nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2021‒10‒04
six papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. The welfare effects of financial inclusion in Ghana: An exploration based on a multidimensional measure of financial inclusion By Abdul Malik Iddrisu; Michael Danquah
  2. Implications of COVID-19 for conflict in Africa By Fiedler, Charlotte; Mross, Karina; Adeto, Yonas Adaye
  3. Labour conditions in regional versus global value chains: Insights from apparel firms in Lesotho and Eswatini By Giovanni Pasquali
  4. Formalizing clientelism in Kenya: From Harambee to the Constituency Development Fund By Ken Ochieng' Opalo
  5. Keep Off the Grass : Grassland Scarcity and the Security Implications of Cross-Border Transhumance Between Niger and Nigeria By Camille Laville
  6. Education Enrollment Rate vs Employment Rate: Implications for Sustainable Human Capital Development in Nigeria By Adejumo, Oluwabunmi; Asongu, Simplice; Adejumo, Akintoye

  1. By: Abdul Malik Iddrisu; Michael Danquah
    Abstract: Using a nationally representative household survey data set from Ghana, this paper provides empirical evidence regarding the role of financial inclusion or financial exclusion in household welfare. We first compute a multidimensional index of financial inclusion, and then we examine the effect of financial inclusion on household welfare. The study finds that households suffering financial deprivation have lower welfare compared with their financially included counterparts.
    Keywords: Financial inclusion, Household welfare, Ghana, Exclusion, Deprivation
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Fiedler, Charlotte; Mross, Karina; Adeto, Yonas Adaye
    Abstract: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected armed conflict and political violence within countries? Focusing on Africa, a continent with a particularly high number of ongoing conflicts, this policy brief analyses the immediate and long-term implications of the pandemic on conflict and reflects on its implications for international peacebuilding efforts. In the short term, conflict patterns on the continent are marked more by a continuation of previous trends than by a strong direct impact of COVID-19. Regarding armed confrontations, there was a rise in conflict intensity in some countries and one new war erupted in the Tigray region of Ethiopia in November 2020. As to lower-scale political violence, especially in the beginning of the pandemic, many states used excessive state violence against civilians when enforcing Corona measures. Perhaps more important than the immediate effect of the pandemic, the consequences of the pandemic are very likely to accelerate violent conflict in the medium to long term. This is firstly because the pandemic exacerbates structural weaknesses, including the sharpening of societal divisions, severe disruptions in the education sector and deteriorating socio-economic circumstances. Secondly, the pandemic has curtailed actors and institutions that might be able to reduce the risk of violent escalation. Trust in the state and security institutions has suffered in many countries due to dissatis-faction with the handling of the pandemic. Moreover, democratic processes are hampered by the postponement of elections and increasing levels of government repression. At the same time, international peace support is negatively affected by social distancing and further threatened by looming cuts of commitments in official development assistance. Bringing together both the short-term and longer-term effects of the pandemic on conflict clearly shows the risk that the pandemic poses to peace in Africa. It is therefore vital for the international community to: 1. Stay engaged and stay alert. If the international community continues to focus on handling the domestic consequences of the pandemic rather than international challenges, conflict will further increase in intensity and spread geographically. COVID-19 has already led to a reduction in international peace support, including peacebuilding initiatives and mediation. However, these instruments are vital to foster peace and prevent emerging and renewed conflict. 2. Invest in conflict prevention. The adverse effects of COVID-19 on economic, social and political structures can, and very likely will, provide the breeding ground for larger-scale conflicts, both in least developed countries (LDCs) and middle-income countries. Thus, conflict prevention must be taken seriously, including the strengthening of open and participatory (democratic) processes that enable societies to deal with societal conflicts peacefully. 3. Pay special attention to post-conflict countries. Many African countries have experienced large-scale civil wars in their history and continue to be LDCs struggling with societal tensions. The risk of renewed conflict in these places is particularly high.
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Giovanni Pasquali
    Abstract: We explore how decent work varies across Southern Africa apparel firms participating in global value chains (GVCs) and regional value chains (RVCs), respectively. We draw on cross-section survey data from 135 workers in 31 firms across Eswatini and Lesotho, two large apparel exporters serving both global and regional markets. We use a linear probability model to estimate how measurable standards and enabling rights vary depending on whether supplier firms participate in GVCs or RVCs.
    Keywords: Regional value chains, Global value chains, Decent Work, Apparel industry, Lesotho, Eswatini, Working conditions
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Ken Ochieng' Opalo
    Abstract: Why does clientelism persist? What determines how politicians signal responsiveness or fulfil their campaign promises? Existing works assume that politicians choose the most successful means of winning votes—either through targeted patronage/clientelism or programmatic policies. However, the empirical record shows high levels of persistence of the nature of the relationship between voters and politicians. Both politicians and voters are not always able to unilaterally change what campaign promises are achievable and therefore deemed credible.
    Keywords: Politics, Kenya, Clientelism, Politician, Voting behaviour, Reforms
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Camille Laville (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne)
    Abstract: In 2018, 1,300 people were killed and 300,000 displaced as a result of herder-farmer conflicts in Nigeria. These tensions threaten the already weakened security, economic development and food security in Western Africa. Indeed, cross-border transhumance of herders during the dry season is an important economic activity recognized by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). This practice is also an important adaptation strategy to climate change for Sahelian States that have developed a comparative advantage in producing and exporting livestock. However, the establishment of a harmonized legal framework surrounding this practice is hampered by coordination failures between Coastal States (primary receivers of livestock flows) and the Sahelian States (primary providers of livestock flows). The growth of the Nigerian agricultural sector through the expansion of agricultural land threatens the last open pastures and transhumance corridors. Indeed, Nigeria faces a scarcity of arable land for a growing rural population. Is competition for the remaining Nigerian grassland a factor of violence between nomadic herders from Niger and Nigerian farmers? Recent empirical evidence suggests that climate-induced migration of herders to nearby agricultural areas (short transhumance) is associated with a higher risk of herder-farmer conflict for the remaining pastoral resources. However, no analysis has been made on the case of lengthy and costly transhumance. This article analyses the security implications of cross-border transhumance between Niger and Nigeria at the scale of 0.5x0.5 degree cells between 2006 and 2016. Using spatial panel techniques and satellite data on land cover, it questions the importance of grassland grabbing strategies as a cause of the recent herder-farmer conflicts in Nigeria. The obtained results hardly coincide with the idea that transhumant herders from Niger enter into conflict with Nigerian farmers over the grabbing of the last grazing resources. Ultimately, the economy of Sahelian countries, which depends on livestock trade, is threatened by a political instrumentalization of herder-farmer conflicts through the rhetoric of "invaders against farmers."
    Abstract: Pour l'année 2018, le bilan estimé des affrontements entre éleveurs et agriculteurs au Nigéria est de 1 300 victimes et 300 000 personnes déplacées. Ces tensions menacent la stabilité, le développement économique et la sécurité alimentaire déjà affaiblis en Afrique de l'Ouest. En effet, la transhumance transfrontalière des éleveurs pendant la saison sèche est une activité économique dont l'importance régionale est reconnue par la Communauté économique des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (CEDEAO). Cette pratique relève également d'une stratégie d'adaptation au changement climatique essentielle pour les États sahéliens qui ont développé un avantage comparatif dans la production et l'exportation de bétail avec leurs voisins. Cependant, la mise en place d'un cadre juridique harmonisé autour de cette pratique est entravée par des problèmes de coordination entre les États côtiers (principaux destinataires des flux de bétail) et les États sahéliens (principaux fournisseurs de flux de bétail). La croissance du secteur agricole nigérian par l'expansion des terres agricoles menace les derniers pâturages ouverts et les couloirs de transhumance. En effet, le Nigéria est confronté à une pénurie de terres arables pour une population rurale croissante. La concurrence pour les derniers pâturages nigérians est-elle un facteur de violence entre les éleveurs nomades du Niger et les agriculteurs nigérians ? Des preuves empiriques récentes suggèrent que la migration des éleveurs induite par le climat dans les zones agricoles voisines (courte transhumance) est associée à un risque plus élevé de conflit éleveur-agriculteur pour les ressources pastorales restantes. Cependant, aucune analyse n'a été faite sur la question de l'accès aux pâturages lors de transhumances longues et coûteuses. Cet article analyse les implications sécuritaires de la transhumance transfrontalière entre le Niger et le Nigéria à l'échelle de cellules de 0,5x0,5 degrés entre 2006 et 2016. En utilisant des techniques de panel spatial et des données satellitaires sur la couverture terrestre, il questionne l'importance des stratégies d'accaparement des prairies comme une cause des récents conflits éleveurs-agriculteurs au Nigéria. Les résultats obtenus coïncident peu avec l'idée que les éleveurs transhumants depuis le Niger entrent en conflits avec les agriculteurs Nigérian pour l'accaparement des dernières ressources en pâturage. In fine, l'économie des pays sahéliens liée au commerce du bétail est menacée par l'instrumentalisation politique du conflit entre éleveurs et agriculteurs passant par l'utilisation de la rhétorique "envahisseurs versus agriculteurs".
    Keywords: Niger,Nigeria,Climate change,Agriculture,Migration
    Date: 2021–09
  6. By: Adejumo, Oluwabunmi; Asongu, Simplice; Adejumo, Akintoye
    Abstract: The study examines the dynamic interrelationships among the school enrolment rates and the rate of employment (via unemployment rates) in Nigeria. The study employed Autoregressive estimates and an unrestricted VAR approach to analyze these relationships. The study lends credence to the new-growth theory (i.e. endogenous models) that more investments in human capital, through education especially at higher levels, will allow human capital to evolve dynamically and increase long-run growth in Nigeria. This tendency engenders multiplier effects in stimulating sustainable development given that education-driven growth facilitates employment. The growth literature has been definitive on the role of human capital in achieving long-run economic growth. Therefore, investments in education have been identified as a vital channel for building human capital and achieving long run development objectives. Thus, in the nascent quest for sustainable development, this study takes the new growth theory a step higher by examining the modulating effects of educational-driven growth (i.e. via school enrolments rates) in setting the pace for employment patterns in Nigeria.
    Keywords: Education, Employment, Human Capital, Enrolment, Development
    JEL: I21 I31 O40 O55
    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.