nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2024‒01‒01
six papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong, Xiamen University Malaysia Campus

  1. The endogamy tradition and the performance of informal owner-manager ventures in Sub-Saharan Africa By Zhang, Peng; Estrin, Saul; Mickiewicz, Tomasz marek
  2. France's Africa policy under president Macron: Good intentions, partial reform and the fiasco in the Sahel By Tull, Denis
  3. Does innovation stimulate employment in Africa? New firm-level evidence from the Worldbank Enterprise Survey By Keraga, Mezid N.; Stephan, Andreas
  4. Chinese Aid in Africa: Attitudes and Conflict By Sulin Sardoschau; Alexandra Jarotschkin
  5. Socioeconomic and spatially-explicit assessment of Nature-related risks: the case of South Africa By Paul HADJI-LAZARO; Julien CALAS; Antoine GODIN; Pamela SEKESE; Andrew SKOWNO
  6. Mobile Money, Perception about Cash, and Financial Inclusion: Learning from Uganda’s Micro-Level Data By Felix F. Simione; Tara S Muehlschlegel

  1. By: Zhang, Peng; Estrin, Saul; Mickiewicz, Tomasz marek
    Abstract: Informal businesses, ubiquitous in developing countries, operate on the fringes of the (often ineffective) state, and are instead influenced by informal institutions. This paper applies a cultural anthropology perspective to provide explanations on the origins and dynamics of informal institutions and their effects on informal business performance. We posit that informal institutions originate from the traditions embedded in family systems, and we consider endogamy - the practice of marrying within a specific social group or local community - as a key dimension of family traditions relevant for performance of informal entrepreneurs. First, endogamy can make bridging trust more difficult to establish, limiting wider market opportunities for informal businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa and lowering their performance. Second, the evolution of informal institutions can be driven by external cultural interventions that are antipathetic to the pre-existing family systems. For example, the effect of endogamy might be attenuated by specific experiences of Africa’s colonial past, especially if the colonial powers were characterised by individualistic cultures. Our hypotheses are supported by the empirical analysis based on surveys of informal entrepreneurs in multiple regions of eight African countries.
    JEL: J50
    Date: 2022–08–01
  2. By: Tull, Denis
    Abstract: Since his election in 2017, President Emmanuel Macron has tried to distance himself from established and widely criticised patterns of France's Africa policy. He diversified relations with Africa in regional and substantive terms, integrated non-state actors and cultivated a comparatively open approach to France's problematic past on the continent. However, Macron's efforts to craft a narrative of change was overshadowed by path dependencies, above all the continuation of the military engagement in the Sahel and incoherent relations with autocratic governments. The involuntary military withdrawal first from Mali (2022), from Burkina Faso (2023) and finally from Niger (announced for late 2023) marks a historic turning point in Franco-African relations. The question is no longer whether relations between France and its former colonies will change; the real question is whether Paris will be able to shape this change or if it will be a mere bystander to a transformation that is largely driven by African actors.
    Keywords: Frankreich, Emmanuel Macron, Burkina Faso, Côte d’, Ivoire, Dschi­, buti, Mali, Senegal, Tschad, Afrikapolitik, entwicklungs­, politische Zusammenarbeit, Agence française de développement, AFD, Frankophonie, Françafrique, Pré-carré, Public Diplomacy, Opérations extérieures, OPEX, Opération Barkhane, Opération Serval, Franc CFA, Union économique et moné­, taire ouest-africaine, UEMOA, Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Banque Centrale des États de l’, Afrique de l’, Ouest, BCEAO, France’, s Africa policy, Franco-African relations, Emmanuel Macron, Sahel, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine (UEMOA), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), official development assistance (ODA), Operation Barkhane
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Keraga, Mezid N. (Addis Ababa University); Stephan, Andreas (Linnaeus University)
    Abstract: This paper provides novel evidence on the question of whether innovation expands or reduces employment using firm-level data from the World Bank Enterprise Survey (ES) for six African economies. The results of the difference-in-differences estimations combined with propensity score matching confirm that both product and process innovations significantly expand job opportunities in Africa. In addition, the findings show significant intra-industry innovation spillover effects on employment. In sum, this study supports the view that innovation enhances employment in the analyzed African economies.
    Keywords: Innovation; Employment; Sub-Saharan; Spillover effects; DID; Matching approach
    JEL: J20 O30
    Date: 2023–11–30
  4. By: Sulin Sardoschau (HU Berlin); Alexandra Jarotschkin (World Bank)
    Abstract: This study examines Chinese aid projects’ impact on conflict and perceptions of China in 820 African districts from 2000 to 2012. We show that a 10% increase in Chinese aid projects results in a 6% increase in conflict incidents. This rise is mainly due to confrontations involving non-state actors, such as militias and rebel groups, and clashes between these groups and government forces. Civilian attitudes toward China’s presence do not drive this increase, as evidenced by both revealed and stated preferences. We find that Chinese aid does not provoke protests, riots, or strikes, nor does it amplify critical views among Africans regarding Chinese culture, resource extraction, or land acquisitions. Our evidence suggests that Africans attribute the rise in conflict to the interaction of resource influx and local politics, rather than to China itself, reflecting a discerning perspective on China’s influence on the continent.
    Date: 2023–11–13
  5. By: Paul HADJI-LAZARO; Julien CALAS; Antoine GODIN; Pamela SEKESE; Andrew SKOWNO
    Abstract: This study introduces new methods for evaluating nature-related socioeconomic risks in the South African context, anchored on two main contributions. Firstly, it embarks on a multidimensional analysis of the exposure of several macro-financial and social variables to nature-related risks. Based on Environmentally Extended Input-Output tables and socioeconomic satellite accounts, the analysis identifies how physical and transition risks could exert significant impacts on directly and indirectly sectors essential for domestic and international supply chains but also for employment and fiscal revenues. Secondly, the research extends to a more granular spatially-explicit assessment, at the municipality level, of socioeconomic vulnerabilities related to water scarcity and the protection of terrestrial ecosystems. Results localize socioeconomic exposures through key sectors, especially in Mpumalanga. These two intertwined facets underline the importance of a holistic approach to nature-related risks, combining economists and ecologists' knowledge, and able to emphasize the intertwined goals of economic prosperity, social stability, and environmental sustainability.
    Keywords: Afrique du Sud
    JEL: Q
    Date: 2023–12–09
  6. By: Felix F. Simione; Tara S Muehlschlegel
    Abstract: Will mobile money render cash less dominant over time in Africa? Can it promote financial inclusion? We shed light on these questions by exploring individual-level and nationally representative survey data for Uganda, a country in a region that pioneered mobile money in the world. We use the Propensity Score Matching method to robustly compare mobile money users and non-users across a range of indicators that capture individuals’ perceptions about cash, and the extent to which they remit, save, and borrow money. We present the first evidence that mobile money users, compared to non-users, are more likely to perceive cash as risky and less likely to prefer carrying large amounts of cash. We also confirm that mobile money users are more likely to receive and send remittances, save, and borrow. They also save and borrow larger amounts.
    Keywords: Developing Country; Innovation; Digital Divide
    Date: 2023–11–17

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