to formulate a discourse which taps into local social and political demands in order to mobilise followers, is key. For a wide range of reasons, certain regions of Africa have experienced weakened state capacity and increased local conflict, and it is in these areas that jihadist insurgencies have emerged. At the individual level, the process by which African individuals decide to enrol in jihadist groups include ideological, situational, and strategic motivations, and these have all been facilitated by deteriorating conditions of life in marginalised areas.
    Keywords: Islamism, jihadism, Sahara-Sahel, terrorism, West Africa
    JEL: D74 F5 H56 N47
    Date: 2017–07–28
  3. By: Boopen SEETANAH (University of Mauritius); viraiyan teeroovengadum (uni of mauritius)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the economic contribution of tertiary education for a sample of 13 African economies over the time period 1990-2013. Using a Panel VAR framework to account for the dynamic and endogeneous relationship between tertiary education(TER) and growth, our findings show that TER is positively and significantly related to the economic growth of the sample of African countries under study. It is noteworthy that the magnitude of the TER coefficient remains relatively smaller as those obtained for developed country cases and samples. Interestingly the study also found the presence of a reverse causation as output appears to be also a determinant of TER. In other words, output level which proxies for the earning capacity of the economy play an important role in TER, which is mostly financed by the government in the countries under study. In addition to the national income, domestic investment, education attainment, foreign direct investment and openness level being other determinants of such TER for these countries. Moreover, there is evidence that TER encourages private investment suggesting some indirect effects of TER on output via the private capital channel. As such similar indirect effect through the FDI channel is observed.
    Keywords: Higher Education, Africa, Economic Growth
    JEL: A23
    Date: 2017–07
  4. By: Jennifer MBABAZI MOYO (Fonds Monétaire international); Ralf KRÜGER (FERDI); Driss BELAMINE (Banque africaine de développement (BAfD)); Anna von WACHENFELT (FERDI)
    Abstract: As Africa’s energy supply needs to be stepped up urgently to satisfy the continents’ growing energy needs and avoid some of the serious economic and social costs of the deficiency, renewable energy technologies have emerged as additional alternatives to build the relevant energy infrastructure while aligning Africa’s growth with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They currently carry a substantial economic cost, and technological choices in the sector are long-term and have important implications. The share of modern renewables (i.e. solar, wind and geothermal) in Africa’s energy mix currently stands at only 0.4% but is increasing. Solar technologies have some very positive characteristics, but are not yet competitive in all circumstances. Nevertheless, financing for these technologies is increasingly available and production costs are coming down.Depending on a specific country’s situation, PV and CSP are valuable contributions to the energy mix, with CSP recommendable for more economically advanced countries given its considerably higher cost. African countries should consider well whether to engage in such expensive technology at this point in time given the expected cost-reductions in the medium to long term. PV, on the other hand is already cost-competitive and holds much promise for Africa. While the importance of off-grid PV systems is well-recognized, the discussion in this paper focuses on grid-connected systems that have experienced the greatest expansion. It will be imperative for African countries to develop a conducive environment so as to support the growth of the appropriate kind of solar energy in Africa.Keywords: Solar power, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), Photovoltaic (PV), Renewable energy, Africa.
    Keywords: Africa, Solar power, concentrated solar power, Photovoltaic, Renewable energy
    Date: 2017–05
  5. By: Adela Zubikova (University of Economics in Prague, Faculty of Economics)
    Abstract: The aim of the article is to verify the validity of resource curse in the case of Nigeria at the beginning of the new millennium. The theoretical part defines the role of natural resources as a form of capital, the symptoms of the alleged curse and transmission channels of resource curse. The practical part verifies several hypotheses established by comparing research papers on impacts of natural resources. The validity of the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis, Dutch disease symptoms and a negative impact on political institutions (inclination toward authoritarianism, high level of corruption, high government spending and low efficiency of economic and political decision-making) are verified. Results confirm most of the manifestations of the resource curse.
    Keywords: resource curse, natural capital, economic growth, Prebisch-Singer hypothesis, Dutch disease
    JEL: O13 Q00 Q33
    Date: 2017–07

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