nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2019‒07‒15
four papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. How do African SMEs respond to climate risks? Evidence from Kenya and Senegal By Crick, Florence; Eskander, Shaikh M.S.U.; Fankhauser, Samuel; Diop, Mamadou
  2. Inclusive development in environmental sustainability in sub-Saharan Africa: insights from governance mechanisms By Simplice A. Asongu; Nicholas M. Odhiambo
  3. Are trade preferences a panacea? The African growth and opportunity act and African exports By Ana Margarida Fernandes; Hibret Maemir; Aaditya Mattoo; Alejandro Forero
  4. Who owns the land? Social relations and conflict over resources in Africa By Berry, Sara S.

  1. By: Crick, Florence; Eskander, Shaikh M.S.U.; Fankhauser, Samuel; Diop, Mamadou
    Abstract: This paper investigates to what extent and how micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries are adapting to climate risks. We use a questionnaire survey to collect data from 325 SMEs in the semi-arid regions of Kenya and Senegal and analyze this information to estimate the quality of current adaptation measures, distinguishing between sustainable and unsustainable adaptation. We then study the link between these current adaptation practices and adaptation planning for future climate change. We find that financial barriers are a key reason why firms resort to unsustainable adaptation, while general business support, access to information technology and adaptation assistance encourages sustainable adaptation responses. Engaging in adaptation today also increases the likelihood that a firm is preparing for future climate change. The finding lends support to the strategy of many development agencies who use adaptation to current climate variability as a way of building resilience to future climate change. There is a clear role for public policy in facilitating good adaptation. The ability of firms to respond to climate risks depends in no small measure on factors such as business environment that can be shaped through policy intervention. Highlights: - Adaptive capacity determines the quality of current adaptation measures of SMEs. - Supportive business environment encourages sustainable adaptation responses. - Financial barriers lead SMEs to unsustainable adaptation practices. - Current adaptation practices influence the planning for future climate change. - Policy interventions can influence SMEs’ ability to respond to climatic risks.
    Keywords: ES/K006576/1
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2018–04–13
  2. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroon); Nicholas M. Odhiambo (Pretoria, South Africa)
    Abstract: This research examines the relevance of inclusive development in modulating the role of governance on environmental degradation. The study focuses on forty-four countries in sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2000-2012. The Generalised Method of Moments is employed as the empirical strategy and CO2 emissions per capita is used to measure environmental pollution. Bundled and unbundled governance dynamics are employed, notably: political governance (consisting of political stability/no violence and “voice and accountability†), economic governance (encompassing government effectiveness and regulation quality), institutional governance (entailing corruption-control and the rule of law), and general governance (a composite measure of political governance, economic governance and institutional governance). The following main findings are established. First, the underlying net effect in the moderating role of inclusive development in the governance-CO2 emissions nexus is not significant in regressions pertaining to political governance and economic governance. Second, there are positive net effects from the relevance of inclusive development in modulating the effects of regulation quality, economic governance and general governance on CO2 emissions. The significant and insignificant effects are elucidated. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: CO2 emissions; Governance; Sustainable development; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: C52 O38 O40 O55 P37
    Date: 2019–01
  3. By: Ana Margarida Fernandes; Hibret Maemir; Aaditya Mattoo; Alejandro Forero
    Abstract: Does "infant industry" preferential access durably boost export performance? This paper exploits significant trade policy changes in the United States (US) to address this question. The expansion of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) products for less developed countries in 1997 and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in 2001 are used to assess whether preferential access boosts exports of eligible products in general and apparel specifically. The end of the Multi-Fiber Arrangement (MFA) in 2005 is used to assess whether apparel export expansions survived the erosion of preferences. To find a causal impact of these changes, we use a triple-differences regression and 26 years of newly constructed trade and tariff data at the country-product-year level (1992-2017). The analysis finds that AGOA boosted African apparel exports and the GSP expansion increased African exports of other eligible products. While the marginal impacts on African apparel exports grew sharply in the first AGOA years, they leveled off after 2005, when the MFA end unleashed competition from Asian countries. The illusion of sustained African apparel exports is created by late-bloomers in East Africa offsetting boom-bust patterns in Southern Africa and insignificant responses in Central and West Africa. Firm-level customs data reveal that even in East Africa the recent export growth was driven by new entrants rather than incumbent firms whose competitiveness might have been nurtured by the big preference margins in the early AGOA period. Preferential access per se was not sufficient but needed to be complemented by specific domestic reforms: tariff liberalization, reduced regulatory burden, and enhanced connectivity.
    Keywords: tariff preferences, Africa, AGOA, GSP, exports, MFA
    JEL: F13 F14 O20 O55
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Berry, Sara S.
    Abstract: Using case studies drawn from the authors' own and others' research, this working paper describes and compares some of the ways land conflicts reflected, intensified or reshaped struggles over authority within and between families, local communities, institutions and states in post-colonial Africa. In the past, many Africans gained access to land through membership in a social group, rather than freehold ownership. In recent decades, with rising demand for land, urgent questions arose about land tenure and debates over land transactions often turned on issues of authority. Who was entitled to sell, lease, mortgage or bequeath land or land use rights to others, and who could decide? Coinciding with Africans' struggles to work out the conditions of their own self-government following the end of colonial rule, rising competition over land intersected with conflicts over authority and obligation at all levels of social interaction. This essay will focus on processes of 'privatisation from below', asking how smaller-scale commercial acquisitions figure as sources of wealth and/or threats to livelihood in different economic and political contexts
    Keywords: land ownership,land rights,social relations,authority,Landbesitz,Landrechte,soziale Beziehungen,Autorität
    Date: 2018

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