nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2020‒03‒02
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Jobs in Global Value Chains : New Evidence for Four African Countries in International Perspective By Pahl,Stefan; Timmer,Marcel Peter; Gouma,Reitze; Woltjer,Pieter J.
  2. Industrialization on a Knife's Edge : Productivity, Labor Costs and the Rise of Manufacturing in Ethiopia By Caria,Stefano
  3. Sources of Manufacturing Productivity Growth in Africa By Jones,Patricia; Lartey,Emmanuel Kwasi Koranteng; Mengistae,Taye Alemu; Zeufack,Albert G.
  4. Participation of civil society in decisions to mitigate environmental degradation in post-conflict societies: evidence from Somalia By Jama, Osman M; Liu, Guijian; Diriye, Abdishakur W.; Yousaf, Balal; Basiru, Ibrahim; Abdi, Abdulhakim M
  5. What does empowerment mean to women in northern Ghana? Insights from research around a small-scale irrigation intervention By Bryan, Elizabeth; Garner, Elisabeth

  1. By: Pahl,Stefan; Timmer,Marcel Peter; Gouma,Reitze; Woltjer,Pieter J.
    Abstract: What is the potential for job growth in Africa under participation in global value chains (GVCs)? In this study the concept of GVC jobs is introduced which tracks the number of jobs associated with GVC production of goods. A novel decomposition approach is used to account for GVC jobs by three proximate sources: global demand for final goods, a country's GVC competitiveness (measured as the country's share in serving global demand) and technology (workers needed per unit of output). Based on newly assembled data, it is shown how GVC jobs and incomes have changed over the period 2000-14 in Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa, compared to developments in some other low- and middle-income countries in the world. The four African countries stand out in terms of a low share of GVC jobs in the (formal) manufacturing sector, and a relatively high share in agriculture due to strong backward linkages, especially in the case of food production. All countries benefitted highly from growing global demand for final goods. At the same time it appears that technical change in GVCs is biased against the use of labour, greatly diminishing the potential for job growth through GVC participation.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Food&Beverage Industry,Plastics&Rubber Industry,Business Cycles and Stabilization Policies,Textiles, Apparel&Leather Industry,Pulp&Paper Industry,Common Carriers Industry,Construction Industry,General Manufacturing,International Trade and Trade Rules,Industrial and Consumer Services and Products,Transport and Trade Logistics
    Date: 2019–07–31
  2. By: Caria,Stefano
    Abstract: The latest push for industrialization in Ethiopia has attracted much academic and public interest. This paper assesses Ethiopia's competitiveness and attractiveness as an investment destination by comparing domestic productivity and input costs to a sample of manufacturing exporting countries. The paper documents that, in a comparison with Kenya, India or Vietnam, the labor cost advantage of Ethiopian firms is more than offset by low productivity. However, Ethiopia appears competitive when compared to Bangladesh. Capital, firm size, or sectoral composition do not explain the low productivity of the Ethiopian manufacturing sector. Ethiopian firms, however, have worse management, particularly in the area of labor management. The paper concludes by discussing the potential for labor interventions to increase productivity and create the condition for further industrialization.
    Keywords: Food&Beverage Industry,General Manufacturing,Textiles, Apparel&Leather Industry,Pulp&Paper Industry,Common Carriers Industry,Construction Industry,Business Cycles and Stabilization Policies,Plastics&Rubber Industry,Skills Development and Labor Force Training,Labor Markets,Private Sector Economics,Macroeconomics and Economic Growth,Economic Policy, Institutions and Governance
    Date: 2019–08–13
  3. By: Jones,Patricia; Lartey,Emmanuel Kwasi Koranteng; Mengistae,Taye Alemu; Zeufack,Albert G.
    Abstract: This paper investigates the sources of growth in manufacturing productivity in Cote D?Ivoire, Ethiopia and Tanzania in comparison with the case of Bangladesh. Based on the analysis of establishment census data since the mid-1990s, it finds that reallocation of market share between firms contributed substantially to productivity growth in each of the four countries, although to a varying extent. In Ethiopia, the impact of market share reallocations among survivors tended to be larger than those associated with increases in within-plant productivity. In addition, plant closure (or exit) boosted productivity more than new plant openings (or entry) did in the sense that the relative productivity of survivors (or continuing plants) was higher relative to that of closing plants (or exit cases) than it was relative to the productivity of newly opening plants (or new entrants). Reallocation of market share plays an important role in raising aggregate productivity in Côte d?Ivoire as well. But the pattern here is opposite to that in Ethiopia in that in Côte d?Ivoire entering (or newly opening) plants have larger impact on aggregate productivity growth than closing (or exiting) plants. Unlike the case with Cote D?Ivoire and of Ethiopia, the reallocation of market share among surviving plants is a smaller source of manufacturing productivity growth in Tanzania than the new plant openings and plant closure. The data suggest that the reallocation of market share among surviving plants and exiting plants has larger impact on productivity growth in Bangladesh than the productivity gap between new plants and survivors, as in the case of Ethiopia.
    Keywords: Construction Industry,Common Carriers Industry,Food&Beverage Industry,Plastics&Rubber Industry,Business Cycles and Stabilization Policies,General Manufacturing,Pulp&Paper Industry,Textiles, Apparel&Leather Industry,International Trade and Trade Rules,Transport Services,Oil Refining&Gas Industry,Labor Markets
    Date: 2019–08–19
  4. By: Jama, Osman M; Liu, Guijian; Diriye, Abdishakur W.; Yousaf, Balal; Basiru, Ibrahim; Abdi, Abdulhakim M
    Abstract: The question of the degree to which participation by civil society contributes to environmental decisions in post-conflict societies has received little attention. This study sheds light on the extent to which degrees of participation contribute to environmental decision-making in the Puntland State of Somalia using questionnaire surveys. We found that active participation has the highest contribution to environmental decisions. Our findings also indicated that the most pressing forms of environmental degradation in Puntland, as perceived by the respondents, are land degradation, drought related to the scarcity of rainfall, and deforestation. This study recommends “environmental cooperation” built into the peace-building process as a clear-cut concept to tackle both environmental degradation and conflicts. At the core of this concept is active participation and collaboration between civil society and the government as a means of mitigating environmental degradation in post-conflict Somalia. This will result in favorable environmental conditions and sustainable peace.
    Date: 2020–02–09
  5. By: Bryan, Elizabeth; Garner, Elisabeth
    Abstract: Women’s empowerment is important to improve the status of women and achieve greater gender equity. It is also an important vehicle for achieving other development goals related to food security, nutrition, health, and economic growth. Increasingly, researchers seek ways to measure women’s empowerment, trace the pathways through which women’s empowerment is achieved, and provide guidance for policymakers and practitioners aiming to facilitate women’s empowerment through their interventions. This paper explores local perceptions of empowerment in the Upper East Region of Ghana in the context of a small-scale irrigation intervention targeted to men and women farmers. Using data collected through qualitative interviews and focus groups, the paper traces the linkages between small-scale irrigation and aspects of women’s empowerment, identified as important to men and women farmers themselves. The relationship between the components of empowerment and small-scale irrigation are placed within a larger context of social change underlying these relationships. Finally, this paper explores the ways that the introduction of modern technologies for small-scale irrigation may contribute to women’s empowerment.
    Keywords: GHANA, WEST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, gender, irrigation, empowerment, women, gender equity, farmers, qualitative analysis, technology
    Date: 2020

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