nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2023‒12‒04
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong, Xiamen University Malaysia Campus

  1. An Anlysis of the drivers of large African Urban Development Projects By Francois Viruly; Uche Ordor
  2. Growth Through Inclusion in South Africa By Ricardo Hausmann; Tim O'Brien; Andres Fortunato; Alexia Lochmann; Kishan Shah; Lucila Venturi; Sheyla Enciso; Ekaterina Vashkinskaya; Ketan Ahuja; Bailey Klinger; Federico Sturzenegger; Marcelo Tokman
  3. Acquisitions, management and efficiency in Rwanda's coffee industry By Rocco Macchiavello; Ameet Morjaria
  4. Deepening or Diminishing Ethnic Divides? The Impact of Urban Migration in Kenya By Kramon, Eric; Hamory, Joan; Baird, Sarah; Miguel, Edward
  5. An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Land Administration System in Kaduna State, Nigeria By Hope Gregory Yusuf

  1. By: Francois Viruly; Uche Ordor
    Abstract: This research considers how private and public entities across the African continent continue to perpetuate projects that are often refered to as African urban fantasies. It suggests that although very few projects achieve their urban visions, they continue to be marketed based on narratives that include urban concepts such as Eco-Cities , Smart cities, and the promise of sophisticated urban lifestyles based on the principles of New Urbanism . There is growing evidence indicating that these proposed large developments have little relevance to their local context and are usually based on an unrealistic understanding of the market. Moreover, these projects reflect a complicated interrelationships between the objectives of private and public sector players. From a policy perspective it often includes the provision of financial incentives and urban Infrastructure. This research builds on existing reserach. It draws conclusions regarding the objectives, the institutional arrangements, and the challenges that characterise such projects . The research develops a theoretical framework that could be used to better understand the development of large African Urban projects.
    Keywords: African Cities; Institutions; Property Development; Urbanism
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2023–01–01
  2. By: Ricardo Hausmann (Center for International Development at Harvard University); Tim O'Brien (Center for International Development at Harvard University); Andres Fortunato (Center for International Development at Harvard University); Alexia Lochmann (Center for International Development at Harvard University); Kishan Shah (Center for International Development at Harvard University); Lucila Venturi; Sheyla Enciso; Ekaterina Vashkinskaya; Ketan Ahuja; Bailey Klinger; Federico Sturzenegger; Marcelo Tokman
    Abstract: It is painfully clear that South Africa is performing poorly, exacerbating problems such as inequality and exclusion. The economy’s ability to create jobs is slowing, worsening South Africa’s extreme levels of unemployment and inequality. South Africans are deeply disappointed with social progress and dislike the direction where the country seems to be heading. Despite its enviable productive capabilities, the national economy is losing international competitiveness. As the economy staggers, South Africa faces deteriorating social indicators and declining levels of public satisfaction with the status quo. After 15 years, attempts to stimulate the economy through fiscal policy and to address exclusion through social grants have failed to achieve their goals. Instead, they have sacrificed the country's investment grade, increasing the cost of capital to the whole economy, with little social progress to show for it. The underlying capabilities to achieve sustained growth by leveraging the full capability of its people, companies, assets, and knowhow remain underutilized. Three decades after the end of apartheid, the economy is defined by stagnation and exclusion, and current strategies are not achieving inclusion and empowerment in practice. This report asks the question of why. Why is the economy growing far slower than any reasonable comparator countries? Why is exclusion so extraordinarily high, even after decades of various policies that have aimed to support socio-economic transformation? What would it take for South Africa to include more of its people, capabilities, assets, and ideas in the functioning of the economy, and why aren’t such actions being undertaken already? The Growth Lab has completed a deep diagnostic of potential causes of South Africa’s prolonged underperformance over a two-year research project. Building on the findings of nine papers and widespread collaboration with government, academics, business and NGOs, this report documents the project’s central findings. Bluntly speaking, the report finds that South Africa is not accomplishing its goals of inclusion, empowerment and transformation, and new strategies and instruments will be needed to do so. We found two broad classes of problems that undermine inclusive growth in the Rainbow Nation: collapsing state capacity and spatial exclusion.
    Keywords: South Africa, State Capacity, Spatial Exclusion
    Date: 2023–11
  3. By: Rocco Macchiavello; Ameet Morjaria
    Abstract: Well-functioning markets allocate assets to owners that improve firms' management and performance. We study the effects of ownership changes on coffee mills in Rwanda - an industry in which managing relationships with farmers and seasonal workers is important and that has seen many ownership changes in recent years. We combine administrative data, a survey panel of mills and an original survey of acquirers that allows us to construct acquirer-specific and target-specific control groups. A difference-in-differences design reveals that ownership changes do not improve performance unless the mill is acquired by a foreign firm. Our preferred interpretation - supported by detailed survey evidence that considers alternative hypotheses - is that foreign firms successfully implement management changes in key operational areas. Upon acquisition, both domestic and foreign owned mills attempt to implement similar changes, but domestic firms face resistance from workers and farmers. Domestic owners have relationships with their local communities, which can create opportunities to establish new mills and acquire existing ones. However, these same relationships create pressure to maintain status-quo relational arrangements, which makes it harder to implement managerial changes.
    Keywords: management, performance, market reforms, coffee, Rwanda
    Date: 2022–07–21
  4. By: Kramon, Eric; Hamory, Joan; Baird, Sarah; Miguel, Edward
    Abstract: The impact of urban migration on ethnic politics is the subject of long-standing debate. “First-generation” modernization theories predict that urban migration should reduce ethnic identification and increase trust between groups. “Second-generation” modernization perspectives argue the opposite: Urban migration may amplify ethnic identification and reduce trust. We test these competing expectations with a three-wave panel survey following more than 8, 000 Kenyans over a 15-year period, providing novel evidence on the impact of urban migration. Using individual fixed effects regressions, we show that urban migration leads to reductions in ethnic identification; ethnicity's importance to the individual diminishes after migrating. Yet urban migration also reduces trust between ethnic groups, and trust in people generally. Urban migrants become less attached to their ethnicity but more suspicious. The results advance the literature on urbanization and politics and have implications for the potential consequences of ongoing urbanization processes around the world.
    Keywords: Human Society, Demography, Reduced Inequalities, Applied Economics, Political Science, Political Science & Public Administration, Applied economics, Policy and administration, Political science
    Date: 2022–04–01
  5. By: Hope Gregory Yusuf
    Abstract: A good land administration system is strategic to the development of a state. It should meet the needs of people and successfully manage land and its resources sustainably. This has however, not been the case with a lot of states in Nigeria. Kaduna State’s land administration system has gone through reforms over the years. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the land administration system in Kaduna state. The research is carried out with the use of questionnaires and complimented with personal interviews of land administration officials, industry professionals and landowners. Data is analyzed using frequency distribution and weighted mean score. In Kaduna State, all lands are registered by the Kaduna State Geographic Information Service (KADGIS). This study reveals that it can take less than six (6) months to obtain title documents. The biggest challenge of the land administration system remains a cloggy bureaucracy. It is recommended that enhancing best practice will require the enforcement of laws and policies of land administration to consolidate on the gains made in the ongoing reforms.
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2023–01–01

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