Environment and Development Management Nigeria-Germany
Recent months were busy times for Economics Professor Karl Wohlmuth. He guided the project “Festschrift Anniversary of Thirty Years (1989-2019) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook”. The Festschrift was finalized as a first edition in November 2020, and the second edition appeared in January 2021. The University of Bremen has republished the Festschrift as a major document on its media platform. The number of contributors to the Festschrift was very high, and the response to make recommendations for a further quality increase was great. It was proposed to move with the Yearbook to an open access system; negotiations are now underway. A great number of suggestions came in to make the Yearbook a real platform for success stories and sustainable reforms in Africa. It was decided by the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen to publish a Festschrift, as a physical celebration of the Thirty Years Anniversary was not possible because of COVID-19.
Professor Wohlmuth and the editors of volume 22 (2020/21) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook have in the meantime finalized the new volume. It is now in the process of publication. The new volume has two Units with twelve chapters and a further Unit with book reviews and book notes. Professor Wohlmuth and the team of Unit Editors have introduced the content of all the three Units. The volume is quite relevant as the theme “Sustainable Development Goal Nine and African Development” touches issues of promoting industrialization, developing infrastructure, and building innovation capacity in Africa. Also, the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen has released in December 2020 the new call for papers for volume 23 (2022) on “Business Opportunities, Start-ups and Digital Transformation in Africa”. A Unit on “COVID-19 and repurposing industries in Africa” and Units with country cases of digital transformation and digital entrepreneurship are envisaged. There is already great interest to become part of the new Yearbook project.
Professor Reuben A. Alabi from the Department of Agricultural Economics at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria has finalized important research work for international and regional African organizations, and for the Yearbook in cooperation with Professor Wohlmuth. Also, a major research report by the two professors came out on “Waste Management Policies in Nigeria and Germany”, with a focus on the municipalities of Lagos and Bremen. Professor Alabi has also finalized a study on “Financial innovations and agricultural development in Nigeria”. The study is part of his research programme “Environment and Development Management Nigeria-Germany”. He will now take up again his duties as a full professor of agricultural economics at Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria. In the Festschrift “Thirty Years Anniversary of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook” he gave an account of the role the Yearbook has played for enhancing reforms in Africa. Professor Alabi will continue his work as co-editor of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook.
Professor Wohlmuth was active in evaluating applications for professorship, research manuscripts, and international study programmes. He was again appointed as a member of a promotions committee for professors (associate and full professors) at a university in Michigan, USA. He did reviews for development economics and environmental economics journals. He evaluated international study programmes in Tajikistan. This work was possible only in the form of virtual meetings, what limits considerably real evaluations. Tajikistan is reforming its study programmes also in the field of economics. The study programmes related to economics and business studies in Tajikistan intend to support also the research component, especially so in the direction of increasing the competitiveness of the Tadjik economy. It was found out during the meetings that more international cooperation of teachers and researchers and higher financial support for individual research programmes are quite necessary. While the leading staff persons of the universities in Tajikistan are linked to the government offices and/or the traditional elites, the young teachers and researchers are mobile, motivated, mostly English-speaking, and interested to cooperate with universities in countries of the European Union and with universities in other geo-political regions (USA, China, Russia, India).
The Government of Bremen is on the move to develop a new “Innovation Strategy for the Country State of Bremen 2030” to replace the outdated Innovation Programme 2020 and the Cluster Strategy 2020. Professor Wohlmuth works on the issues of innovation and technology policy of Bremen since the 1980s when his institute produced a handbook “Bremen as a location for high technology industries”. In recent months, Professor Wohlmuth has contributed essays on new innovation policies for Bremen to support in this way a new innovation strategy for Bremen. The COVID-19-crisis gave an additional push for reforms of innovation policies as many industries in Bremen are severely affected, because leading cluster industries (space and aircraft industries, automotive sector, logistics and transport industry, tourism, and others) have to overcome the crisis in the medium- to long-term. The main issue is to combine new cluster and innovation strategies with a strategy to navigate the industries out of the COVID-19-crisis. The Professor has emphasized five elements of an action programme for Bremen (institutional reform component; strengthening the regional innovation system; value-added-focussed and employment-oriented component; further developing the health, medical support, and care sector; and supporting digitalization).
Professor Karl Wohlmuth has accepted the offer of the University of Bremen Archives (Universitätsarchiv) to transmit a considerable part of his scientific research and teaching fundus, with materials classified on eight categories (first, Teaching Projects since 1971; second, Integrated Introductory Study Programmes in the 1970s; third, Research and Consulting Activities on Sudan 1978-2021; fourth, Researches on African Development since the 1970s, Consulting on Africa since the 1980s, and Editing/Publishing the African Development Perspectives Yearbook since 1989; fifth, Shaping the development of the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies since 1971; sixth, Organising the research, teaching, advisory, and training activities as the Director of the World Economy Research Group since the 1970s and of the IWIM/Institute for World Economics and International Management since 1987; seventh, Developing the international cooperation projects since 1971 for the University of Bremen, for the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, and for IWIM; and eighth, Documenting the personal development and the career of Karl Wohlmuth since the 1960s). Professor Wohlmuth celebrates in September 2021 50 years as professor of comparative economic systems at the University of Bremen, as he moved to the new university in September 1971. He came from the Institute for the Theory of Economic Policy at the FU of Berlin after work periods in Vienna and in Linz, Austria. He was part of a small group of professors who were in the first weeks of the new university appointed in meetings of the whole Senate of the Country State of Bremen, while months later the calls to Bremen and the appointments of professors were done by the Senator of Education and Science. An audio file of an interview with Professor Karl Wohlmuth about his life, his scientific work, and his experiences at the University of Bremen is also available in the University of Bremen Archives.
The Festschrift contains various statements and chapters to celebrate the work over 30 years. In Foreword and Acknowledgements by Professor Dr. Karl Wohlmuth the history of the Yearbook project is presented. The Statements by the University of Bremen for the Press (in English and German) inform about the character of the annual publication on Africa and about the ambitions for the future work of the Research Group.
In Chapter 1: How did It Start: The Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen and the Formative Years of the Yearbook, there is a description of the work of the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen and an essay by the co- founder of the Yearbook project Professor Dr. Robert Kappel, Professor at Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany, and former president of GIGA, Hamburg, Germany about “The Formative Years of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook”.
In Chapter 2: What were the Topics: Thirty Years (1989 - 2019) of Africa’s Development and the African Development Perspectives Yearbook, there is for all volumes a short description of the Selected Theme, the Content of the Volume, the Highlights of the Volume, the Cover of the Book, and information about the Units of the Volume.
In Chapter 3: Who Did Cooperate and Why: The Statements of Supporters, Editors, Contributors, Reviewers, there is a great number of statements by cooperants to give an account of their affiliation with the Yearbook and with the Research Group, specifically about the type, the years, and the forms of cooperation, the main messages for and the impressions about the Yearbook, and the Proposals for the Future of the Yearbook.
In Chapter 4: How to prepare for the Future: Proposals for important Themes, changes of Format, and the adaptation of the Working Procedures we find a Statement by the Managing Editor of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook, Professor Dr. Tobias Knedlik, University of the Applied Sciences Fulda, and Research Professor IWH Halle, Germany, and a Statement by the Book Reviews and Book Notes Editor of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook, Professor Dr. Samia Satti Osman Mohamed Nour, Full Professor at the University of Khartoum, Sudan and member of numerous international research and advisory institutions. Also, the Key Pillars of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook are considered to answer the question: What should be preserved? Then, there is a presentation about The Future of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook: What should be changed?
Finally, the Festschrift contains information about accessing all the volumes and how to contact the editorial group; this is found under the title: The African Development Perspectives Yearbook: Information to access the volumes. This part has also relevant information about Websites, Contact, Wikipedia entry about the Yearbook, and the Imprint.
The Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen is presenting soon the volume 22 for 2020/2021 about “SDG 9 and Africa” (see the entry on the homepage) and has submitted an International Call for Papers for Volume 23 (2022) on the theme “Business Opportunities, Start-ups and Digital Transformation in Africa” (see the entry on the homepage). There is already great interest in reading volume 22 (2020/2021) and to become part of the new Yearbook project for volume 23/2022 (see the entry on the homepage: https://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/african_development_perspectives_yearbook/). The International Call for Papers for volume 23 (2022) is available as a PDF: International Call for Papers Volume 23).
The African Development Perspectives Yearbook, Volume 22(2020/2021) with the title “Sustainable Development Goal Nine and African Development – Challenges and Opportunities” is now finalized by the publisher. The Volume 22 (2020/2021) focusses on the relevance of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 (“Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation") for Africa’s development. In three Units key issues in the context of SDG 9 and its eight targets and twelve indicators are analysed at the continental level and in country case studies.
Unit 1 presents in four essays the African continental perspectives and achievements - on developing productive capacities towards sustainable industrialization, supporting frugal innovations for bottom-of-the pyramid households, reorganising commodity-based industrialization through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, and making foreign direct investment work for inclusive growth and sustainable industrialisation.
Unit 2 presents six essays which are focussing on aspects of the eight targets of SDG 9. Two essays discuss perspectives of agro-industrial development and of financial innovations for Sudan and Nigeria; two essays consider the future of renewable energy projects in urban and rural areas of Nigeria and Cameroon; and two further essays analyse the importance of the roads system in Sudan for structural transformation and the role of sustainable mining activities in support of social infrastructure for Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Unit 3 presents book reviews and book notes in the context of SDG 9, classified around 11 categories. Reviewed are publications on SDG 9 and interlinkages with other SDGs, global and regional reports of relevance for Africa and/or coming from Africa, and new books on African Studies.
Volume 22 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook is the first comprehensive publication on the relevance of SDG 9 for African development. See the focus on SDG 9 in the United Nations system: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/envision2030-goal9.html, by UNDP: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals/goal-9-industry-innovation-and-infrastructure.html, by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs: https://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/space4sdgs/sdg9.html, and by The Global Goals initiative: https://www.globalgoals.org/9-industry-innovation-and-infrastructure. Also in and for Africa SDG 9 is intensively researched now by UNIDO: https://www.unido.org/who-we-are/unido-and-sdgs/africa-and-sdg-9; by UNDP: https://www.africa.undp.org/content/rba/en/home/sustainable-development-goals/goal-9-industry-innovation-and-infrastructure.html; by the SDG Philanthropy Platform: https://www.sdgphilanthropy.org/SDG-9-in-Africa-by-2030; and by the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network: https://s3.amazonaws.com/sustainabledevelopment.report/2020/2020_africa_index_and_dashboards.pdf. The new study by the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen is presenting in Volume 22 (2020/2021) a collection of analytic essays and country case studies.
In the meantime, a Festschrift was published at the occasion of the 30 years anniversary of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook (1989-2019). A second edition was just released (see: Wohlmuth-Festschrift Thirty Years). It contains information about the formative years of the project, a description of the volumes over the thirty years by themes, messages and highlights, and comments and statements by contributors, supporters, and editors. Also, the new International Call for Papers for volume 23 (2022) was released some weeks ago (see: International Call for Papers Volume 23). Over the years, the African Development Perspectives Yearbook became the leading annual English-language publication on Africa in Germany.
Invited are contributions for Volume 23 (2022) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook with the title “Business Opportunities, Start-ups and Digital Transformation in Africa” (International Call for Papers Volume 23, 2022). The contributions should be evidence-based and policy-oriented. High academic standards are requested and will be reviewed by referees. Non-technical papers with deep analysis, which are readable by practitioners in development cooperation and by media people, have a high priority in the selection process. The analytical concept of the proposed contribution and the methodological framework of analysis should be outlined in the Abstract which is submitted to the Editors.
The theme for volume 23 (2022) on “Business Opportunities, Start-ups and Digital Transformation in Africa” is related to the ongoing global digital transformation, with impacts on productive sectors and the society also in Africa. African countries are differently advancing in the process of digital transformation, and some countries are even leading in this process by presenting digital solutions to current problems as we can see now in the COVID-19 crisis. The COVID-19 crisis reveals that health systems, education systems, government structures, financial services, and manufacturing processes are impacted by the digital transformation. Digital platforms give access to medical innovations, give information about hygiene advice, and provide for local availability of health protection utensils so that those living in remote rural areas and in semi-urban areas can also be reached. Those who are working in informal sector occupations get also access to digital media. In manufacturing sectors, we see a process of repurposing of industries towards basic goods for protecting people from COVID-19. We also encourage contributions along these lines.
The volume 23 (2022) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook will cover three main issues:
First, the new business opportunities created by the digital transformation will be reviewed. Consumers, producers, traders, and entrepreneurs benefit from the new business opportunities. New products, new services, new forms of cooperation, and new supply chains emerge.
Second, the digital transformation increases the number of start-ups and venture capital funds in Africa. All types of start-ups are growing rapidly in Africa, and digital entrepreneurship is advancing not only in technology hubs but in all areas where Internet access is given. The many emerging start-ups (in all productive sectors and in all branches of digital transformation) and finance institutions (from venture capital funds to impact, innovation and technology funds) are important for employment creation, structural transformation, poverty reduction, and the connection to local, regional and global markets.
Third, there are longer-term implications of the digital transformation for the productive sectors, mainly for manufacturing sectors and for agribusiness. But there are also strong impacts on services and administration sub-sectors.
It is an intention to publish in volume 23 country-specific, company-specific and sector-specific digital transformation cases, company success stories, but also analytic essays on the perspectives of the “fourth industrial revolution” for Africa and on the impacts of “globalization 4.0” on Africa. It is also of great interest to see how informal sectors can become part of the core economy in Africa through the digital transformation. COVID-19 is affecting the pace of the digital transformation in Africa, and this process needs to be documented.
The Book Reviews/Book Notes Editor (Professor Samia Nour, University of Khartoum) invites authors, research institutes and publishers to send books, discussion papers, documents, and journals for review. The material should be related to the theme of volume 23 (2022).
To get an overview of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook project please look at the links: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/africa/africanyearbook.htm, and: https://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/african_development_perspectives_yearbook/.
This study examined the impacts of the E-wallet Fertilizer Subsidy Scheme on the quantity of fertilizer use, on crop output, and on yield in Nigeria. The study made use of the Nigeria General Household Survey (GHS)-Panel Datasets of 2010/2011 and 2012/2013 which contain 5,000 farming households in each of the panel. The study has applied relevant evaluation techniques to analyse the data. The results of the impact analysis demonstrate that the scheme has generally increased the yield, the crop output, and the quantity of fertilizer purchase of the participating farmers by 38%, 47%, and 16%, respectively. The study concludes that increased productivity, which the scheme engenders, can help to reduce food insecurity in Nigeria. Provision of rural infrastructure, such as a good road network, and accessibility to mobile phones, radio, etc. will increase the readiness of the small-scale farmers to accept the scheme or any other similar agricultural schemes in Nigeria. The new fertiliser subsidy scheme goes back to the initiative of Nigerian Agriculture Minister Akinwumi A. Adesina, now President of the African Development Bank in Abidjan. He was awarded the Sunhak Peace Prize for Good Governance and Agriculture Innovations in Africa (see on his life and the award: http://sunhakprize.blogspot.com/2018/11/main-achievements-of-akinwumi-adesina.html).
The Achievements of Akinwumi A. Adesina
The E-wallet Fertilizer Subsidy Scheme had an estimated yield impact of 66% on the side of the participating small-scale poor farmers; this is much higher when compared with the estimated yield impact of 38% on the side of the the average farmers who are participating in the scheme. This suggests that the overall impact of the scheme could be higher if the scheme is well targeted at the small-scale poor farmers. Increased productivity through fertiliser use will reduce food insecurity in Nigeria. Provision of rural infrastructure will increase accessibility of the small-scale farmers to the scheme, so that measures by the government in this direction are important.
The new study is part of the research programme by Professor Alabi on Nigerian agricultural sector initiatives which is undertaken at the invitation of the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies of the University of Bremen, based on a guest researcher agreement in cooperation with Professor Karl Wohlmuth. Professor Karl Wohlmuth from the Research Group on African Development Perspectives is cooperating with the Nigerian Professor since many years, and supervises also this particular research programme. Professor Alabi has just finalized his essay for the next volume of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook 2020/21 on “Financial inclusion, Innovation and Agricultural Development in Nigeria”. The Nigerian Professor works for the Yearbook Project now for more than 10 years as a co-editor and as an author. Professor Alabi has successfully applied various times for grants from the AERC/African Economic Research Consortium, Nairobi, Kenya, the leading African economic science Think Tank; also this study was financed by the AERC. He was also a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at IWIM, University of Bremen for a period of around 2 years (see: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/environment_and_development_management_nigeria_germany/).
The record of fertilizer subsidies in Africa is weak. Therefore it is important to study the Nigerian E-wallet approach which seems to contrast the Africa-wide negative assessments of fertiliser subsidies.
The Economist wrote on July 1st, 2017 a famous article: “Why fertiliser subsidies in Africa have not worked/Good intentions, poor results”
The Impact of the E-Wallet Fertilizer Subsidy Scheme and its Implications on Food Security in Nigeria,
by Reuben Adeolu Alabi, Professor at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria, and currently staying as Visiting Guest Researcher at the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies of the University of Bremen; the study is co-authored by Oshobugie Ojor Adams, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria; it was published as Research Paper 390, January 2020, 42 pages, and it was released by AERC/African Economic Research Consortium, Nairobi, Kenya.
For a Download of the Study: https://aercafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Research-Paper-390.pdf
Remarks about the status of the research grant by AERC: This Research Study was supported by a grant from the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). The findings, opinions and recommendations are those of the authors, however, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Consortium, its individual members or the AERC Secretariat.
Published by: The African Economic Research Consortium
P.O. Box 62882 - City Square
Nairobi 00200, Kenya
© 2020, African Economic Research Consortium.
This study was written by Guest Researcher Professor Reuben A. Alabi from the Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Nigeria and by Professor Emeritus Karl Wohlmuth, University of Bremen, Germany. It investigates in a comparative form the progress of waste management policies in Nigeria and in Germany, with special emphasis on the conditions in the Lagos State of Nigeria and in the Country State of Bremen in Germany. Also, the move from conventional waste management in the linear economic model to integrated resource and waste management in the circular economic model is discussed. While waste management in the linear economic model focusses in Nigeria and in Germany on a distinct hierarchy of objectives, the resource and waste management in the circular model incorporates the whole life cycle of the products and the societal relevance of the products in view of its objectives. Focus is in the study on the country state of Lagos in Nigeria and on the country state of Bremen in Germany. Both country states have a great role as harbour and logistic towns, as industrial towns and as towns with scientific and technological infrastructure. There are also differences as Lagos is an important financial services hub while Bremen is famous for its aircraft and space industry. The study compares the progress of waste management and resource conservation policies but reflects also on the different institutional and logistical structures of waste management in the two country states, being the result of specific economic sectors and factors. Factors such as the importance of formal and informal private enterprises, the role of public institutions and of private actors in the waste management business, and the relevance of public waste management policies, laws, plans and balance sheets play a role in the study. Also, the role of new equipment and new communication technologies for the further development of the waste industry in the two countries/country states is considered.
The Necessity of A Move Towards Sustainable Waste Management in Nigeria
Source: Towards a sustainable waste management (The Guardian, 16 May 2016; Link: https://guardian.ng/opinion/towards-a-sustainable-waste-management/)
The study is based on relevant literature which is available for the two countries/states and on meetings/interviews with experts on waste management in the two countries/states. Based on questionnaires the authors have investigated the specific frameworks of waste management policies. A major result is that Germany (and Bremen) and Nigeria (and Lagos) can cooperate in a mutually beneficial way on waste management – in policymaking and planning, on developing and selecting equipment and new technologies, on services provision and training, but also on guiding the transformation process towards a circular economy. Nigeria can learn from the German and European way of implementing coherent policies, while Germany and Europe can learn from Nigeria’s way to solve problems which arise at the local level. The study brought to attention that the waste industry in Germany and in Bremen is embedded into a complex web of directives, laws and regulations; this is a strict policy framework from the EU level downwards and to the EU level upwards. In Nigeria, there is no coherent waste governance system down from the federation, but at local and state levels there are some binding rules (of formal and/or informal origin). This quite different way of organizing waste management has consequences for the development of the waste industry in the two countries. It impacts also on the selection of options used in waste management in regard of the six (6) objectives discussed in the hierarchy of actions chosen (see below).
Most Favoured and Least Favoured Options in Waste Management
For Nigeria, this situation means that local informal producers, local informal organizations, and local informal waste management actors play a great role. Important is it that informal actors in the waste management business are rediscovered as partners of public agencies, public firms and formal sector private firms. Informal sector firms can also be partners in the transformation from waste management in the linear economy model towards resource management within the circular economy model. Informal enterprises can ably prepare end-of-life products for re-use or they can make them the basis for large-scale recycling and recovery. Privatization versus re-communalization is another issue of relevance for the waste industry as experiences in Lagos and in Bremen show. For Germany, the decision criterion should be the ability to innovate for a circular economy; this should be the basic criterion for privatization versus re-communalization. In Nigeria, a larger role of informal enterprises in the waste industry can contribute to the circular economy. Such firms can redesign the products and can remanufacture them for low-income social groups; waste can then be reduced or even prevented. Waste prevention is an issue for both countries/country states/municipalities. Bremen as a country state and Bremen as a municipality can support initiatives for a deep cooperation in a waste management partnership with Lagos and Nigeria. Lagos can be the first address for such a cooperation, although the population and the industry size of Lagos State are so much bigger compared to Bremen.
Waste Management Facilities as used in Germany are exported globally to developed and emerging economies
Policy Focus and Dissemination of the Study
There is great interest from the side of waste management authorities in Nigeria in the policy recommendations presented in the study. Professor Alabi is discussing the possibility of workshops in Nigeria to inform the public about the major results. Also, waste management and resource conservation companies show interest in the investigation of the two authors. Because of the rate of population growth, the speed of urbanization and the need to scale up industrial, agricultural and agro-industrial development in Nigeria, there is urgency in regard of implementing such policy recommendations.
Bibliographic Details on the New Study on Waste Management in Nigeria and Germany:
Wohlmuth, Karl/Reuben A. Alabi, 2019, The Case of Sustainable Management of Waste in Germany (and Bremen) and Practical Lessons for Nigeria (and Lagos), pages i-xxx and 147 pages and i-vii pages, Materialien des Wissenschaftsschwerpunktes „Globalisierung der Weltwirtschaft“ (ehemals: Materialien des Universitätsschwerpunktes „Internationale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen und Internationales Management“), Bd. 44, April 2019, ISSN 0948-3837, Access Link: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/publikationen/pub-white.htm and: http://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/weisse_reihe/.
Since 2015 Professor Alabi is researching in Bremen at the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies of the University of Bremen. This is part of the activities of the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen, directed by Professor Wohlmuth. Professor Wohlmuth is supervising the research activities and is advising this particular research programme. For the years 2019 and 2020 Professor Alabi has proposed four new research projects, after having finalized four others in recent years (see the detailed Research Report of Professor Alabi). Among the finalized research projects are: Cassava Production, Processing, Fortification and Acceptability in Nigeria (for the Volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook, Volume 20); The Pro-poorness of the Fertilizer Subsidy and its Implication on Food Security in Nigeria (for the Africa Research Department of IMF); The Case of Sustainable Management of Waste in Germany and Practical Lessons for Nigeria (in joint authorship with Professor Wohlmuth and addressed to waste management authorities in Nigeria); and The Causes and Economic Consequences of Political Conflicts in Nigeria (for the Community of Students from Nigeria in Germany).
Among the new research projects are: Impact of State Government Public Expenditure on Yam Productivity and Its Implications for Food Security in Nigeria (for AERC, Nairobi); Addressing Youth Unemployment in Nigeria Using Agricultural and Business Technologies (in cooperation with staff from World Bank and IFPRI); Impact of the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund on the Productivity of Food Crops and Its Implications on Food Security in Nigeria (in cooperation with agencies of Nigerian States and the Nigerian Federation); and Financial Inclusion, Innovation and Agricultural Development in Africa (in cooperation with the editors of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook).
To pursue these research programmes, Professor Alabi is cooperating with international organizations (IMF, World Bank) and with international and regional African research organizations (IFPRI, AERC). The research commitment at the IMF Headquarters in Washington D. C. was an excellent opportunity to present his research findings on innovative agricultural policies of Nigeria (see the picture from the event below). A short report on the project is presented here (Alabi IMF Activity – E-Wallet-Fertilizer Subsidy).
Lecture at IMF Headquarters in Washington D. C. by Professor Alabi (third person from right) about:
THE PRO-POORNESS OF The FERTILIZER SUBSIDY AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR FOOD SECURITY IN NIGERIA
Source: Seminar at IMF Headquarters in Washington D. C./Presentation by Professor Alabi
Professor Alabi has recently launched a global research and publication initiative (see the link to the project: https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/10096/labor-requirements-of-alternative-land-use-systems-and-the-impacts-on-livelihoods). The research programme - in cooperation with staff from World Bank and IFPRI - is titled “Labour Requirements of Alternative Land Use Systems, and the Impacts on Livelihoods”. It has the following research interest (taken from the overview): “Projections indicate that food production may need to increase by 60% by 2050 to meet the food requirements of a growing global population. However, conventional forms of agriculture are often unsustainable and global croplands are increasingly impacted by soil erosion, reduced fertility, and/or overgrazing. As populations grow and food demand increases, pressure on land resources is expected to rise and make lands more vulnerable to degradation. Namely, further increases in the use of fertilizers and pesticides for expanding food production may cause excessive nutrient loading in soils, leading to eutrophication and declining soil fertility.” As the programme is of great relevance for Africa, submission of original research from African research teams are expected.
Applications to support researches and to publish original research are invited from the three partners of the project which form the core editorial team.
Labour Requirements of Alternative Land Use Systems, and the Impacts on Livelihoods
About Frontiers Research Topics (as requested from the editors): “With their unique mixes of varied contributions from Original Research to Review Articles, Research Topics unify the most influential researchers, the latest key findings and historical advances in a hot research area! Find out more on how to host your own Frontiers Research Topic or contribute to one as an author.”
Professor Alabi was invited to participate at the June 2019 meeting of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) at Cape Town, South Africa. He will give a presentation about the research programme “Impact of public expenditure on yam productivity and its implications on food security in Nigeria”. This is a follow-up to a high-level meeting of AERC in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2018. The research programme has a great importance for the agricultural transformation policy in Nigeria (see the Abstract of the research programme for AERC by Professor Alabi - Yam Productivity in Nigeria). Professor Alabi cooperates intensively since years with AERC; he has participated at various high-level meetings and has received valuable research grants from the institution. Research output from these research programmes are published in issues of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. Professor Alabi is one of the co-editors of the Yearbook.
Professor Karl Wohlmuth has given advice to the Promotions Committee of the Federal University Of Technology in Akura, Nigeria. The Promotions Committee is responsible for the appointment of Professors and Associate Professors. Professor Wohlmuth was asked to evaluate candidates on the basis of their publications and overall qualifications for the position in question. It is a sophisticated multi-stages system of evaluation for the promotion to the rank of a Professor and an Associate Professor. Karl Wohlmuth was invited for this function by the Vice-President of the University and by the Head (Secretary) of the Promotions Committee. The Federal University of Technology is a leading University in Nigeria.
Also, Professor Wohlmuth has advised the Promotions Committees of the University of Khartoum (Sudan) and of the University of Juba (South Sudan) concerning appointments to Full Professorship. The University of Khartoum is on the way of reorganizing and strengthening its academic profile to regain the leading position which it had after independence among African universities. The University of Juba, as well as other universities in South Sudan, are still suffering because of the civil war in the country and the serious governance problems.
Professor Wohlmuth was also active as a reviewer of manuscripts, book proposals and articles for peer-reviewed journals. The Canadian Journal of Development Studies asked him to review manuscripts. This journal is now a leading journal on development studies in North America. The UNU-WIDER Institute in Helsinki asked Professor Wohlmuth to review a contribution for an international journal. UNU-WIDER is the globally leading institute for development research. Professor Wohlmuth was also active for the Journal Of International Development, for the journal Comparative Economic Studies, and for various African journals. Again, Professor Wohlmuth was asked to review proposals for book publications for the Economics Book Editions programme of Routledge Publishers.
Professor Wohlmuth was invited to advise a leading German multinational on issues of Customer Assessment to Optimize Business Models in Africa. As there are increasing business relations with Africa, the role of different groups of customers (by size, sector, and country) is becoming more and more relevant. It is therefore important to optimize the business models in Africa accordingly. A preparatory group of the German multinational company is involved in writing the first draft of the assessment.
Professor Wohlmuth has given advice and was peer-reviewing a Strategy Document on Revitalizing Sudan which was written by Dr. Murtada Mustafa. The Strategy Document is emphasizing five core pillars (Education, Entrepreneurship, Agriculture, Industry, and Management/Civil Service), which are considered as the basis of a new development strategy for Sudan. Dr. Murtada Mustafa was the first permanent Undersecretary of Labour in the government of Sudan. He has also had various leading functions in the International Labour Office (in Geneva, Harare, Cairo, and Khartoum). The Strategy Document will also be published in the Sudan Economy Research Group (SERG) Discussion Papers, and it will be circulated to policymakers inside and outside of Sudan. It will be published in English and in Arabic languages.
Professor Wohlmuth is also supporting and advising two Guest Researchers at the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, University of Bremen: The agricultural economist Professor Reuben A. Alabi, Department Of Agricultural Economics, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria is in Bremen for the period 2015-2018, and the international economist Professor Chunji Yun from the Faculty of Economics, Seinan Gakuin University, Fukuoka-City, Japan is in Bremen for the period September 2017 to August 2018. For both researchers this is a further stay for research programmes, in cooperation with Professor Wohlmuth, at the University of Bremen and at IWIM. Both researchers have published in the various IWIM Publications Series. Further publications are expected from this research period.
Professor Alabi is doing researches on waste management and related value chains in Nigeria (comparing such value chains with the ones in Germany) and on aspects of the agricultural transformation in Nigeria. He is also these months working as a research fellow at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D. C. in their African Department to do research and to give advice on the E-wallet fertilizer subsidy scheme which was introduced in Nigeria by Akinwumi A. Adesina, at that time the Nigerian agriculture minister who is now the President of the African Development Bank in Abidjan. It is the purpose of the assignment to the IMF to look at the possibilities of a wider use of the Nigerian E-wallet fertilizer subsidy scheme in other African countries. Professor Alabi and Professor Wohlmuth cooperate in Bremen on editions of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook concerning aspects of Nigeria’s economic and agricultural transformation. Most recently, Unit 2 of Volume 20 (a Unit is a collection of essays for a specific theme, introduced by the editors of the Unit) was finalized on “Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Agricultural Transformation in Nigeria”. A strategy was outlined on the basis of the Unit 2 by Professors Alabi and Wohlmuth.
The researches by Professor Chunji Yun centre on the European integration process. He is interested in the fact that the European Union (EU) has 28 (later after Brexit 27) employment regimes and labour policies, so that cross-border investments by firms through global and regional value chains have implications for the national employment regimes and the still national labour markets. He investigates the implications of cross-border investments on nationally organized labour markets for two sectors (automobiles and electronics). He will analyse the different sectoral structures of the value chains which are demanding different types of labour by function at different levels of skills and at different places; these cross-border investments and value chains are then leading to quite different labour market outcomes. He concentrates in his research work on the cross-border investments of German companies in the Visegrad countries to study the repercussions of the changing value chains on the national labour markets and the national labour policies in Germany and in the four Visegrad countries. Because of the fact that Bremen is a centre of production networks, such as for automobiles and automotive parts, there is also the possibility for Professor Yun to visit production sites in Bremen. Professor Wohlmuth and Professor Chun have discussed the first research report in December 2017; the second research report is due in February 2018 for a further intensive discussion and review.
Professor Reuben Adeolu Alabi, Guest Researcher at the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, University of Bremen, was invited by the African Department of IMF to do researches over February and March 2018 at the IMF Headquarters on The Pro-Poorness Of The Electronic Fertilizer Subsidy Programme And Its Implications On Food Security In Nigeria. Professor Alabi will continue his researches on the Electronic Fertilizer Subsidy Programme Nigeria (EFSPN) which he started in Bremen during his research stay since 2015. The EFSPN Scheme is considered as innovative and as a model for other African countries. It was introduced by Akinwumi Adesina, since 2015 acting as the President of the African Development Bank, in the time when he served as Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. Until his appointment as Minister in 2010, he was Vice President of Policy and Partnerships for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
The shortcomings associated with the fertilizer subsidy scheme led Nigeria to adopt the Growth Enhancement Subsidy Scheme (GESS) in 2011. In this scheme the private sector plays the role of supplying and distributing fertilizer, while the government is involved in the registration of the beneficiaries and the payment of 50% of the cost of fertilizer and of other agro-inputs received by the farmers. The scheme delivers subsidized agricultural inputs to farmers through an electronic wallet (e-wallet) system. With unique voucher numbers that are delivered to their phones, farmers then redeem their input allocation from accredited agro-dealers. It is expected that this scheme will improve agricultural input distribution and marketing. In addition, it should provide incentives to encourage actors along the fertilizer value chain to work together towards the common purpose of improving agricultural productivity, household food security, and income. The hope is that this would better serve the intended beneficiaries who are farmers and reduce the fiscal burden of a universal fertilizer subsidy from the government thus making it more effective. However, there is need to find out if this new scheme is pro-poor and to test its impact on the fertilizer use and the productivity of the farmers in Nigeria. Professor Alabi will continue his researches about the pro-poorness of the programme in Washington D.C. at the IMF Headquarters, and will advise the IMF staff on the relevance of the system for other African countries. The new fertilizer subsidy scheme of Nigeria is also revolutionizing the finance system in rural areas of Nigeria (see: http://www.cgap.org/blog/bringing-mobile-wallets-nigerian-farmers).
This analysis is part of the programme “Food Security and Agricultural Transformation in Nigeria” which is done by Professor Alabi in Bremen in cooperation with Professor Karl Wohlmuth, who is advising the research programme since 2015. The two professors have now finalized a Unit of Volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook on “Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policies for Agricultural Transformation in Nigeria”. The Unit on Nigeria has an Introduction written by the two professors on the issues, the contributions and the proposed strategy for Nigeria. New tools for agricultural transformation are considered, such as using indigenous agricultural technologies, developing Genetically Modified (GM) crops, and implementing Food Fortification strategies in Nigeria. A critical evaluation of these new tools is presented. Professor Alabi will continue his researches in Bremen until 2020. He has published widely in the IWIM publications series and he is acting as a co-editor of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. Professor Wohlmuth supports the programme since 2015 as a senior adviser.
Professor Karl Wohlmuth was in recent months active as an adviser to research projects, conferences and publications (see some projects below):
Professor Wohlmuth was invited by the President of the UN Economic and Social Council to participate at the Global ECOSOC Conference in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe as a speaker on “Industrialization based on Agricultural Development”. Global Meetings in Dakar, Victoria Falls and New York City emphasize the role of Sustainable Development Goal Nine (SDG 9) on Sustainable Industrialization, Infrastructure Development and Innovation. This will be an ongoing task of ECOSOC. ECOSOC has the lead in implementing the 17 SDGs.
Guest researcher Professor Reuben A. Alabi extends his research stay in Bremen for three more years. The new Research Programme for 2018-2020 was recently presented as a Letter of Intentions and discussed with Professor Wohlmuth. It has three major components, comprising major policy issues of agroindustry development in Nigeria (Crop productivity, Public expenditure for agriculture at state level, and Combatting youth unemployment through agriculture development).
Professor Alabi was appointed in March 2017 as a Full Professor of Agricultural Economics at Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria. The Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies of the University of Bremen, Professor Jochen Zimmermann, had extended the invitation. Professor Wohlmuth is working as a consultant and senior project adviser in these projects.
Preparations are ongoing for the research visit of Professor Chunji Yun, Faculty of Economics, Seinan Gakuin University, Fukuoka-City, Japan. He will work for a year in Bremen on the research topic of “Production Integration and Labour Market Interdependencies in the European Union.” This is his second research visit at IWIM for a period of one year. The Dean has extended an invitation to him for a year.
Further on, Professor Wohlmuth has advised the research project of Yves Bagna who has constructed a new “Porter Competitiveness Index”, based on Porter’s Diamond Theory. Throughout the research period Professor Wohlmuth was the main adviser to the project. The book is now published by the Research Institute of IWVWW e. V. at Berlin, and further essays on the methodology are forthcoming. Yves Bagna has also compared the new “Porter Competitiveness Index” with the long-established “Global Competitiveness Index” of the Word Economic Forum. Yves Bagna, an engineer and economist from Cameroon, has during his research also visited the Institute of Professor Michael Porter at the Harvard Business School.
Also, Professor Wohlmuth was active to review a chapter for a new UNIDO book about Industrialization in Africa, in his function as the lead author of the chapter. He has also revised and extended a background paper on the issues for UNIDO.
In addition, Professor Wohlmuth has peer-reviewed articles for international and African journals, such as the prestigious journal Comparative Economic Studies. As the number of African refereed journals increases, the demand for evaluations rises. Members of the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen are invited to support such activities.
Work on the volumes 20 and 21 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook is progressing. On Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policies in Sudan, a cooperation is under way with Professor Samia Satti Nour from the University of Khartoum, a leading international expert on STI policies. The Cooperation, which is targeting on issues of “Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Sudan”, is advancing towards a separate Unit (a collection of papers) in Volume 20. A Unit on “STI Frameworks for Africa” is prepared in Cooperation with Patrick N. Osakwe, UNCTAD, Geneva and Nazar Hassan, UNESCO, Cairo. A Unit on STI Policies in Nigeria is done in cooperation with Professor Alabi. Other Units will be prepared on issues of Human Resources Development and STI, on STI Policies in North Africa, and on Publications on STI Policies: Book Reviews and Book Notes.
The Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) Tunisia has published four language versions (English, French, Arabic, German) of a study on “Elements of an Employment Strategy for Tunisia”. Professor Wohlmuth is one of the three authors, a joint work of three development economists working on Africa since decades.
Various publications were released by Professor Wohlmuth on the middle class in Africa, on deindustrialization and reindustrialization in Tunisia, on transformative regional integration in Africa, and on guidelines for policymakers in Africa to promote global and regional value chains.