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  • Author: Mirriam Muhome-Matita, Ephraim Wadonda Chirwa
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Agriculture remains the most important sector in sub-Saharan Africa and is a dominant form of livelihood for a majority of the population that resides in the rural areas. In Malawi, agriculture accounts for 35 percent of GDP and generates more than 80 percent of foreign exchange. In addition, agriculture is the most important occupation for 71 percent of the rural population in which crop production accounts for 74 percent of all rural incomes. However, agriculture has failed to get Africa out of poverty, and most countries are experiencing low agricultural growth, rapid population growth, weak foreign exchange earnings and high transaction costs (World Bank, 2008).
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Political Economy, Poverty, World Bank, Economic growth, Rural
  • Political Geography: Africa, Malawi
  • Author: John Baptist D. Jatoe, Ramatu Al-Hassan, Bamidele Adekunle
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Ghana’s post adjustment growth and poverty reduction performance has been hailed as impressive, albeit with spatial disparities in the distribution of welfare, especially between the north and south of the country. Researchers generally agree that economic growth does not always reduce poverty. Indeed, the effectiveness of growth in reducing poverty depends on the level of inequality in the population. Growth that increases inequality may not reduce poverty; growth that does not change inequality (distribution-neutral growth) and growth that reduces inequality (pro-poor growth) result in poverty reduction. Policy makers can promote pro-poor growth by empowering the poor to participate in growth directly. Policy makers can focus on interventions that improve productivity in smallholder agriculture, particularly export crops, increasing employment of semi-skilled or unskilled labour, promoting technology adoption, increasing access to production assets, as well as effective participation in input and product markets. Also, increasing public spending on social services and infrastructure made possible by redistribution of the benefits of growth benefits the poor, indirectly.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Poverty, Labor Issues, Economic growth, Labor Policies, Economic Policy, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Rasmus Hundsbæk Pedersen
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Governments across Sub -Saharan Africa seek to address the increasing pressure on land by introducing land reforms. More than half — at least 32 countries — have introduced reforms since the end of the Cold War. Though the reforms are heterogeneous, most of them share a number of characteristics. Most reforms aim to streamline land legislation, land administration and land dispute settlement and to promote markets in land. These new wave land reforms typically do so by recognising existing rights to land (customary rights included), by decentralising responsibility over land administration and land dispute settlement and by promoting registration and issuing land title deeds. How are land reforms being implemented? What is their effect on institutions at the local level? Are the land administration and land court institutions becoming more accessible due to the reforms? This policy brief addresses some of these questions.
  • Topic: Security, Poverty, Culture, Law, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Princeton N. Lyman, Jon Temin, Susan Stigant
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Ongoing negotiations to end the South Sudan crisis cannot simply return the country to the previous status quo. For lasting peace, the negotiating parties and mediators will need to reach beyond national political elites and those bearing arms and invite active involvement of the international community. South Sudan needs to build national cohesion and address fundamental issues of governance, democracy, and human rights. Restarting the stalled constitution-making process presents an opportunity to achieve these objectives. Following negotiations, a broad-based, inclusive, interim government that includes a degree of joint South Sudanese-international community administration and management should govern and ensure preparations for new elections.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Poverty, Power Politics, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Lysa John
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In July 2014, a new multilateral and Southern-led development bank is expected to be launched by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – better known as the BRICS. The BRICS Development Bank will provide a fresh source of finance for developing and emerging economies to meet their development needs. Little has been made public regarding the proposed Bank's core mandate or activities but while governments negotiate the technicalities of the Bank, it is critical that they also provide a solid vision of the principles, priorities and objectives on which the Bank's activities and operations will be premised. This policy brief recommends that these include commitments to: ending extreme poverty and inequality, with a special focus on gender equity and women's rights; aligning with environmental and social safeguards and establishing mechanisms for information sharing, accountability and redress; leadership on the sustainable development agenda; the creation of mechanisms for public consultation and debate; and the adoption a truly democratic governance structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, International Cooperation, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: DAVID JAKINDA OTIENO
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Foreign land leases could help developing countries to acquire foreign direct investments (FDIs), including technical expertise and income necessary for economic transformation. A lack of local stakeholder consultation and involvement in the design of land leases leads to the rejection or disruption of such leases by local communities and wastes investors' resources due to disruptions. Local public stakeholders in Kenya are willing to accept and participate in leases, provided they include certain provisions: that leases do not exceed 15 years; are renewable subject to mutual negotiations; offer formal employment to landowners' household members; and provide adequate monetary compensation for the leased land. Effective and transparent management of land leases requires the formation of management committees comprising local stakeholders such as youth, women and land experts. To enhance lease transparency, regular consultative meetings should be held, negotiation records must be shared with local community members and landowners should receive direct payment, rather than being paid through intermediaries.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, Economics, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Elizabeth Fraser, Malambo Moonga, Johanna Wilkes
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: SSA is a region undergoing a significant urban transition. UN-Habitat (2014) estimates that by 2050, 58 percent of the African continent will be living in urban regions, representing an increase from 400 million individuals to over 1.26 billion. This will be accompanied by a burgeoning informal sector, which has grown rapidly since the 1960s across the continent, providing income, employment and livelihoods for millions of poor urban households.
  • Topic: Poverty, Food, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Augustin K. Fosu
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: What can the less well-off developing countries learn from the “successes” of other developing countries? This Policy Brief highlights successful development strategies and lessons from in-depth case studies of select countries from the developing world. The coverage includes East Asia and the Pacific, the emerging Asian giants, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa, along with respective regional syntheses. Although countries' experiences are not necessarily replicable, the recurrent themes across countries and regions provide the appropriate connectedness for a comprehensive global perspective on development strategies and lessons.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Israel, Latin America
  • Author: Eric Munoz
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The past decade has witnessed a resurgence of interest in investing in agriculture. In 2003, heads of state from across Africa committed to allocate at least 10 per cent of their national budgets on an annual basis to agriculture and, through their commitment to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), to reduce poverty through agriculture-led growth.1 More recently, at the 2009 G8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy, world leaders responded to the global spike in food prices by pledging to provide $22bn over three years to promote food security in developing countries.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Demographics, Development, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Mirriam Muhome‐Matita, Ephraim Wadonda Chirwa
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Agriculture remains the most important sector in sub‐Saharan Africa and is a dominant form of livelihood for a majority of the population that resides in the rural areas. In Malawi, agriculture accounts for 35 percent of GDP and generates more than 80 percent of foreign exchange. In addition, agriculture is the most important occupation for 71 percent of the rural population in which crop production accounts for 74 percent of all rural incomes. However, agriculture has failed to get Africa out of poverty, and most countries are experiencing low agricultural growth, rapid population growth, weak foreign exchange earnings and high transaction costs (World Bank, 2008). In Malawi, for a long time, economic growth has been erratic (see figure 1) with huge swings and poverty has remained high. For instance, the annual growth rates in per capita gross domestic product averaged ‐2.1 percent in the 1980‐84 period, ‐2.7 percent in 1990‐94 period, 3.8 percent in 1995‐99 and ‐0.2 percent in the 2000‐05 period.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Political Economy, Poverty, GDP, Inequality, Economic growth, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Malawi
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Despite marked improvements, numerous grievances that plunged Liberia into bloody wars from 1989 until President Charles Taylor left in August 2003 (originally for exile in Nigeria) remain evident: a polarised society and political system; corruption, nepotism and impunity; a dishevelled security sector; youth unemployment; and gaps and inconsistencies in the electoral law. The November 2011 election was the country's second successful postwar voting exercise but exposed its deep fault lines. The re-elected president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, needs to use her relatively weak mandate to focus on reconciling a divided nation.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Poverty, Natural Resources, Fragile/Failed State, Youth Culture, Governance, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ellie Kemp, Ben Murphy
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: More than six months after famine was declared by the United Nations (UN), Somaliais still in the throes of its worst humanitarian crisis in decades. More than 325,000 children are suffering acute malnutrition inside Somalia, and 31per centof the total population are estimated to be in crisis, while hundreds of thousands have fled to neighbouring countries.
  • Topic: Security, Humanitarian Aid, Islam, Poverty, United Nations, Famine
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom
  • Author: Jean Denis Crola
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Harvests in Africa's Sahel region from the 2011/12 season are down sharply compared with last year and have been later than usual, extending the previous 'hunger gap' period. A further aggravating factor for the people of the region is that local grain prices failed to drop as they generally do in the period after the harvest. In December 2011, prices reached levels that were 80% above their five-year averages and remained at high levels, compromising access to adequate food for vulnerable populations. Together with the main agencies involved in the crisis, Oxfam, ROPPA, RBM, APESS, POSCAO and WILDAF estimate that more than 18 million people are currently in a situation of food insecurity in the Sahel.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Demographics, Poverty, Food, Famine
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Kate Geary
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Today, stories of communities driven from their lands, often at the barrel of a gun, left destitute and unable to feed their families, have become all too familiar . As the scale and pace of large - scale land acquisitions increases globally, evidence is mounting that the land rush is out of control and that the price being paid by affected communities is unacceptably high. A huge amount of land has been sold off or leased out globally in the past decade: an area eight times the size of the UK. In poor countries , foreign investors bought up an area of land the size of London every six days between 2000 and 2010. Commercial interest in land could accelerate once again as recent food price spikes motivate rich countries to secure their own food supplies and make land a more secure and attractive option for investors and speculators. The 2008 boom in food prices is widely recognized as having triggered a surge in investor interest in land : from mid - 2008 – 2009 reported agricultural land deals by foreign investors in developing countries rocketed by around 200 per cent .
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Poverty, Natural Resources, Territorial Disputes, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Ghana is committed to achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4 and 5, which aim to reduce child and maternal deaths by 2015. This commitment is manifested in the way prenatal and postnatal health care services are being made accessible to women of reproductive age. Prenatal care refers to the medical and nursing care recommended for women before and during pregnancy. Postnatal care is an essential part of safe motherhood. The access to and use of prenatal and postnatal health care services are crucial for improved maternal-child survival. Ill health of women and children can arise due to the under utilization of prenatal and postnatal health care services.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health, Poverty, Health Care Policy, Children, Millennium Development Goals, Infants
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: John E. Ataguba, Chukwuma Agu, Hyacinth Ichoku
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: The government of Nigeria has placed poverty reduction at the centre of the country’s economic policy and development programs since independence. Though this was not explicitly targeted in earlier development plans (1962 to 1975) of the country, it featured in more pronounced ways in latter programs and projects, many of which specifically targeted elimination of poverty. These targeted programs and projects covered a wide range of sectors of the economy including agriculture, health, education, housing and finance. In fact, they became so commonplace, scattered and ubiquitous that the Obasanjo regime (1999-2007) had to set out to rationalize and merge them in 1999. The various institutions that have arisen from the disparate poverty reduction programs were then consolidated into the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP). This, headed by the President, was charged with the sole mandate of eradicating poverty. There are different opinions that exist regarding the level of success of these programs and policies. Some people believe that these programs have had positive impact on the poor while others believe that they have made the poor poorer.
  • Topic: Poverty, Inequality, Economic growth, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: France Bourgouin
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Donors and NGOs are missing an opportunity: they should be helping to turn large-scale commercial mining activities into sustainable development for poor countries that are rich in minerals. Instead of shying away, they should engage their development expertise and technical assistance and join forces with mining companies and local governments. This would help increase the spill-over of economic gains into local societies in a just and sustainable manner.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Natural Resources, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Good governance and free elections are often described as preconditions for growth and poverty alleviation. But recent research tells a different story. Although elections motivate political elites to be responsive to popular demands the effects are ambiguous. This has implications for how donors should support policy initiatives in the productive sectors.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ken Davies
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The 48 least-developed countries (LDCs), most of them in sub-Saharan Africa and a few in Asia, need foreign direct investment (FDI) to help meet their development targets. The FDI they now receive, although inadequate, is enough to demonstrate that investors see potential in them. It is therefore realistic for LDCs to seek more FDI, but they need to enhance their investment environments to attract it in the much greater quantities required. Donors can help by targeting official development assistance (ODA) on investment in human capital and supporting governance improvements. Meanwhile, LDCs should establish effective investment promotion agencies (IPAs).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Stephen Commins
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Unprecedented rates of urban migration over the past decade have contributed to a dramatic expansion in the size of urban slums and higher levels of poverty, violence, and instability in Africa's cities. The drivers of violence associated with urban fragility are primarily related to weak and illegitimate governance, inequitable development, limited livelihood opportunities, and legal structures that inhibit land tenure and new business start-up. Solutions to Africa's urban fragility cannot be addressed solely through security structures but must be part of a broader development strategy.
  • Topic: Security, Demographics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Helmoed Heitman
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: There is much happening in Africa that is positive— economically, socially, and politically. But a large share of the continent remains fragile, putting those gains at risk. The most pressing challenges facing many African states are paramilitary threats— threats that are beyond the ability of most police forces and frequently transcend national borders. Organized crime, rural banditry, piracy, local warlords, guerrillas, ethnic and religious violence, and extremist Islamist groups are just a few of an array of such threats.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Crime, Ethnic Conflict, Poverty, Insurgency, Piracy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Steven Radelet
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: There's good news out of Africa. Seventeen emerging countries are putting behind them the conflict, stagnation, and dictatorships of the past. Since the mid-1990s, these countries have defied the old negative stereotypes of poverty and failure by achieving steady economic growth, deepening democracy, improving governance, and decreasing poverty.
  • Topic: Debt, Democratization, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ruben de Koning
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The political economy of mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is central to sustaining the conflict in the east of the country. Transforming it is a priority in order to alleviate the conflict and suffering that it fuels. In an attempt to ensure that conflict minerals—minerals sourced from militia controlled mines—do not enter the legal supply chain, industrial actors, the Congolese Government and outside donors have established schemes to trace minerals such as cassiterite and coltan back to the mines of origin.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Corruption, Political Economy, Poverty, Natural Resources, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo