nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2024‒04‒01
four papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong, Xiamen University Malaysia Campus

  1. The (Non-)Disclosure of Energy Efficiency: The Case of Cooling Technologies across Africa By Pille-Riin Aja; Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet; Sébastien Houde
  2. The fragmentation of conflict networks in North and West Africa By Olivier J. Walther; David Russell
  3. Cultivating change: the long-term impact of forced labour in Mozambique By Margherita Bove; Rute Martins Caeiro; Rachel Coelho; Sam Jones; Patricia Justino
  4. The waxing and waning of ethnic boundaries :violence, peace and the ubwoko in Burundi By Antea Paviotti; Bert Ingelaere

  1. By: Pille-Riin Aja; Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet (ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech, CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Sébastien Houde (UNIL - Université de Lausanne = University of Lausanne)
    Abstract: The adoption of air conditioning (AC) could grow exponentially across Africa under the joint effect of acute warming, sustained income growth and rapid urbanization. The implications for greenhouse gas emissions will crucially depend on the energy efficiency of the models adopted. Little is known, however, about how energy efficiency information is conveyed to consumers in these markets. To fill this gap, we gathered data on cooling appliances' characteristics from Africa's largest e-commerce platform, serving 13 countriess—Algeria, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda. We find that less than 10% of the AC models available on the marketplace (N=1, 229) have information disclosed about their energy performance. Information disclosure appears to be highly idiosyncratic with weak strategic motives. This overall lack of information about energy efficiency represents an important challenge for enforcing energy performance standards and steering demand toward energy-efficient cooling appliances.
    Keywords: energy efficiency; climate adaptation; air conditioning; Africa; e-commerce; webscraping
    Date: 2024
  2. By: Olivier J. Walther; David Russell
    Abstract: African armed conflicts involve a myriad of state forces, rebel groups and extremist organisations bound by rapidly changing alliances and rivalries. Organisations that were allies one day can fight each other the next and co-operate later still. The objective of this note is to update the pioneer work on conflict networks conducted by the OECD Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC) in the region by using a formal approach to networks known as dynamic social network analysis. Leveraging a dataset of 3 800 actors and 60 000 violent events from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) from 1997-2023, the note monitors how the co-operative and rivalrous ties between violent actors have changed over time, both at the regional and local levels. The growing number of belligerents, increasing density of rivalrous relationships and growing polarisation of the conflict networks observed in this note are extremely worrying for the future of the region. Not only do they make peaceful efforts more difficult than ever, but they also contribute to increasing the number of potential victims among the civilian population.
    Keywords: conflict, dynamic social network analysis, networks, North Africa, political violence, Sahel, West Africa
    JEL: D74 D85 H56 N47
    Date: 2024–03–09
  3. By: Margherita Bove; Rute Martins Caeiro; Rachel Coelho; Sam Jones; Patricia Justino
    Abstract: Following the abolition of slavery, various forms of compulsory labour were adopted by colonial powers to develop their economies. This paper analyses the contemporary consequences of compulsory cotton production—a forced labour system that operated in colonial Mozambique from 1926 to 1961. During this period, the Portuguese colonial government granted geographic concessions to private companies, within which smallholder farmers were forced to cultivate cotton for payment in cash.
    Keywords: Long-run effects, Forced labour, Violence, Gender, Social capital, Regression discontinuity
    Date: 2024
  4. By: Antea Paviotti; Bert Ingelaere
    Abstract: Violence based on identity constructs reinforces the experience of ethnic boundaries as felt distance between in-groups and out-groups. But what makes such an experience of rigid ethnic boundaries fade or disappear, if anything? We examined this in Burundi, a country characterised by repeated episodes of violence between Hutu and Tutsi since independence. We analysed the waxing and waning of ethnic boundaries through the (life) stories of 202 individuals collected through an iterative research process in two rural villages that were seriously touched by (ethnic) violence. Rigid boundaries between ethnic in- and out-group appeared to fade through non-violent interactions; when categorisations other than ethnic emerged; and when awareness of interstitiality, being in-between salient groups, contested the relevance and meaning of the ethnic boundary as such. These insights invite us to bring in multiple temporalities and identities when aiming to understand legacies of violence in conflict-affected societies such as Burundi. This would allow us to avoid treating groups as substantial entities, which reinforces boundaries between in-groups and out-groups.
    Date: 2023–02–01

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