nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2018‒05‒21
seven papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. African Megacities as Emerging Innovation Ecosystems By Nawrot, Katarzyna A.; Juma, Calestous; Donald, James
  2. Fertilizer and Sustainable Intensification in Africa By Holden , Stein T.
  3. What can we learn on Chinese aid allocation motivations from new available data? A sectorial analysis of Chinese aid to African countries By Marlène Guillon; Jacky Mathonnat
  4. Will the African Free Trade Agreement Succeed? By Rim Berahab; Uri Dadush
  5. African Regional Economic Integration: The Emergence, Evolution, and Impact of Institutional Innovation By Juma, Calestous; Mangeni, Francis
  6. Space Technology and Africa’s Development: The Strategic Role of Small Satellites By Juma, Calestous; Harris, Wesley L.; Waswa, Peter B.
  7. Towards redistributive social protection systems? Insights from Senegal and Morocco. By Sarah Vaes; Bénédicte Fonteneau; Jan Van Ongevalle

  1. By: Nawrot, Katarzyna A. (Poznan University of Economics and Business); Juma, Calestous (Harvard University); Donald, James (Harvard University)
    Abstract: The unprecedented population growth in Africa and its projections followed by a high rate of urbanization are resulting in a growing number of huge urban agglomerations – cities and megacities. That phenomenon creates opportunities for the continent, but it also raises concerns about low levels of development and diminished quality of life among the majority of urban residents. African cities are characterized by overcrowding, poor infrastructure, and limited connectivity to the international economic system. They are essentially underperforming as potential centres of creativity and innovation. This paper argues that despite these challenges, Africa’s emerging megacities can unleash their potential as drivers of economic transformation if they can be viewed and managed less as static administrative regions and more as dynamic innovation ecosystems rather than a collection of discrete geographical enclosures that encroach on each other and neighbouring regions without adequate urban planning.
    Date: 2017–08
  2. By: Holden , Stein T. (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: The paper investigates the important role of fertilizer to enhance sustainable intensification and food security in Sub-Saharan Africa based on a multi-disciplinary literature review. The review starts with a macro-perspective taking population growth, economic development and climate change into account. This is complemented with a micro-perspective summarizing findings from comprehensive micro-data in selected African countries. Agronomic, environmental and economic profitability implications of fertilizer use are reviewed. An assessment is made whether small farmers in Africa should be considered rational or partly irrational agricultural decision-makers and whether this can affect fertilizer use. I then discuss some controversial and promising policy approaches that may have the potential to enhance sustainable intensification and nutrient use efficiency in African agriculture before I conclude.
    Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; fertilizer; sustainable intensification; food security; policy.
    JEL: Q12 Q18 Q56
    Date: 2018–01–05
  3. By: Marlène Guillon (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Jacky Mathonnat (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International)
    Abstract: Since the creation of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2000, Chinese official development assistance (ODA) to Africa has increased drastically. Only few analyses on the determinants of Chinese ODA allocation to African countries are available. Moreover, existing literature mainly focused on total aid flows while Chinese motivations for aid allocation might differ depending on the ODA sector considered. Our objective is to study the factors associated with Chinese aid allocation to African countries by sector between 2000 and 2014. We consider 3 ODA broad sectors as defined by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD): the social infrastructure and services sector, the economic infrastructure and services sector and the production sector. Chinese ODA is measured using the AidData's Global Chinese Official Finance Dataset, 2000-2014, Version 1.0, released in fall 2017. Over the 2000-2014 period, China allocated 971, 218 and 138 ODA projects to African countries in the social infrastructure and services sector, the economic infrastructure and services sector and the production sector respectively. Between 2000 and 2014, the economic infrastructure and services sector was the first sector in terms of ODA amount with a total of US$18.9 billion ahead from the social infrastructure and services sector with US$7 billion or the production sector with US$3.1 billion. Results of our analysis suggest that the motivations of Chinese aid allocation to African countries differ by sector. Chinese ODA in the social infrastructure and services sector appears responsive to the economic needs of recipient countries but is also driven by foreign policy considerations. Chinese economic interest, in particular for natural resources acquisition, is associated with China’s ODA allocation in the economic infrastructure and services sector. Finally, while institutions in recipient countries are not related to Chinese ODA in the social infrastructure and services sector, we find that China allocates more ODA in the economic infrastructure and services sector and the production sector to African countries with weaker institutions. One of the strong conclusions of this study is to show that considering only China's overall aid to Africa can be misleading as to its underlying determinants, and therefore to point out the need to disaggregate the analysis by ODA sectors.
    Keywords: Official development assistance,China,Africa,sectorial analysis
    Date: 2018–04–24
  4. By: Rim Berahab; Uri Dadush
    Abstract: The recently signed African Continental Free Trade Agreement represents a countercurrent to protectionist tendencies across the Atlantic and the Pacific, and may well move the economic integration of the African continent forward. Translating the vision into action, however, will call upon signatories to undertake deeper domestic reforms and to confront specific challenges related to the agreement itself. This brief explains why the agreement is important for Africa and identifies policy implications for Africa and for third countries.
    Date: 2018–04
  5. By: Juma, Calestous (Harvard University); Mangeni, Francis (Harvard University)
    Abstract: The power of Pan-Africanism as a guiding vision for the continent’s development is widely studied, mostly as an aspirational phenomenon. At worst, Pan-Africanism has often been seen as a poor imitation of American federalism or European integration. Both of these perceptions do not reflect the profound nature of the role that the ideology of Pan-Africanism played in shaping the continent’s economic transformation.
    Date: 2018–01
  6. By: Juma, Calestous (Harvard University); Harris, Wesley L. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Waswa, Peter B. (Arizona State University)
    Abstract: In 2014 the African Union adopted a 10-year Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024). The strategy provides a flexible framework for adopting flagship programs that involve a number of countries based on their needs, capabilities and long-term development objectives. Some areas of technological endeavor, however, represent foundations upon which economic activities are constructed. One of those areas is building geospatial data infrastructure. This can be achieved through a variety of data-collecting measures ranging from large satellites to unmanned aerial vehicles. The opportunity to use remote sensing technology for development has never been greater. There are over 100 remote sensing satellites currently in orbit, with over half designed to gather imagery that could be used for development. The industry is also growing: the OECD estimates that over 250 satellites will be launched during this decade alone, compared to half that amount during the last decade. Recent innovations around satellite technologies have also driven down costs and made it viable for low-income countries to develop cost-effective satellite programs. This paper examines small satellite programs as windows of opportunity for countries to achieve their development goals. First, it locates the potential socioeconomic benefits of satellites in low-income countries. Next, it explores the recent history of, and lessons learned by, South Africa, Brazil, and South Korea. While tens of other countries have developed satellite programs, these case studies offer insights into how and why countries have created successful programs. Next, this chapter examines the latest technologies and focuses on emerging opportunities for current and future space programs. Lastly, it develops concrete options and a clear strategy for policymakers in emerging markets to consider when designing future programs.
    Date: 2017–09
  7. By: Sarah Vaes (HIVA, KU Leuven); Bénédicte Fonteneau (HIVA, KU Leuven); Jan Van Ongevalle (HIVA, KU Leuven)
    Abstract: Social protection has come to feature more and more prominently on international and national development agendas. This quest for social protection in developing countries raises on important question: how can social protection act as an instrument for redistribution of wealth at the national level? The redistributive potential of a social protection mechanism will determine to a great extent its sustainability, ownership and impact on inequality, as well as its contribution to financing development. Assessing and enhancing this redistributive potential requires a multi-dimensional analysis and approach, encompassing political, technical, institutional and financial considerations.
    Date: 2017–04

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