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  • Author: John Page
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Economists have long regarded structural change—the movement of workers from lower to higher productivity employment—as essential to growth in low-income countries. Yet, until recently, Africa’s economic structure had changed very little, worrying both policymakers and analysts. The African Union, the African Development Bank, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa have all voiced concern with Africa’s slow pace of structural change. Earlier this year, The Economist noted, “Africa’s development model puzzles economists.”
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Amadou Sy, Amy Copley
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Lack of energy access presents a formidable, but not insurmountable, challenge to African development. Energy poverty afflicts nearly 620 million people in Africa, limiting economic opportunities and creating health risks through the use of low-cost, alternative energy sources, such as wood fuel (IEA 2014). Without access to secure, reliable sources of electricity, households, businesses, schools, and hospitals cannot operate effectively, reducing quality of life and restricting human capital. As acknowledged in the global sustainable development agenda, addressing these energy needs is fundamental to achieving economic and human development objectives. African governments and their partners in the private sector and international development community have taken this to heart as can be seen by the growing policy attention and resources they are allocating to the continent’s energy sector.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Global Markets, International Development
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Diane De Gramont
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In fifteen years, Lagos has gone from being a symbol of urban disorder to a widely cited example of effective African governance. The Lagos State government has succeeded in multiplying its tax revenues and using these resources to restore basic infrastructure and expand public services and law enforcement. Extensive field research indicates that reform commitment in Lagos was driven by electoral pressures as well as elite ambitions to construct an orderly and prosperous megacity.
  • Topic: Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Xanthe Ackerman
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Many more girls are going to school than ever before, thanks in large part to the Education for All movement (EFA),14 the Millennium Development Goals and international and national programs that have increased access to school for all children. Legislation to make primary education free of charge in many African and Asian countries has greatly contributed to the decrease in the number of primary-school-age girls who are out of school, even as the population of schoolage children has continued to increase. At the primary level, the share of girls in the out-of-school population dropped from 58 percent in 2000 to 53 percent in 2012.15
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Mongi Boughzala, Mohamed Tlili Hamdi
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Regional disparities and inequality between the rural and the urban areas in Tunisia have been persistently large and perceived as a big injustice. The main regions that did not receive an equitable share from the country's economic growth, as compared to the coastal regions that are highly urbanized, are the predominantly rural western regions. Their youth often have to migrate to the cities to look for work and most of them end up with low-paying and frustrating jobs in the informal sector. The more educated among them face a very uncertain outlook and the highest rate of unemployment. This bias is strongest for female workers and university graduates living in the poor rural regions. The purpose of this paper is to study the underlying causes and factors of these disparities and to discuss policies and measures that may allow these regions to benefit from faster and more inclusive growth.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia, Tunisia
  • Author: Joshua Meltzer
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper is about the potential of the Internet as a platform for international trade. A traditional understanding of the impact of the Internet on commerce is derived from the dot.com experience of the 1990s, where Internet companies such as Pets.com and Amazon sold goods online. Since then, the impact of the Internet on commerce has grown and changed. Certainly, the ability to sell goods online remains important. However, the key development is that the Internet is no longer only a digital storefront. Instead, the Internet as described in this working paper is a platform for businesses to sell to customers domestically and overseas, and is a business input that increases productivity and the ability of businesses to compete. Understanding the Internet as a platform for trade highlights its broad economic potential. It emphasizes how the commercial opportunities are no longer limited to Internet companies, but are now available for businesses in all sectors of the economy, from manufacturing to services. Moreover, the global nature of the Internet means that these opportunities are no longer limited to domestic markets, but are embraced wherever Internet access is available.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Science and Technology, Communications
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe
  • Author: Akira Murata
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The paper uses a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to elicit job preferences among youth, and analyzes survey data collected from engineering students at 10 universities in six cities in Egypt during the period of July through October 2013. For a comparative analysis, the survey was also conducted at eight universities in five cities in Indonesia, which is one of the nations in Asia with a Muslim-majority population that faces the same demographic issue. The findings of this research will contribute to building a foundation for designing youth employment policies in Egypt. The most obvious findings to emerge from this study are that: the public-private sector wage differentials must be narrowed; better benefits must accompany private sector employment (particularly support for continuing education, upgrading qualifications, and health insurance); and good IT infrastructure matters. Taken together, these steps could significantly contribute to an increase in the rates of a private sector employment among young Egyptian job seekers, even in the case of continued high public sector wages.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Islam, Labor Issues, Youth Culture
  • Political Geography: Africa, America, Arabia
  • Author: Hafez Ghanem
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper examines how economic growth in Egypt can be made more inclusive through a focus on rural development and reducing regional disparities. Nearly all of the extremely poor in Egypt live in rural areas and 83 percent of them live in Upper Egypt. The youth in those rural areas feel particularly excluded.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia
  • Author: John McArthur
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: To what extent have developing countries' patterns in reducing under-5 mortality rates (U5MR) changed since the advent of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)? This paper investigates that question across multiple time horizons, with attention to the fact that countries' progress had already begun to accelerate during the late 1990s compared to the early 1990s. The paper gives special consideration to countries the MDGs were primarily intended to support, including initially “Off Track” and low-income countries. Although only 21 percent of originally Off Track countries and 34 percent of originally low-income countries are now on a path to achieve the MDG target by 2015, at least 80 percent of each group has seen accelerated progress since 2001. Approximately 90 percent of countries in sub-Saharan Africa have accelerated. Most importantly, regression analysis indicates that cross-country trends since 2000 differ considerably from previous decades. The years since the launch of the MDGs include the first extended period in at least four decades during which rates of U5MR decline have not been negatively correlated with U5MR levels. Compared to a conservative counterfactual trend from 1996 to 2001, at least 7.5 million additional children's lives are estimated to have been saved between 2002 and 2013. The results suggest that much of the greatest structural progress has been achieved by countries not likely to achieve the formal MDG targets, even if their progress might be linked to the pursuit of those targets. Implications are considered for setting U5MR targets through to 2030.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Human Welfare, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Francis M. Mwega
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In September 2000, 149 heads of state and government endorsed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). With this endorsement they set themselves eight goals to be reached by 2015 (from the 1990 base), foremost of which is to halve the proportion of the world's people who were absolutely poor. The MDGs provide a departure from past approaches in addressing poverty. By focusing attention on a core set of interrelated goals and measurable targets, it is now easier to track progress and measure the impact of development interventions.
  • Topic: Development, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa