nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2021‒08‒09
seven papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. The regulation of interconnection and regulatory alignment in the Southern African Development Community By Grace Nsomba
  2. Jobs, Economic Growth, and Capacity Development for Youth in Africa By Haroon Bhorat; Morné Oosthuizen
  3. The Impact of International Migration on sub-Saharan African Women to the Middle East By Estella Achinko
  4. Do gifts buy votes?: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa By Jenny Guardado; Leonard Wantchekon
  5. The dynamics of state-business relations between the Ethiopian state and Chinese private firms: A case study of the Eastern Industry Park By Weiwei Chen
  6. How is life in West Africa's cities?: Results from an online perception survey of life in urban areas By Abel Schumann; SWAC
  7. Does Government Education Expenditure Affect Educational Outcomes? New Evidence from Sub-Sahara African Countries By Adesoji O. Farayibi; Oludele Folarin

  1. By: Grace Nsomba
    Abstract: This paper analyses interconnection in telecommunications markets in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, focusing on cross-border roaming as well as international interconnection. These issues have been identified as critical for cross-border integration and regulatory alignment. The paper argues for a greater alignment of regulatory approaches across the SADC region to promote competition, lower prices, and innovation.
    Keywords: Southern African Development Community, Competition, Regulation, Telecommunication
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Haroon Bhorat; Morné Oosthuizen (Development Policy Research Unit, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: The rapid growth of its population presents both opportunities and challenges to the African continent. In order for the demographic dividend to be harnessed, African countries’ youthful populations need to find productive work. Unfortunately, labour market outcomes on the continent tend to be relatively poor, and while there has been a shift towards the services sector as a potential engine for future economic growth, development and— critically—jobs, it is debatable as to whether the services sector can generate jobs of the quantity or quality required to raise incomes. In this paper, we argue that the economic complexity framework, with its associated mapping of products within the product space, provides a useful lens through which to view industrial policymaking. By focusing more narrowly on specific products identified through the economic complexity methodology, it is argued that policymakers can be presented with a more targeted menu of policy recommendations aimed at resolving very specific problems within economies. By successfully addressing capability constraints, policy can have a potentially greater impact on the accumulation of capabilities and economic diversification, unlocking the potential of manufacturing as a source of economic dynamism and job creation.
    Keywords: Africa; Economic Growth; Jobs; Employment; Youth; Demographic Dividend; Population; Labour Markets; Structural Transformation; Economic Complexity; Product Space.
    JEL: J08 J11 J18 J60 N3 N17 O55
    Date: 2020–05
  3. By: Estella Achinko (The Women’s Welfare Foundation (WoWF), Cameroon)
    Abstract: Recently, there has been a surge in female immigration from Africa to the Middle East, joining the global movement of migrants, while, constituting the dangers and feminist dilemmas posed by the rise in African women’s migration. Sub-Saharan African women face challenges as labor migrants in the process of leaving their home countries to the Middle East in search for job opportunities and to better their lives and families. At the center of these challenges have involved extreme dehumaniza-tion through slave labor, human trafficking, sexual exploitation while impacting their psychological and mental well being. This study analyzes the various factors that affect the migration and em-ployment of sub-Saharan African women domestic workers in the Middle East, based on both pull and push factors. The work further examines and shows how gender inequalities play a role in shaping women’s experiences in migration, and how States/governments in both the Middle East and Africa remain complicit in worsening women’s migratory experiences through laws that are be-ing established. This empirical based and theoretical discussion exposes the experiences of sub-Saharan African women through a transnational feminist lens and analysis. Also, it leads to a larger based discussion on transnational feminism and how we can construct a transnational platform that draws attention to the relationship between globalization and the international division of gendered labor. My overarching goal through this study is to draw attention to pursuing and expanding our discussions on feminist migration studies through diverse perspectives that are directed towards the empowerment of women in Africa in particular, and around the world in general.
    Keywords: Domestic labor, Gender, International Migration, Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, Women
    Date: 2021–05
  4. By: Jenny Guardado; Leonard Wantchekon
    Abstract: Vote-buying?or the pre-electoral distribution of private goods in exchange for support at the ballot box?is often blamed for the poor economic performance of many sub-Saharan countries. For instance, vote-buying may undermine accountability and the implementation of sound development policies by pressuring individuals to vote against their own interests. Yet, these effects depend on vote-buying leading to electoral outcomes that would not have occurred otherwise.
    Keywords: Elections, vote-buying, Sub-Saharan Africa
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Weiwei Chen
    Abstract: Despite the Ethiopian government's commitment to attracting foreign direct investment to its emerging manufacturing sector and its shared interests with Chinese private businesses in building profitable investments, relations between Chinese private businesses and the Ethiopian government are not always amicable. 'Win-win' narratives tend to oversimplify the reality of Chinese investments in Ethiopia's manufacturing sector, despite shared interests.
    Keywords: Foreign firms, Political economy, Bargaining, Ethiopia
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Abel Schumann; SWAC
    Abstract: The number of people living in African cities is expected to double over the next two decades. While the need to provide adequate infrastructure, create high quality jobs and manage pollution in fast growing cities has been well studied, these studies say little about subjective quality of city life. This paper presents findings from the first large-scale quality of life perception survey covering 27 cities in 17 countries in West Africa and the Sahel. Responses from nearly 9000 urban West Africans provide an insight into perceptions of city life, local government quality, and policy priorities with the intention of giving residents a voice in the policy dialogue on the future of African cities. In addition to comparing perceptions across cities, the paper demonstrates the feasibility of an online approach to run large-scale online surveys in West African cities of different sizes and cultural contexts.
    Keywords: cities, perception survey, urbanisation, well-being, West Africa
    JEL: R50 Y80
    Date: 2021–08–05
  7. By: Adesoji O. Farayibi (University of Ibadan, Nigeria); Oludele Folarin (University of Ibadan, Nigeria)
    Abstract: The human capital crisis, reflected in the weak global competitiveness of African education, has questioned the effectiveness of public spending in increasing educational outcomes in the continent. Thus, this article examines the impact of government education expenditure on educational outcomes in 31 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries from 2000-2019 based on a Generalized Method of Moments (GMM). The study sheds light on the priorities of government education spending in the continent. Findings showed that the effect of government education spending on educational outcomes in SSA was driven by the measure of educational outcome used. Government spending in Africa had focused mainly on primary and secondary education to the detriment of tertiary education because it is convenient and generates political gains. Due to institutional rigidities which emanate from the governance structure, the inequitable allocation of government funding had made higher education in Africa less responsive to the changes in global knowledge and labour market demands. Therefore, the following policy agenda becomes imperative in the SSA: (i) government education spending should equitably target all education levels to improve the aggregate human capital development indicators in the region. (ii) There is a need to enhance government institutions' capacity to increase their level of effectiveness and performance.
    Keywords: Government Education Expenditure; Educational Outcomes Higher Education; System GMM; sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: E24 E52 E62 J17 J21 J24
    Date: 2021–01

This nep-afr issue is ©2021 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.