nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2023‒01‒16
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
Xiamen University Malaysia Campus

  1. Conservation, conflict and semi-industrial mining: the case of eastern DRC By Verweijen, Judith; Schouten, Peer; O'Leary Simpson, Fergus; Chakirwa Zirimwabagabo, Pascal
  2. Public savings in Africa: Do sovereign wealth funds serve development? By Tony Addison; Amir Lebdioui
  3. A “shared earth” approach to put biodiversity at the heart of the sustainable development in Africa By David Obura; Sébastien TREYER
  4. Stubborn Historical Legacies: Power Relations and Government Policy in Sudan By Nada Ali
  5. Digital Transformation in Tunisia: Under Which Conditions Could the Digital Economy Benefit Everyone? By Adel Ben Youssef

  1. By: Verweijen, Judith; Schouten, Peer; O'Leary Simpson, Fergus; Chakirwa Zirimwabagabo, Pascal
    Abstract: Semi-industrial mining in and near protected areas in eastern DRC exacerbates violent conflict in three ways: 1) it fosters competition between political-military networks; 2) it creates new, and exacerbates existing, conflicts; and 3) it intensifies popular grievances because of negative social and environmental impacts. In a militarized environment, conflict and competition can spark violence and foster popular support for armed groups. Measures to curb mining in protected areas need to take these different effects on conflict dynamics into consideration. Policymakers and donors need to ensure that such measures do not exacerbate conflict, competition and grievances by 1) fostering broad support for them among different (civilian and military) state agencies and at different administrative levels; 2) anticipating displacement effects; and 3) carefully assessing the impact on local livelihoods.
    Keywords: Kivu, DRC, DR Congo, mining, conservation
    Date: 2022–12
  2. By: Tony Addison; Amir Lebdioui
    Abstract: Do sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) contribute to Africa's development? This paper assesses the objectives of SWFs (fiscal stabilization, productive investment, intergenerational saving) and discusses alternatives. We argue that fiscal stabilization funds are often necessary, but entail considerable opportunity costs.
    Keywords: Saving, Sovereign wealth funds, Fiscal policy, Development finance, Africa
    Date: 2022
  3. By: David Obura; Sébastien TREYER
    Abstract: Biodiversity is a classic example of a global commons. As we enter the coming decades of a rapidly changing climate, declining biodiversity, growing human populations and economic growth, sub-Saharan Africa countries are facing an existential challenge to their security and welfare. We blend commons approaches with a new ‘shared earth’ approach to local planning, focusing on the health and benefits of nature where people live and earn their livelihoods. The approach combines conservation with livelihoods, local cultures and local institutions to generate local solutions that meet peoples needs at the same time securing biodiversity and its benefits into the future. Done right, this approach can facilitate equitable participation of local actors in larger scale and transboundary supply chains, through shared principles of equity of access to and use of nature. This approach can help African and partner countries balance their obligations globally under the Sustainable Development Goals (to 2030) and the new global biodiversity framework (to 2050), while meeting local needs for a good quality of life.
    Keywords: Afrique
    JEL: Q
    Date: 2022–11–30
  4. By: Nada Ali (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)
    Abstract: Despite Sudan’s legacy of abrupt but successful popular uprisings, the country has failed to date to chart a path towards sustainable democracy. This paper seeks, through a review of Sudan’s contemporary political history, to understand the failures of successive democratic governments to pursue an effective program of nation building, ensure peace and move the country out of this dysfunctional cycle of long autocratic military rule, interrupted by popular uprisings and failed democratic transitions. Theoretical literature in this area is neither uniform nor discipline-specific. This paper uses insights from political science, sociology and economics to reach conclusions. Apart from economist who tended to focus on structural factors hindering political transitions (e.g. conflict and the relevance of oil rents) enough commentators agree that the kernel of the problem is the political elite, their decision making and behavior vis-à-vis pivotal national questions (See Khalid, 1990, De Waal 2015). We understand the relevant questions as including the conceptualization of national identity post-independence, the development of a coherent and effective citizenship construct, defining the relationship of the center to the periphery – in terms both of rights and obligations, understanding the regional and international forces affecting the internal politics in Sudan, Sudan’s position in the modern World and issues of justice and accountability for past wrongs. This approach subordinates the “economic” to the “political” in the sense that it treats the issue as a political problem which then generates economic effects such as economic stagnation, development impasse and clientelism and cronyism. We are also aware of the particular challenges facing Sudan by way of inheritance from the previous regime (See Elbattahani (2017)). These include a disintegrated state, ongoing conflicts, fragile state institutions and an ongoing economic crisis. However, if we are to learn anything from the brief periods of failed democratic rule in the 60s and 80s it ought to be that short-term solutions to long-term problems seldom work
    Date: 2022–05–20
  5. By: Adel Ben Youssef (University of Côte d’Azur)
    Abstract: Adoption of digital technologies has accelerated largely in the last decade and has reached a critical stage today. The rapid diffusion of digital technologies has fostered the use and exploration/exploitation of new possibilities based on the internet. Therefore, this paper discusses the current state, main opportunities and challenges of digital transformation in Tunisia. First, it relies on up-to-date information to describe the current diffusion and use of digital technologies in Tunisia. This would allow a better understanding of how infrastructure, equipment, access and use of these technologies are diffusing among the population. Second, it takes account of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on how the use of digital technologies is developing and to what extent the pandemic has fostered or hampered the digital transformation in Tunisia. Third, most of the existing literature describes digitalization and its impacts without offering clear explanations related to the prerequisites for full exploitation of the potentialities of the technologies in an inclusive manner. Fourth, we examine the prerequisites for reaping digital dividends and moving toward building new jobs and skills, the change of organizational practices and towards safe, secure digital technologies.
    Date: 2021–11–20

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