nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2017‒09‒17
six papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Is Aid for Agriculture Effective in Sub-Saharan Africa? By John Ssozi; Simplice Asongu; Voxi Amavilah
  2. Business and government interdependence in emerging economies: Insights from hotels in Ghana By Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph; Debrah, Yaw A.; Honyenuga, Ben Q.; Adzoyi, Paulina N.
  3. Successes and Failures of Water and Sanitation Governance Choices in Sub-Saharan Africa (1990-2017) By Antonio Estache
  4. Land use competition in Sub-Saharan Africa's rural areas By Nolte, Kerstin; Sipangule, Kacana
  5. ‘Voluntary’ repatriation of Rwandan refugees in Uganda: analysis of law and practice By Ahimbisibwe, Frank
  6. Energy Consumption and Health Outcomes in Africa By Adel Ben Youssef; Laurence Lannes; Christophe Rault; Agnès Soucat

  1. By: John Ssozi (Baylor University, USA); Simplice Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon); Voxi Amavilah (REEPS, Arizona, USA)
    Abstract: One of the key economic development challenges facing Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is its low agricultural productivity. Governments, donors, and foreign investors have underinvested in African agriculture even though research evidence shows that higher agricultural productivity would boost economic growth and poverty reduction. Solutions to the problem require a number of interconnected strategies, including, but not limited to, research on seeds and inputs, extension services, rural development, credit, institutional, and trade and price stabilization policies. We use the system two-step Generalized Method of Moments to examine whether official development assistance (ODA) for agriculture and rural development is helping to boost agricultural productivity. We find a positive relationship between ODA and agricultural productivity. However, when broken down into the main agricultural ODA recipient sectors, there is a substitution effect between food crop production and industrial crop production. While there exists a positive relationship between ODA for industrial and export crops output per worker (agricultural productivity), ODA for food crops has a negative relationship. Better public institutions and economic freedom are also found to enable agricultural productivity growth and to increase the ODA effectiveness. We correct the results for spurious correlation assuming that more ODA might be allocated where agricultural productivity is already increasing due to some other factors. Concerning the determinants of ODA allocation, we find that the allocation of ODA for agriculture is primarily determined by agricultural need, and that the expected effectiveness increases the ODA receipts. Finally, there is a weak ODA-led structural economic change effect in SSA. Labor released from agriculture to the urban sector(s) has a positive market effect on agriculture but is not engendering significant structural economic transformation.
    Keywords: Foreign aid; Agriculture; Development; Africa
    JEL: F35 F50 Q10 O10 O55
    Date: 2017–09
  2. By: Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph; Debrah, Yaw A.; Honyenuga, Ben Q.; Adzoyi, Paulina N.
    Abstract: Although social science research is replete with scholarly works on capacity building, relatively few studies have focused on how government can induce capacity building among privately owned enterprises in emerging economies. We seek to fill the lacuna in our understanding by examining how a government can induce capacity building among privately owned enterprises. The study adopted a qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews with hotel owners, employees and managers, as well as government officials in Ghana to examine the issue. We identified three unique stages through which such capacity-building initiatives unfold encompassing diagnosing, renewal and customer centricity. The study revealed that capacity building through collaborative partnership was partly motivated by desire to overcome societal resistance to services seen as “tainted”. The concluding section outlines a number of theoretical and practical implications.
    Keywords: Ghana; Africa; capacity building; hotels; government; interdependence
    JEL: L1 L10 L2
    Date: 2017–08
  3. By: Antonio Estache
    Abstract: Based on a survey of evidence on progress and of analytical diagnostics from various angles, the paper argues that, under current management and reform strategies, the SSA countries still lagging in coverage are unlikely to reach the universal water access and adequate sanitation targets promised by the Sustainable Development Goals set in 2016. This is not just about more, it is also about faster and better. And it is not only by the countries themselves, but it needs to imply all stakeholders in a coordinated way. There are three main explanations. The first is that, despite all the bells and whistles on achievements, financing constraints continue to be quite binding. Second, many of the local and international stakeholders continue to be slow at internalizing the lessons from the strategic mistakes in reform and technology choices and, in particular, in their implementation. And third, the current handling of the fast and accelerating urbanization process in the region, combined with an high population growth, is having unplanned and unmanaged perverse effects on the level and nature of the demand for service. Change has been coming and continues to come. But it is too slow and too unfocused to help fast enough the poorest who continue to be excluded from the benefits of improvements in the sector.
    Date: 2017–09
  4. By: Nolte, Kerstin; Sipangule, Kacana
    Abstract: There has been an increased interest in agricultural land in Africa's rural areas. While foreign investments have taken center stage in the debate on large-scale agricultural investments, the role played by domestic investors - particularly medium-scale farmers - should not be neglected. This interest in agricultural land further increases land pressure and land use competition between commercial interests, local livelihoods and ecosystem services. Land poor smallholders and pastoralists are the most vulnerable in this transformation; both are challenged by a loss of access to land and increased competition on local markets. Policy needs to focus on raising smallholder agricultural productivity and on exploiting the potential for smallholders.
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Ahimbisibwe, Frank
    Abstract: Uganda hosts refugees from neighboring countries including Rwanda. According to UNHCR, by the end of 2016, Uganda was the 5th and 1st top refugee hosting country in the world and Africa respectively. It hosted over 900,000 refugees. This number had increased to over 1.2 million by May 2017. In 2003, a tripartite agreement was signed to repatriate 25,000 Rwandan refugees. Only 850 refugees accepted to return and most of them came back almost immediately to Uganda claiming insecurity and human rights violations in Rwanda. Although legal principles and norms exist on voluntary repatriation, they have been violated in the case of the Rwandans’ repatriation. There exists a gap between the legal principles and the practice of repatriation. This article analyzes this discrepancy by focusing on specific legal principles of repatriation like the right to return, the principle of non-refoulement, return in safety and dignity and the ceasing of causes for flight.
    Keywords: Rwandan refugees; voluntary repatriation; refugee law; human rights law; Uganda; Rwanda
    Date: 2017–07
  6. By: Adel Ben Youssef (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Laurence Lannes (The World Bank - The World Bank); Christophe Rault (LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UO - Université d'Orléans); Agnès Soucat (WHO - World Health Organisation - WHO(OMS))
    Abstract: We examine causal links between energy consumption and health indicators (Mortality rate under-5, life expectancy, greenhouse effect, and government expenditure per capita) for a sample of 16 African countries over the period 1971-2010 (according to availability of countries' data). We use the panel-data approach of Kónya (2006), which is based on SUR systems and Wald tests with country specific bootstrap critical values. Our results show that health and energy consumption are strongly linked in Africa. Unilateral causality is found from energy consumption to life expectancy and child under-5 mortality for Senegal, Morocco, Benin, DRC, Algeria, Egypt, and South Africa. At the same time, we found a bilateral causality between energy consumption and health indicators in Nigeria. In particular, our findings suggest that electricity consumption Granger causes health outcomes for several African countries.
    Keywords: Energy consumption,Electricity,Health outcomes,Africa
    Date: 2016–09–15

This nep-afr issue is ©2017 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.