nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2023‒03‒06
four papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
Xiamen University Malaysia Campus

  1. Financial technology and human development in Africa: The moderating impact of energy poverty By Rilwan Sakariyahu; Fatima Oyebola Etudaiye-Muhtar; Rodiat Lawal; Olayinka Oyekola
  2. E-commerce and entrepreneurship for African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): A readiness conceptual framework By Makoza, Frank
  3. The collapse of the gold standard in Africa: money and colonialism in the interwar period By Gardner, Leigh
  4. The effect of skills acquired abroad by return migrants on social relations and quality of life in Cameroon By Gislain S. GANDJON FANKEM; Dieudonné TAKA; Sévérin TAMWO

  1. By: Rilwan Sakariyahu (Business School, Edinburgh Napier University); Fatima Oyebola Etudaiye-Muhtar (Ilorin Business School, University of Ilorin); Rodiat Lawal (School of Finance and Management, SOAS University of London); Olayinka Oyekola (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)
    Abstract: Several studies in the academic literature have identified the critical role of financial technology (fintech) in improving socio-economic conditions of nations, measured by human development index (HDI). However, despite the efforts to increase HDI using fintech, the ranking of African countries on the index table remains low. Given that access to electricity is imperative for fintech, and fundamental to human development, we provide novel evidence by investigating the degree to which the prevailing energy poverty in Africa affects the success of fintech on human development on the continent. Employing a number of econometric techniques which include linear (OLS, Prais-Winsten), instrumental-variable (GMM) and non-linear (M-M Quantile) regression models, our empirical framework is robust to heteroscedasticity, endogeneity, and cross-sectional dependence among countries. Our results show that fintech has a significant positive impact on human development and the impact remains consistent irrespective of the estimation methods employed. However, when we split our sample based on regions and income classification proposed by the World Bank, our results show that the impact of fintech, when interacted with access to electricity, on human development is more pronounced in the upper-middle, high-income, Eastern, Central and Southern countries. The Western countries have not significantly benefitted from fintech adoption, perhaps because those countries fall in the low-income categories and have a high prevalence of energy challenge. In light of the current state of human development in Africa, our study advocates for more investment in energy infrastructure for the rapid realization of the gains of fintech.
    Keywords: fintech, human development, energy poverty, access to electricity, sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: C22 O43 Q4 Q43 Q48 Q55
    Date: 2023–02–15
  2. By: Makoza, Frank
    Abstract: African governments have ratified the African continental free trade area (AfCFTA) to support elimination of tariffs and taxes on intra-African trade on goods, services and investment; and promote integration that can lead to socio-economic growth. This paper proposes a readiness conceptual framework of electronic commerce and entrepreneurship. The study highlighted factors that African countries may consider to fully reap the benefits of the African continental free trade area. The factors include technology, legal frameworks, infrastructure, social norms, culture, economy, politics and entrepreneurship. The proposed readiness conceptual framework can be validated in further studies. The study contributes towards literature on e-commerce and entrepreneurship in the context of AfCFTA.
    Keywords: African continental free trade area, e-commerce, e-readiness, entrepreneurship
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Gardner, Leigh
    Abstract: Research on Africa’s monetary history has tended to focus on the imposition of colonial currencies while neglecting the monetary upheavals which faced the colonial powers after the collapse of the gold standard during World War I. Gardner profiles three crises—in The Gambia, Kenya, and Liberia—resulting from shifting exchange rates between European currencies during the 1920s and 1930s. These three cases illustrate the degree to which colonial policies struggled to keep up with the economic turmoil affecting metropolitan states and bring Africa into the story of global monetary instability during the interwar period, which is often told only from a European perspective.
    Keywords: gold standard; colonialism; exchange rates; The Gambia; Liberia; Kenya; CUP deal
    JEL: N17 F54
    Date: 2022–12–20
  4. By: Gislain S. GANDJON FANKEM (Yaoundé, Cameroon); Dieudonné TAKA (Douala, Cameroon); Sévérin TAMWO (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: This article fills the lack of work on the link between return migration and social cohesion in the country of origin of migration. For the first time, we assess the effect of skills acquired abroad by return migrants on social relations and quality of life in Cameroon using original survey data from the Institute of Demographic Training and Research. The main results, based on a probit model, show that formal and informal competences acquired abroad reduce the likelihood that return migrants will improve social relations and increase the probability that they will increase quality of life in their home country. These results remain robust to the inclusion of return migrants from African and non-democratic countries. Correcting for the endogeneity of skills acquired abroadby two-stage probit model with instrumental variablesdoes not alter these conclusions. Our results seem to corroborate the hypothesis that migration contributes to the transfer of norms and practices from destination countries to countries of origin.
    Keywords: Return migrants; skills; social relations; quality of life; Cameroon
    JEL: F22 O55 C3
    Date: 2023–01

This nep-afr issue is ©2023 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.