nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2023‒10‒09
four papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong, Xiamen University Malaysia Campus

  1. Could Innovation and Productivity Drive Growth in African Countries? Lessons from Korea By Shahid Yusuf
  2. Can Redistribution Change Policy Views? Aid and Attitudes toward Refugees in Uganda By Travis Baseler; Thomas Ginn; Robert Hakiza; Helidah Ogude-Chambert; Olivia Woldemikael
  3. Reformulating Index Insurance to Protect Women’s Assets and Well-being: Evidence from Pastoralist Communities in Kenya By Julian Arteaga; Michael Carter; Andrew Hobbs
  4. Digital transformation in the Moroccan banking sector: A revolution in financial practices and services By Jihane Jaouad; Ali Ouchekkir

  1. By: Shahid Yusuf (Center for Global Development; Growth Dialogue)
    Abstract: The Korean model of development that flowered in the final third of the twentieth century remains a fertile source of lessons for countries in sub-Saharan Africa attempting to achieve sustainably high rates of growth. Korea relied on two principal drivers. One was a high level of investment in manufacturing activities and infrastructure and a second was steady gains in factor productivity aided first by rapid technology assimilation and complemented in the 1980s and 1990s by own research and innovation. Because gross capital formation in African economies is likely to stabilize at levels well below those attained by Korea, and the services sector accounts for a larger share of African GDP, factor productivity will need to contribute more to growth than investment. For that reason, Korea’s nurturing of science, technology, and innovation capabilities, which has helped stimulate productivity, can be a source of lessons. The purpose of this paper is to underscore the role of productivity, to show how Korea built the technological capabilities underpinning productivity gains, and to extract relevant pointers for African countries that will depend more on services than on manufactures to propel their development and exports.
    Date: 2023–03–07
  2. By: Travis Baseler (University of Rochester); Thomas Ginn (Center for Global Development); Robert Hakiza (Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID)); Helidah Ogude-Chambert (University of Oxford); Olivia Woldemikael (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Many public policies create (perceived) winners and losers, but there is little evidence on whether redistribution can support new political economy equilibria that raise aggregate welfare. We conduct a randomized controlled trial in Kampala, Uganda studying foreign aid programs for Ugandans which are explicitly connected to the refugee presence. Cash grants labeled as part of the refugee aid response substantially increase support for admitting more refugees and allowing them to work and integrate. Sharing information about public goods funded by the refugee response has smaller, though still significant, effects. Impacts persist for at least two years and are associated with changing beliefs about the economic effects of refugees. We find minimal impacts of intergroup contact, implemented as business mentorship by an experienced refugee. Overall, our results suggest that economic interventions can meaningfully shape policy views when the connection between the policy and the assistance is salient.
    Keywords: Refugees, Political Economy of Aid, Firms & Productivity, Post-Conflict, Welfare
    JEL: D74 D83 I38 O12
    Date: 2023–05–04
  3. By: Julian Arteaga; Michael Carter; Andrew Hobbs
    Abstract: The novel insurance contracts for crop losses and livestock mortality that have been developed in low income countries typically protect against shocks in the male sphere of economic activity. Often overlooked are women, the particularities of their indirect exposure to this risk, and their socially constructed responsibility to manage family well-being. To fill this lacuna, this paper studies the effect of a low-cost intervention that reformulates a livestock insurance contract so that it directly addresses women's risk and is sold in units that are commensurate with women's expenditure responsibilities. We measure the effect of this contractual reformulation using a randomized trial amongst pastoralist communities in Kenya. Twenty-four percent of previously subsidized households that received the novel contractual formulation purchased insurance (without subsidy), compared to only 13% of previously subsidized households offered insurance under the standard male-risk formulation. Households that had not received prior insurance subsidies purchased no insurance, irrespective of the framing. Protecting women, their assets and those who depend on them will require a combination of smart subsidies and gender-intentional insurance contract design.
    JEL: G52 O12 O13
    Date: 2023–08
  4. By: Jihane Jaouad (fsjes Agdal - Laboratoire d'études et de recherches en sciences de gestion); Ali Ouchekkir (fsjes Agdal - Laboratoire d'études et de recherches en sciences de gestion)
    Abstract: Nowadays, digital transformation has taken a prominent place in various economic sectors, including banking. The Moroccan banking sector has not escaped this global trend, where digitalization has brought a real revolution in financial practices and services. The objective of this research work is to study in depth the digital transformation in the Moroccan banking sector by opting for an analysis of the internal process, banking practices and financial services. Particular attention will be paid to establishing an appropriate link between the competitiveness of banking institutions and digitalization, taking care to mention the relevant theories relating to this digitalization. We will try to identify the major changes induced by digitalization and to highlight the potential benefits in terms of profitability. To achieve our objective, and after a theoretical exploration phase based on a literature review, we chose a qualitative approach through semi-directive interviews. These interviews were conducted with a representative sample of 12 branches belonging to various Moroccan banks. It should be stressed that we sought the expertise of industry professionals in order to gather detailed responses, which would enable us to carry out an in-depth and detailed analysis of our problem, thus providing a better understanding of the subject. The responses and data collected revealed signs of innovation in products and practices, highlighting the challenges and opportunities related to digital transformation. These findings help to identify the factors for success or failure of this digitalization, while providing insight into future prospects. In the current context, characterized by a series of crises and a trend towards digital transition, this study takes on a singular and relevant significance. It stands out as an essential contribution to a better understanding of the changes in Moroccan banking, proposing appropriate measures to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of the digital revolution. The qualitative approach offers in-depth and contextualized information from professionals, filling an academic gap and providing practical recommendations for the digital transformation of the Moroccan banking sector.
    Abstract: De nos jours, la transformation digitale a pris une place prépondérante dans divers secteurs économiques, y compris celui de la banque. Le secteur bancaire marocain n'a pas échappé à cette tendance mondiale, où la digitalisation a entraîné une véritable révolution dans les pratiques et les services financiers. L'objectif de ce travail de recherche est d'étudier en profondeur la transformation digitale dans le secteur bancaire marocain en optant à une analyse du processus interne, des pratiques bancaires et des services financiers. Une attention particulière sera portée sur l'établissement d'une liaison adéquate entre la compétitivité des institutions bancaires et la digitalisation, en prenant soin de mentionner les théories pertinentes se rapportant à cette digitalisation. Nous nous attacherons à identifier les changements majeurs induits par la digitalisation et de mettre en évidence les bénéfices potentiels en termes de rentabilité. Pour atteindre notre objectif, et après une phase d'exploration théorique basée sur une revue de la littérature, nous avons choisi une approche qualitative par des entretiens semi-directifs. Ces entretiens ont été menés auprès d'un échantillon représentatif de 12 agences appartenant à différentes banques marocaines. Il convient de souligner que nous avons sollicité l'expertise des professionnels de l'industrie afin de recueillir des réponses détaillées, qui nous permettront une analyse approfondie et détaillée de notre problématique, apportant ainsi une meilleure compréhension du sujet. Les réponses et les données recueillies ont révélé des signes d'innovation des produits et des pratiques, mettant en évidence les défis et opportunités liés à la transformation digitale. Ces constatations permettent d'identifier les facteurs de réussite ou d'échec de cette digitalisation, tout en fournissant un aperçu des perspectives futures. Dans le contexte actuel, caractérisé par une série de crises et une tendance vers la transition numérique, cette étude revêt une signification singulière et pertinente. Elle s'impose comme une contribution essentielle visant à mieux comprendre les changements dans la banque marocaine, en proposant des mesures adaptées pour relever les défis et saisir les opportunités de la révolution digitale. L'approche qualitative offre des informations approfondies et contextualisées auprès des professionnels, comblant une lacune académique et fournissant des recommandations pratiques pour la transformation digitale du secteur bancaire marocain.
    Keywords: Digital transformation, Moroccan banks, Competitive banking, Moroccan customer, Transformation digitale, Banques marocaines, Compétitivité bancaire, Client marocain
    Date: 2023–06–18

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