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  • Author: Zainab Usman, David Landry
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Many African countries have placed economic diversification high on the policy agenda, yet they first need to define what it means in their specific structural and socioeconomic contexts. For decades, economic diversification has been a policy priority for low- and middle-income economies. In the words of former managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, “We know that economic diversification is good for growth. Diversification is also tremendously important for resilience.” Unfortunately, this goal continues to elude many African countries. In fact, the continent is home to eight of the world’s fifteen least economically diversified countries. This reality weakens the foundation of their economic transfomation and slows their pace of progress. It also makes these countries particularly vulnerable to sudden external shocks, as the pandemic-induced disruption of tourism and oil-dependent economies has illustrated. Given the importance of diversifying African economies, it is critical to recognize how various dimensions of diversification can have different implications for the menu of policy options. Closely associated with the process of structural transformation from lower to higher productivity sectors, economic diversification has three evident dimensions. The first relates to the expansion of economic sectors that contribute to employment and production or gross domestic product (GDP) diversification, and the second is associated with international trade or exports diversification. This paper, however, focuses on a third dimension that the economics literature pays scant attention to: fiscal diversification. This fiscal element involves expanding government revenue sources and public expenditure targets and can therefore play a central role in helping to catalyze broader economic transformation through the expansion of activity in specific industries and sectors. It is also critical that policymakers effectively measure the extent to which this objective is being achieved. Both the expansion of existing economic sectors and the creation of new ones may diversify an economy. But these processes are vastly different in practice and will garner distinct outcomes. Of the main tools used by economists to measure diversification, the Theil Index differentiates between the respective contributions of new economic sectors and existing ones to overall diversification. Another tool widely used by development practitioners—the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) framework—has significant potential for evaluating fiscal diversification but would need to capture more information on government revenue collection and spending and link them to policy objectives.
  • Topic: Economics, Governance, Diversification, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Annalena Oppel
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Community or interpersonal support as a critical source of livelihood sustenance in the Global South can exhibit unequal dynamics. An understanding of these practices is primarily tied to the conceptual space of poverty or small communities. Less is known about how social support systems might respond to structural inequalities. I address this by exploring how support practices might be shaped by inequalities in the Namibian context. I draw on primary network data to assess inequality as a social dynamic within the space of support and evaluate whether providing worse-off others corresponds to former discriminatory practices under the apartheid regime. My results suggest that inequality has normalized a sense of support as necessity for black but not white Namibians. More broadly, by recognizing differences in group practices, I evidence that exploring support practices across structural inequalities can enhance insights on the social replication of inter- and intragroup-based inequalities.
  • Topic: Economics, Race, Inequality, Social Networks
  • Political Geography: Africa, Namibia
  • Author: Mehdi Lahlou
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The coronavirus pandemic has turned into a global economic crisis with severe social effects in the least developed countries, particularly in Africa. Pre-existing challenges related to widespread poverty, demographic growth, food insecurity and governance issues have been exacerbated by the pandemic. While migration remains one of the key elements of the partnership agenda between Africa and the European Union, the aggravating socioeconomic situation in the African continent due to the impact of COVID-19 and its implications for migration dynamics requires going beyond business-as-usual approaches. The renewed scenario calls for a more comprehensive and development-oriented approach to migration, requiring new policy initiatives addressing the wider set of conditions that, beyond constituting developmental challenges in their own right, also drive migration in North Africa as well as in Sub-Saharan African countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, European Union, Mobility, Asylum, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, North Africa
  • Author: Mma Amara Ekeruchera
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA)
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 outbreak began in December 2019 in the Wuhan city of China and has continued to spread globally. As of this writing, 28.2 million cases have been recorded globally with 910,000 deaths. Aside the health impact, the pandemic has led to an unprecedented disruption in economic activities, initiating a sudden demand, supply, and financial shock. The mitigation strategies put in place by governments across the world to curb the virus as well as the uncertainty associated with the pandemic has led to a reduction in the consumption of non-essential commodities. Meanwhile, disruptions to global supply chains in a closely connected world as well as the reduced demand have necessitated a slowdown in production. Furthermore, investors have become more risk averse with the prices of risk assets falling to levels experienced in the 2007-20008 global financial crisis. To counteract the fall in private sector demand, stabilize the financial system, and ensure economic recovery, governments and central banks across the world have deployed a range of policies and programmes. Central banks are cutting policy rates and providing direct liquidity to the financial system. Federal and sub-national governments are providing tax relief, cash transfers, and employee retention schemes to alleviate the burden on affected individuals and businesses. Africa is not left behind as governments have increased spending plans (about 1.9% of their GDP) and central banks are adopting more accommodating monetary policies.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Monetary Policy, Central Bank, Macroeconomics, Pandemic, COVID-19, Socioeconomics , Supply Chains
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Julia Grauvogel, Hana Attia
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Research on sanctions has hitherto focused on their implementation and effectiveness, whereas the termination of such measures has received only little attention. The traditional model, which looks at sanctions and their removal in terms of rational, interstate bargaining, focuses on how cost–benefit calculations affect the duration and termination of such measures. Yet, this research insufficiently captures the back and forth between easing sanctions, stagnation, and renewed intensification. It also fails to account for the multifaceted social relations between senders, targets, and third actors that shape these termination processes, as well as for the signalling dimension of ending sanctions – not least because existing datasets tend to operationalise sanctions as a single event. To help fill these gaps, the paper proposes a process-oriented and relational understanding that also recognises how sanctions termination conveys the message of ending the visible disapproval of the target, which may be heavily contested. Case studies on Zimbabwe and Iran illustrate how such an approach sheds light on the different logics of action that shape processes of sanctions termination, and thereby contributes to a more holistic understanding of sanctions in general.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iran, Middle East, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Adedeji Adeniran, Idris Ademuyiwa
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The growth of digitalization and digital technology adoption in Africa holds the key to strengthening and diversifying economies across the continent. Although these developments offer potentially life-changing benefits for consumers, businesses and governments, the inherent flaws in the digital market mean these benefits are not guaranteed. As most gains from the digital economy are largely concentrated in the United States and China, the digital divide may widen the gap between the Global North and the Global South.
  • Topic: Economics, Governance, Digital Economy, Digitalization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Global South
  • Author: Susan Namirembe Kavuma, Assumpta Tibamwenda, Elijah Dickens Mushemeza, George Bogere, Lillian Tamale, Eugene Gerald Ssemakula, Jonas Mbabazi
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This report presents the findings and discussions of Local Economic Development (LED) practices in nine districts of Northern Uganda that included: Adjumani, Amuru, Arua, Kitgum, Lira, Omoro, Oyam, and Yumbe. The analysis provides insights into implementation of LED policies, and the level of preparedness of the districts to implement the policy as a tool for economic transformation and development. LED was conceptualised as a process or development model where Local Governments, the private sector, and the community, are jointly and collectively engaged in identification, mobilization and management of resources at the local level. LED is therefore intended to create conducive environments for investment, increased household incomes, and higher revenues for Local Governments.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Governance, Local
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Kelesego Mmolainyane
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis
  • Abstract: In her quest to further graduate to the high-income status, Botswana seeks to invest more in infrastructure development for both productive and social use. An efficient and effective infrastructure provision is fundamental to excellent public service delivery and access. Sadly, Botswana, like many other world economies, has a challenge of having an infrastructure financing gap. One of the innovative ways to fill this gap is through public private partnerships (PPPs) with the capital market that has excess liquidity. Infrastructure PPPs are complex and capital intensive projects that require project finance experts to advise parties involved regarding returns and risks associated with each project. Various project-financing models can be designed to suit project specifications and they cannot be over-generalised for all PPP projects. Nevertheless, given the tight fiscal space, Botswana now, more than ever, should consider issuing PPP bonds and applying user changes model to finance economic PPP infrastructure for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Infrastructure, Finance, Public Sector, Economic Development , Private Sector
  • Political Geography: Africa, Botswana
  • Author: Johanne Motsatsi, Goitseone Khanie
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis
  • Abstract: The paper examines the key determinants of industrial growth in Botswana, using manufacturing sector value added as the proxy for industrial growth. It employs the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) cointegration approach using annual time series data for the period 1983 to 2015. Empirical results show that industrial growth is driven by financial sector development, human capital development, trade openness and foreign direct investment. Specifically, domestic credit to the private sector as a percentage of GDP and secondary school enrolment ratio are found to be significantly related to manufacturing value added as a percentage of GDP both in the long run and short run. While the relationship is limited to long run for total trade to GDP, it only exits in the short run for FDI net inflows. The study therefore recommends that policy makers should design and ensure proper implementation of financial sector development strategies that can help ease access to credit for manufacturing enterprises in the country. There is also a need for a holistic approach in the design and implementation of innovation and human resource development policies in order to provide a conducive environment for skills acquisition, innovation and technological advancements in the manufacturing sector. Trade policies and export promotion strategies should heighten productivity and value addition in the manufacturing sector, so as to make local firms internationally competitive. Finally, with regards to FDI, the Government of Botswana should create an environment that could entice multinationals to invest in the local manufacturing industry. This, however, should be coupled with protectionist policies to avoid crowding out local manufacturers and exposing them to foreign competition.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Economic Growth, Manufacturing, Economic Development , Industrialization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Botswana
  • Author: Ratang Sedimo, Kelesego Mmolainyane
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis
  • Abstract: This study seeks to examine institutional frameworks that exist in Botswana to protect the rights of ordinary shareholders. There is no literature on the subject matter in the context of Botswana; hence this study attempts to fill in the literature gap. The study uses a variety of data collection methods, such as semi-structured interviews, the Choppies case study and lessons learnt from other jurisdictions. Findings reveal that ordinary shareholders’ rights protection involves the use of institutional frameworks. In Botswana, existing frameworks are not adequate to protect ordinary shareholders’ rights. Furthermore, the study shows that ordinary shareholders in Botswana are mainly exposed to risks of losing their investments, partially or entirely, in case of non-compliance to regulatory requirements as shown by the reduction in Choppies’ stock price from P1.20 to P0.40 between years 2012 and 2018. The study suggests that the existing institutional frameworks should be reviewed to ensure adequate protection of ordinary shareholders’ rights.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Human Rights, Investment, Macroeconomics, Land Rights, Labor Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Botswana