nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2024‒02‒12
six papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong, Xiamen University Malaysia Campus

  1. The impact of foreign relations between Sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab Golf states on African migrants in the region By Kohnert, Dirk
  2. The AfCFTA Tariff Offers - Current State and First Insights By Ole Boysen
  3. Testing the Validity of the Inflation-Unemployment Nexus within the West African Monetary Zone By Effiong, Ubong Edem; Akpan, Ekomabasi; Ekpe, John Polycarp
  4. Follow The Money: Exploring the Key Factors Influencing Investment in African Startups By Khalil Liouane
  5. The impact of Basel III implementation on bank lending in South Africa By Xolani Sibande; Alistair Milne
  6. Does the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index Matter for FDI? Findings from Africa By Bhaso Ndzendze

  1. By: Kohnert, Dirk
    Abstract: As early as 1991, Ali Mazrui argued that the Red Sea was not suitable for separating Africa from Arabia. The two regions were inextricably intertwined through languages, religions (particularly Islam) and identities in both the Sahara and the Red Sea in a historical fusion of Arabism and African identity. Their separation was closely linked to a broader trend in which the white world closed ranks and created a system of global apartheid. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates increasingly viewed the Horn of Africa as their ‘Western security flank’. They were united in their desire to prevent the growing influence of Turkey, Iran and Qatar in this part of the world. These Gulf rivalries formed the basis for growing economic cooperation with SSA as well as military support and security alliances, particularly in the Horn of Africa. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which together have become the largest Gulf investors in Africa, compete with each other, particularly with Qatar, which has established embassies in most SSA countries. In addition, state and non-state actors from the Middle East and North Africa were closely involved in the destabilization of the Sahel in the 2010s by providing military, intelligence and ideological support to SSA states and terrorist groups. On the other hand, the Gulf States became increasingly dependent on migrant labour and the steady increase in migration from SSA to these countries, reinforced by the massive influx from African migrant-sending countries given the restrictions on African migration to Europe. As early as the seventh century AD, Arabia had relied heavily on the slave trade and the supply of labour from SSA, founded on the philosophy that it was legitimate to enslave black people because they were no better than animals. During this time, Black Africa became the largest slave depot in the Islamic world. To this day, there are significant African migrant and diaspora communities in the Middle East. Their presence has at times helped to perpetuate long-standing derogatory views and attitudes towards Africa and its peoples. These attitudes, based on an Arab-centric social hierarchy and expressing contempt for African cultures, remain prevalent today and shape social relationships between employers and African migrants in the emirates of the Arabian Peninsula.
    Keywords: GCC; Middle East; Arabian Peninsula; Arab states of the Persian Gulf; Sub-Saharan Africa; Red Sea; Horn of Africa; Yemen; Arab Spring; Sahel; Islamic terrorism; Arab slave trade; Arab nationalism; Islam; Culture of Africa; migrant workers; human trafficking; forced labor; Ethiopia; Somalia; Ghana; Turkey; Iran; Afro-Arabs; Saudi Arabia; United Arab Emirates; Qatar; Oman; African Studies;
    JEL: D31 D62 D72 D74 E26 F35 F51 F52 F53 F54 F55 H12 H56 N45 Z13
    Date: 2023–11–24
  2. By: Ole Boysen (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The majority of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement signatories have submitted tariff concession offers, as published on the AfCFTA Secretariatâs website. More than a year after the AfCFTA came into effect, it is time to take stock of these submissions and conduct a first assessment of the data with respect to membersâ stances towards fostering intra-African trade through openness on the one hand and maintaining protection against competing imports and revenues from import tariffs on the other. Combining the offers with corresponding trade and tariff data, we find that there are both substantial data gaps and inconsistencies with the AfCFTAâs trade liberalisation modalities and the trade classification standard. Constructing two tariff schedules, one which repairs the offers for compliance with the modalities and another that maximises the import tariff revenue retained as a benchmark, the study gauges each regionâs offer regarding the commitment to liberalisation versus protetion. The analysis confirms that the modalities require regions to liberalise strongly but most opt to liberalise even more and earlier than necessary. Stances towards freer trade differ markedly between regions. Some tend towards retaining all possible tariff revenues or corresponding negotiation space while others directly and strongly commit to liberalisation. The constructed AfCFTA liberalisation categorisations are provided for download as input to update AfCFTA impact analyses with the latest information available on a likely AfCFTA tariff liberalisation agreement.
    Keywords: African Continental Free Trade Area, trade liberalisation, tariff revenue, trade policy
    JEL: F13 F15 H2
    Date: 2024–01
  3. By: Effiong, Ubong Edem; Akpan, Ekomabasi; Ekpe, John Polycarp
    Abstract: This study aimed to ascertain the validity of the Phillips Curve in six countries of Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone within the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ). The study utilised panel data from these countries varying from 2000 to 2021, which were obtained from the World Bank database. The data were analysed using the Panel unit root test, Johansen Fisher Panel (JFP) co-integration test, Pairwise Dumitrescu Hurlin Panel (PDHP) Causality Tests, and the Panel Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) approach. The PDHP Causality Test revealed a one-way causality from unemployment to inflation; hence, unemployment causes inflation. The JFP co-integration test conducted since the variables were not all stationary at levels revealed that the two variables are cointegrated, which portrayed some degree of long-run relationship. The significant findings of this study, as presented by the panel ARDL result, indicated that the inverse relationship between inflation and unemployment is only valid in the short run within the WAMZ. This finding supports the argument that there is no trade-off between inflation and unemployment in the long run and the Phillips Curve is a vertical line at the natural unemployment rate.
    Keywords: Phillips Curve; Natural Rate of Unemployment; Inflation; Monetary Policy; Labour Market.
    JEL: E24 E31 E52
    Date: 2022–07–07
  4. By: Khalil Liouane
    Abstract: The African continent has witnessed a notable surge in entrepreneurial activity, with the number of startups and investments made in the ecosystem growing significantly in recent years. Against this backdrop, this paper presents an in-depth analysis of the critical key factors influencing funding amounts in African startup deals. A comprehensive analysis of 2, 521 startup investment deals, spanning from January 2019 to March 2023, was conducted using a combination of statistical and several machine learning techniques. The results of this study highlight a significant gender diversity gap, the importance of professional experience, and the impact of founders' academic backgrounds. The study reveals that human capital, a diversified sector approach, and cross-border collaboration strategies are crucial for a robust startup ecosystem. Additionally, we identified the potential positive impact of 'Y combinators' for African startups, the implications of exit strategies on deal amounts, and the heterogeneity as well as the incongruity of investment rounds across the continent. In light of these findings, we propose an assortment of policy recommendations aimed at fostering a propitious milieu for African entrepreneurial ventures, promoting equitable investment distribution, and enhancing cross-border collaboration. By providing a rigorous empirical analysis, this study not only contributes to the existing body of literature but also lays the foundation for future research aimed at promoting investment and catalyzing socio-economic development throughout the African continent.
    Date: 2024–01
  5. By: Xolani Sibande; Alistair Milne
    Abstract: This study investigates the impact of the Basel III capital requirement on the supply of bank credit in South Africa. The literature offers greatly varying estimates of the impact of bank capital requirements on loan supply. Using a specification closely modelled on a related study of Peru by Fang et al. (2020), we report panel regressions using monthly balance sheet data for the four biggest banks in South Africa. We distinguish between three different categories of bank lending for household and corporate borrowers and report complementary local projection estimates to capture dynamic impacts. We find little evidence that the introduction of higher capital requirements under Basel III has reduced the supply of bank credit in South Africa. We surmise that this is mainly due to the large banks being well capitalised and operating with capital buffers that are larger than regulatory minimum requirements.
    Date: 2024–01–29
  6. By: Bhaso Ndzendze
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether foreign investment (FDI) into Africa is at least partially responsive to World Bank-measured market friendliness. Specifically, I conducted analyses of four countries between 2009 and 2017, using cases that represent two of the highest scorers on the bank's Doing Business index as of 2008 (Mauritius and South Africa) and the two lowest scorers (DRC and CAR), and subsequently traced all four for growths or declines in FDI in relation to their scores in the index. The findings show that there is a moderate association between decreased costs of starting a business and growth of FDI. Mauritius, South Africa and the DRC reduced their total cost of starting a business by 71.7%, 143.7% and 122.9% for the entire period, and saw inward FDI increases of 167.6%, 79.8% and 152.21%, respectively. The CAR increased the cost of starting businesses but still saw increases in FDI. However, the country also saw the least amount of growth in FDI at only 13.3%.
    Date: 2023–12

This nep-afr issue is ©2024 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.
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