nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2021‒09‒06
six papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Economic growth, renewable and nonrenewable electricity consumption: A fresh evidence from a panel sample of African countries By Espoir, Delphin Kamanda; Sunge, Regret; Bannor, Frank
  2. Modelling Disaggregated Government Expenditure and Manufacturing Sector Performance Nexus and their Influence on Economic Performance By Idowu, Ayodele; Collins, Tomisin
  3. Buying Security with Charity: Why donors change conditionality By Johnny Flentø; Leonardo Santos Simao
  4. The Notion of Ubuntu and its Implications for Sustainable Cities in Africa. The Case of Kinshasa By Moleka, Pitshou
  5. Sudan’s political marketplace in 2021: public and political finance, the Juba agreement and contests By Gallopin, Jean-Baptiste; Thomas, Eddie; Detzner, Sarah; De Waal, Alex
  6. The Effects of Green Building Workspace Design on the Performance of Employees By Thabelo Ramantswana; Tsepiso Mote

  1. By: Espoir, Delphin Kamanda; Sunge, Regret; Bannor, Frank
    Abstract: Energy transition has imposed a policy priority dilemma between economic growth and global warming mitigation. Existing studies in Africa have examined the impact of energy sources on growth but overlooked the differences across countries and regions. This study seeks to achieve two research objectives. First, it examines and compares the impact of renewable electricity consumption (REC) and nonrenewable electricity consumption (NREC) on growth in 48 African countries between 1980 and 2018. The study uses the recent panel estimators of cross-sectional dependence, slope heterogeneity, and cointegration. For the short and long-run marginal effects, the Pooled Mean Group estimator is used. Second, the analysis is extended to account for the heterogeneous effects of energy among African countries in four regional economic communities (EAC, COMESA, SADC, and ECOWAS). Here, we use the random-coefficients linear regression and kernel-based regularized least squares machine learning algorithm. The findings are as follows: (1) there is cointegration amongst the variables, (2) for the entire sample, both REC and NREC have positive and significant effects on growth, but NREC has an enormous impact, (3) the marginal effects of REC and NREC differ across African regions. Given the energy transition dilemma, there is a need for public-private partnership investments to bring a balanced mix between NREC and REC. Also, the heterogeneity suggests that a one-size-fit-all policy designed to increase growth through REC may not yield the same outcome in Africa. Therefore, while policies should speak to the common global agenda, there is a need to internalise and localise the strategies in each country and/or region.
    Keywords: Renewable energy consumption,Economic growth,Climate change,Africa
    JEL: O47 O55 Q42 Q54
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Idowu, Ayodele; Collins, Tomisin
    Abstract: The study investigates the influence of manufacturing sector performance and disaggregated government expenditure on economic performance in Nigeria. Government expenditure is disaggregated into social and community services and economic services. The study employed and makes use of time series data from 1981 to 2020. Data on manufacturing sector performance, government expenditure on social, government expenditure on community services and economic services, foreign direct investment, interest rate, population and economic growth were sourced from Central Bank of Nigeria statistical bulletin, World Development Indicators and Nigeria Bureau of Statistics. The Unit root test shows that all variables except foreign direct investment and population are stationary at first difference and the bounds test confirms existence of long run relationship among the variables at 5% significant level. The econometric technique used in estimating the VAR model to run the causality test is the Toda-Yamamoto model while Autoregressive Distributed Lag Model (ARDL) model was the estimation technique used to analyze the main objective of the study to generate short run and long run result. The econometric model estimated reveals that manufacturing sector performance, foreign direct investment, government expenditure on community and social services have a positive and significant impact on economic performance while government expenditure on economic services have a negative and significant impact on economic performance while interest rate does not have a significant impact on economic performance.
    Keywords: Manufacturing Sector performance, Government expenditure, Economic growth, Modelling.
    JEL: E2 E62 O1 O4
    Date: 2021–08–18
  3. By: Johnny Flentø (University of Copenhagen); Leonardo Santos Simao (Government of Mozambique, Maputo)
    Abstract: This paper explores how relations between donors and sub-Saharan countries have evolved since 1961 when ODA was first defined, what drives the dynamics and how this influences poverty eradication. We argue that ODA is a multi-purpose vehicle which tries to combine poverty alleviation in poor countries with financing of the foreign policy objectives of donor countries. Western security concerns have influenced conditionality for ODA, affecting allocations and delivery of aid, and have altered its definition. OECD countries have been buying security with charity and have been able to align their security considerations with the moral of charity as security threats to Western countries have often also been real threats to Africa. This is not the case for migration to Europe, which is neither a security nor a welfare problem for Africa. African welfare and poverty alleviation objectives cannot be aligned with Western demands to stem the flow of young people out of Africa. While aid can still help, if the overall envelope does not increase, it will be at the expense of other poor people. When Europe cannot justify migration control as charity, and there is no common security agenda, donor governments risk using aid as a bribe to buy African governments’ assistance to control migration, which is not in Africa’s interest. ODA flows are moving to the north of Africa and to Europe’s neighbors. This is because some countries can offer security alliances to the West, which it can buy through aid budgets if there is a degree of misery in those countries. Africa needs unity to undertake well-coordinated trading of services, which Europe is prepared to pay generously for. This would be better for Africa’s welfare than having to accept conditional charity with gratitude and would help European countries to address the real problem and stop treating the symptoms. This would also be the better route to follow for Europe’s children.
    Keywords: foreign aid, donors, conditionality, poverty, security, sub-Saharan Africa,
    JEL: B52 F02 F30 F35 F50
    Date: 2021–08–22
  4. By: Moleka, Pitshou
    Abstract: Ubuntu as an African philosophy and culture is very important for the transformation of many cities. In this paper, I will show how the notion of Ubuntu can lead to sustainability in African cities especially in Kinshasa, characterized by poverty, marginality, exclusion, and the degradation of the environment.I will begin with an introduction to give an essay of the comprehension of the notion of Ubuntu and sustain cities. My second point will be the explanation of the methodology used in this paper, the third point will be a brief diagnosis of Kinshasa city, the next point underlines how Ubuntu has many implications in the transformation of Kinshasa, and the fifth point will be the conclusion.
    Date: 2021–08–26
  5. By: Gallopin, Jean-Baptiste; Thomas, Eddie; Detzner, Sarah; De Waal, Alex
    Abstract: This paper examines the continuities and changes in Sudan’s political economy and political marketplace in the two years since the popular uprising that overthrew the regime of former president Omar alBashir, and the subsequent formation of a military-civilian transitional government. The government of Sovereignty Council Chairman Abd al-Fattah al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has the stated goals (among others) of transitioning to full civilian government, achieving peace with armed groups, and stabilizing and reforming the economy. Progress has been achieved on all these fronts. Nonetheless, key aspects of Sudan’s political economy remain unchanged, especially underlying hyper-exploitation of labour and natural resources, a prominent role for businesses associated with the leaders of the security sector, and peace agreements incentivized by promises of material rewards provided through governmental office. Transactional politics continue to trump institutional and civic politics, making it harder to reform these aspects of an inequitable and predatory economy.
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2021–05
  6. By: Thabelo Ramantswana; Tsepiso Mote
    Abstract: Companies over the years embarked on initiatives intended to ensure that building designs and techniques enhance office environments that also enhance productivity and attract more employees. As a result, buildings are designed in such a way that they reduce downtime and the office designs consider employees as the main users of space. Previous studies conducted have emphasised on the impact of the physical office environment on occupants, and as such, a wide range of variables must be taken into account while ensuring comfort and well-being of occupants (Haynes, 2007; Martens, 2011; Parkin, et al., 2011). The focus on the physical office environment has predominately given attention to the design of office layouts that promote comfort to the occupants (Haynes, 2008). The aim of this research is to explore the effects of workspace design and performance of employees in green buildings as compared to those in conventional offices (buildings). The work environment has been identified to influence employee satisfaction and work performance. In order to develop and provide work environments that meet the preferences of as many employees as possible, more information about user preferences and possible preference differences between different kinds of users is required. The purpose of this paper is to increase the understanding concerning office users' work environment preferences. The aim is to investigate whether there are differences in the preferences of office users based on their age, gender, their mobility, and whether they work individually or with others. A mixed-method-approach was used consisting of interviews, observations and a survey. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the interviews while statistical analysis was used for the survey. The analysis gives an indication that green buildings generally outperform conventional buildings in most of the aspects of IEQ. By virtue of a better level of satisfaction by occupants in green buildings, there is a justification in literature that occupants’ satisfaction leads to employees productivity and perform without hesitation due to an environment that encourage pleasant workspaces. The research is limited to City of Johannesburg the findings may not apply to other areas. Further studies is needed in other areas to see if there will be similarities or differences. The paper provides useful information to developers, space planners and Human Resources in knowing some of the issues that affect employees’ productivity and the importance of green buildings.
    Keywords: employees' perfomance; employees' preferences; Green Buildings; workspace design
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2021–01–01

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