Digital transformation already changes the ways and means of manufacturing production in Africa. In this study, major issues of Africa’s technological efforts and capabilities are discussed in the context of the severe employment crisis and the ongoing digital transformation. First, the study introduces into the key concepts which are now of relevance in the context of manufacturing sectors, namely measuring technological efforts and capabilities in Africa, assessing structural change and employment in Africa, and analysing the progress of digital transformation in Africa. So far, the impact of digital transformation on the building of technological capabilities is under-researched, as is the impact on structural change and employment. It is understood that more clarity with regard of concepts and definitions is needed to support the policymakers. Second, evidence is presented on the extent of Africa’s technological heterogeneity, on the progress in different dimensions of digital transformation, and on the implications for structural change and employment creation of the ongoing digital transformation. The extent of Africa’s technological heterogeneity and the progress of Africa’s digital transformation are highlighted by using appropriate indexes and indicators. The role of technology development and technology diffusion for structural change and employment creation in times of digital transformation is discussed; the new conditions for the accumulation of technological capabilities in Africa are assessed. Accumulation of technological capabilities and participation in the digital transformation are key for sustainable manufacturing sector developments in Africa; in this context country case studies (Tunisia, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa) highlight important aspects of the potential benefits derived from digital transformation. Third, the impact of global techno-economic changes on manufacturing in Africa in times of digital transformation is reviewed, and the available options for building and accumulating technological capabilities are presented. A wider concept of capabilities is needed for Africa to be able to participate in the global digital transformation, by incorporating technological capabilities (how to engineer and to produce), innovation capabilities (how to organize processes of change), and ICT capabilities (how to store and to process data). Developing technological capabilities in the context of ICT capabilities and innovation capabilities matters for local and regional domestic firms and as well for foreign-owned enterprises in Africa. Examples brought in the study show that African countries and firms can react pro-actively to these global changes. Fourth, some policy recommendations and conclusions are following the analytical part of the working paper.
Source of Photo: Tony Blair Institute For Global Change; accessed from: https://institute.global/advisory/adapting-4ir-africas-development-age-automation
Manufacturing in Africa is affected differently by various elements and forms of digital transformation. Informal and formal manufacturing firms are affected differently; agro-based and resource-based industries are also affected differently; and the same is true for high technology, medium technology, low technology, and service industries. This means that industry policies have to look at the particular segment of firms. Digital transformation also allows for “green growth” and “green industrialization” patterns of change in Africa. Environmentally-sound technologies impact on agriculture, industry, and services sectors. Examples are presented in the study for such sectors also in the form of boxes. It is also good news that informal manufacturing firms in Africa can also benefit from the effects of the digital transformation on technological capabilities, innovation capabilities, and ICT capabilities. Cases of Nigerian informal sector firms in the automotive components, transport vehicle, and ICT hardware industry show this new trend which is associated with the digital transformation. Cases of Tunisian small informal and formal sector firms in textiles and garments, electronic and electric components, optical and medical products, waste management, renewable energy management, and in agro-business sectors show a similar trend. For South Africa, we see an impact of digital competences over many sectors with small and middle formal and informal firms, such as in mining, in agro-industries, and in service industries. It is also discussed in the study how employment creation and skills development are related to the trend of digital transformation. There is a spread of digital skills all over Africa, and digital entrepreneurship ecosystems are developing quickly, such as in Kenya. Digital hubs play an increasing role in Africa and combine the activities of researchers, of small and middle firms, and of start-ups. But, the progress is uneven, as we can see from the location of digital hubs which are found in many places of Africa; but we see a concentration of such hubs in some few countries, such as in Kenya. Digital skills impact considerably on employment creation, on the development of firms and start-ups, and on the growth of entrepreneurship; the spread of these skills transforms the manufacturing sectors widely in Africa. A new base for manufacturing development is created through digital transformation, also by using open innovation platforms in a cooperation between public and private research & development centres, start-ups, local and global customers, foreign direct investors, and African domestic firms.
Bibliographic Information (on two versions of the study):
Wohlmuth, Karl, 2019, Technological Capabilities, Structural Change, Employment and Digital Transformation, pages 3-53, in: Berichte, 29, Jg., Nr. 215, 2019 / II, ISSN 1022-3258, Thema des Heftes: Mut zur Unabhängigkeit: Afrika, Ukraine, Moldawien; Forschungsinstitut der Internationalen Wissenschaftlichen Vereinigung Weltwirtschaft und Weltpolitik (IWVWW) e. V., Berlin
Wohlmuth, Karl, 2019, Technological Development, Structural Change and Digital Transformation in Africa, 73 pages,
Berichte aus dem Weltwirtschaftlichen Colloquium der Universität Bremen, Nr. 128, Oktober 2019, ISSN 0948-3829, Hrsg.: IWIM/Institut für Weltwirtschaft und Internationales Management, Universität Bremen; Access: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/blaue_reihe/
Project: Digital Transformation and Innovative Industrial Policies in Africa:
This is a research project supported by the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen. Focus is on country experiences in manufacturing development in times of digital transformation for Tunisia, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Sudan. Some studies with background material and project insights from cases in Africa are also published in volumes of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook (see: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/index.php?content=345&lng=de, and: https://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/african_development_perspectives_yearbook/, and: https://www.lit-verlag.de/publikationen/reihen/african-development-perspectives-yearbook/?p=1). The volume of the Yearbook which is planned for the year 2022 will present Units and Contributions on “Business Opportunities, the Growth of Start-Ups, and the Digital Transformation in Africa”.
Professor Emeritus Karl Wohlmuth was very busy in recent months in research, evaluation and publication activities, but also as a lecturer in seminars and workshops.
Economics Professor Karl Wohlmuth was again called to cooperate with the Promotion’s Committee of the University of Khartoum, Sudan. The Committee invites External Assessors to prepare for the promotion to Full Professors and Associate Professors. The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies of the University of Khartoum had again proposed Karl Wohlmuth to assist in the promotion of a colleague. Professor Wohlmuth has already done such assessments prior to this assignment not only in Sudan, but also in similar Committees of Botswana, South Sudan, and Nigeria. The Committee of the University of Khartoum was several times calling the professor from Bremen to assist.
The Economics Editor of Routledge Publisher has again recruited Professor Wohlmuth to give an opinion on a book proposal on global technology and international development issues. The professor was several times asked by the Editor to give his advice. Also for refereed international development journals the professor is regularly asked to peer review manuscripts.
On Sudan and South Sudan, Karl Wohlmuth was writing encyclopaedic articles for an International Handbook on North Africa and the Near East about Sudan and South Sudan. The task was to balance an introductory text on economic, historical, social, political, and geographic issues. He has already contributed to various handbooks with articles about specific issues (such as trade and social policy) on Sudan and South Sudan. The International Handbook will be published in 2020. Karl Wohlmuth was also invited to share his knowledge and experience on Sudan/South Sudan with experts at the Foreign Office in Berlin, and he was invited to speak at the University of Mainz about the “Sudanese Revolution” since December 2018. Karl Wohlmuth has written widely about the economic philosophy and strategy of the Salvation Regime of Al-Bashir in Sudan. It is intended to write about the theme of the “Sudanese Revolution” along the lines of the lecture in Mainz. Professor Wohlmuth argues that six pillars of power centres and their interactions in politics have to be considered to make the “Sudanese Revolution” a sustainable success.
Professor Wohlmuth advises since 2015 the research programme of Professor Reuben A. Alabi at the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies in Bremen. Professor Reuben A. Alabi from the Alli Ambrose University in Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria, is researching in Bremen under a guest researcher agreement, but he is quite often travelling to his home university in Nigeria and to places in Africa to participate at workshops and seminars. Recently he was in Cape Town to join a research conference of African economists. He travels to Africa to cooperate with universities in Nigeria for the transfer of his research findings and to present his research findings at workshops which are organized by the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), which is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. AERC provides also generous research grants to the Nigerian professor. He was also Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies. Professor Alabi is active on researching issues of agriculture development in Nigeria, focussing on agricultural value chain analyses, but he has also written a study, in cooperation with Professor Wohlmuth, on Waste Management Policies and Strategies in Nigeria in comparison with the Waste Management Policies and Strategies practised in Germany. The studies written by Professor Alabi are published through his international research networks, but also in the African Development Perspectives Yearbook, and in the White Series and Blue Series Working Papers of IWIM. He is co-editor of the Yearbook since around ten years.
Another guest professor, Professor Chunji Yun from Japan, who cooperates since many years with Professor Wohlmuth, has now presented some publications following from the research results of his study time at the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies at the University of Bremen between September 2017 and August 2018. He was researching in Bremen on macroeconomic effects on EU and Germany of global and regional value chains in automotive and electronics industries across Germany and the Visegrád countries (Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary, and Poland). Professor Wohlmuth has supported the research programme as well as a prior research period of Professor Yun when he was working about “Japan and the Global and Regional Value Chains” for 18 months at IWIM in Bremen. He has published in the Book Series/Schriftenreihe of IWIM and in the White Series and Blue Series Working Papers of IWIM.
As the Chief Coordinator and Director of the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen, Professor Karl Wohlmuth is responsible to edit, together with the Managing Editor Professor Tobias Knedlik from the Fulda University of Applied Sciences, the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. Professor Wohlmuth informed recently the public about an anniversary of the Yearbook Project. The volume for 2019 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook was released by the LIT Verlag. As the first volume has appeared in 1989, the Yearbook Project has now a history of 30 years. Therefore it is time to celebrate the Anniversary of the year 2019; a programme for this event is worked out. The University of Bremen released a press information about the Yearbook Anniversary. The first issue of 1989 had as the theme “Human Dimensions of Adjustment”, while the issue for 2019 was on “Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth in Africa - Human Skills Development and Country Cases”. Research groups work now for the volume of 2020/21 on the theme “Sustainable Development Goal Nine and African Development - Challenges and Opportunities”. There are already plans for the 2022 volume. Focus will be on “Business Opportunities, Growth of Start-Ups, and Digital Transformation in Africa”.
Professor Wohlmuth was invited in February 2020 by the German Development Institute (DIE) in Bonn to participate at the International Conference on “Africa’s Employment Perspectives up to 2040”. This was a high-level event with key participants, speakers, and discussants. The DIE is now established as a high-rated global Think Tank. In contrast to the Asian employment creation strategies the policies for Africa to absorb annually more than 20 million people joining the labour force will be more complex.
Professor Wohlmuth participates from time to time at accreditation missions to evaluate international study programmes at universities in Germany. Recently he did this in Heidelberg, but other missions brought him to Berlin, Göttingen, Hannover, Wolfsburg, Giessen, and to other places. There is an increasing diversity of such programmes in Germany, what also means that foreign students are attracted more and more to such English-language programmes.
At the International Graduate Centre (IGC) of the University of Applied Sciences Bremen Professor Wohlmuth gives lectures at seminars for Chinese professional expert groups from provinces, autonomous regions, and major towns in the PR of China. He speaks about innovation policies in Bremen and he was also invited to speak about proposals for a European Belt and Road Initiative (analogues to the Chinese Belt and Road cross-border-project). The purpose of the European Belt and Road Initiative is to give Europe a new perspective of integration on the basis of a giant infrastructure project. The idea for such a project was developed by an international research institute in Vienna, Austria. In contrast to the Chinese project the European project would involve more companies from the countries involved, and so it could become a true multinational project with a fair distribution of benefits. The Corona Pandemic will however change the course of the project, but will not make it obsolete.
In a new research project of the Research Group on African Development Perspectives with the theme “Digital Transformation, Manufacturing Growth and Structural Change in Africa” Karl Wohlmuth has published two versions of a working paper on “Technological Capabilities, Structural Change, and Digital Transformation”. In the new research project which was preceded by consulting work for UNIDO, Karl Wohlmuth looks at the role of digital transformation for structural change and manufacturing growth in Africa, focussing mainly on countries like Tunisia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Sudan. Especially, the repercussions of the digital transformation on deindustrialization and reindustrialization will be investigated. Already, studies on Tunisia were made available.
When the Yearbook Series started in 1989 with a volume on “Human Dimensions of Adjustment” no one of the founders thought that this project would exist for thirty years and more. But now we can say that the demand for this Yearbook was continuously on the increase. The volumes became over time important additions to the literature on African Development Perspectives. We are proud to say that the African Development Perspectives Yearbook is now the leading English-language annual in Germany on Africa. The volumes are still organized around Units, comprising three to five essays, and each Unit is introduced by editors through a presentation of issues and strategies that follow from the messages of the essays. Each volume has a specific theme which is of utmost importance in the discussion about development policies for Africa. The editors still preserve this way of grouping the material, when presenting the analytical essays, the field studies, the documents, the reviews, the briefs and the notes.
We observe that some of the volumes which appeared in the 1990s and in the 2000s are again at the centre of policy discussions about Africa, just to mention “Good Governance and Economic Development” or “Industrialization based on Agricultural Development” or “Africa - Escaping the Primary Commodities Dilemma” or “Active Labour and Employment Policies in Africa”. It is interesting to see how relevant some of the proposals mentioned there still are in the policy discussion, and so they are cited again and again. These volumes are still sold and read, and the impact on the policymakers in Africa and at the global level encourages us to continue with the work for the Yearbook Project. The strong interest about the Yearbook themes follows the discussion about development strategies for Africa at global and regional levels. So, the launch of the Yearbook volume for 2015/16 on “Africa's Progress in Regional and Global Economic Integration – Towards Transformative Regional Integration” by UNECA in Kigali, Rwanda had a great effect; the messages and the lessons were taken up Africa-wide with great interest and recognition.
The new volumes for 2018 and 2019 are unique as they highlight a Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)-led development strategy for Africa (see the Cover of each volume below). The strategies developed are taking up African positions and proposals, but these are critically analysed and confronted with the “state of the art” analyses about global achievements with regard of STI and Inclusive Growth policies. Country cases play in all the volumes a great role. In these two volumes we have taken up country cases for Nigeria, Sudan, Cameroon, Tunisia, Mauritania, and Egypt. Some country cases are considered in a full Unit, like for Sudan, Nigeria, Egypt and Tunisia, others in the form of one or two essays (such as for Mauritania and Cameroon). The specific theme for a volume is also enriched by a full Unit on Book Reviews and Book Notes. All the relevant literature on global, regional, national and local issues is considered by reviewers who are working in the area of STI and Inclusive Growth policies.
Contributors, Editors, and Supporters of the Project will work on an Anniversary Festschrift on “Thirty Years (1989-2019) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook” to highlight the achievements and main outcomes, the messages and lessons for policymakers, and to make proposals and plans to prepare for the future perspectives of the Yearbook project. The University of Bremen has supported the project now over more than three decades. A press report was prepared and issued by the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies and the University of Bremen (see it as a PDF FB 7 - Info Jahrbuch/Yearbook, and as a Link https://www.uni-bremen.de/wiwi/news/detailansicht/ein-projekt-der-afrikaforschung-an-der-universitaet-bremen). The volume for 2020/21 with the title “Sustainable Development Goal 9 (Infrastructure, Industrialization, Innovation) and African Development – Challenges and Opportunities” is now finalized by research teams. There are already concrete plans for the 2022 volume with the theme “Business Opportunities, Growth of Innovative Start-ups, and Digital Transformation in Africa”. An International Call for Papers for the 2022 volume will be made available in the next few months.
Information about the Yearbook Project is made available under:
The LIT Verlag is the partner of the Yearbook project:
Under a WIKIPEDIA entry you see a short description:
African Development Perspectives Yearbook 2019
Science, Technology And Innovation Policies For Inclusive Growth In Africa - Human Skills Development And Country Cases,
Edited by Achim Gutowski, Nazar Mohamed Hassan, Tobias Knedlik, Chantal Marie Ngo Tong, Karl Wohlmuth,
LIT Verlag Wien, Zürich 2020
ISBN 978-3-643-91173-5 (pb)
ISBN 978-3-643-96173-0 (PDF)
i-xxxvi und 527 Seiten und i-x
African Development Perspectives Yearbook 2018
Science, Technology And Innovation Policies For Inclusive Growth In Africa – General Issues And Country Cases,
Edited by Reuben A. Alabi, Achim Gutowski, Nazar Mohamed Hassan, Tobias Knedlik, Samia Satti Mohamed Nour, Karl Wohlmuth,
LIT Verlag Wien, Zürich 2018
ISBN 978-3-643-91042-4 (pb)
ISBN 978-3-643-96042-9 (PDF)
i-xxx und 555 Seiten und i-v
Related to the publishing activity for the Yearbook is the research activity of the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen (see about the Research Group the PDF ADPY Research Group, and the links to follow-up the research activity related to the themes of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook:
Guest researchers, currently from Nigeria, are participating in the researches of the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen (see: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/environment_and_development_management_nigeria_germany/). They also serve as editors and co-editors of Units/Volumes.
From Dr. Dieter Ernst, who has made his PhD at the University of Bremen in the field of microelectronics and development, reaches us a very important information. He has produced a new report: Competing in Artificial Intelligence Chips: China’s Challenge amid Technology War. As the trade and technology war between USA and China is escalating, with tremendous effects on the rest of the world, this study is a very important reminder that all nations will lose if global trade is politicized further.
Dieter Ernst describes the study in this way: “Drawing on field research conducted in 2019 in cooperation with Tsinghua University, this report assesses the challenges that China is facing in developing its Artificial Intelligence (AI) chip industry amid unprecedented US technology export restrictions. Success in artificial intelligence (AI) is not limited to data and algorithms alone. The third component that determines success in research and applications are advanced specialized AI chips that provide increased computing power and storage, while decreasing energy consumption. Companies that have access to leading-edge AI chips are essentially in the fast lane, where improvements continue to be rapid and mutually reinforcing. China has relied almost solely on the United States to import such advanced AI chips, but the US-China technology war has abruptly disrupted China’s access to these critical sources of AI success. Will America’s unprecedented technology export restrictions cripple China’s AI ambitions? Or will it force China to race ahead on its own? Specifically, what realistic options does China have to substitute AI chip imports from the United States through local design and fabrication or through imports from other non-US sources?
The report written by Dieter Ernst highlights China’s challenge of competing in AI, and contrasts America’s and China’s different AI development trajectories. Starting much later than the United States, Chinese universities and public research institutes have conducted a significant amount of AI research (some of it at the frontier), but knowledge exchange with industry remains limited. Drawing on deep integration with America’s AI innovation system, Chinese AI firms, in turn, have focused primarily on capturing the booming domestic mass markets for AI applications, investing too little in AI research. To find out what is happening today in China’s AI chip design, capabilities and challenges are assessed, both for the large players (Huawei, Alibaba and Baidu) and for a small group of AI chip “unicorns”. The report concludes with implications for China’s future AI chip development, considering the disruptive effects of the technology war and the global coronavirus pandemic.”
The report informs about an intense technology war between USA and China, but also reveals how dynamic the actors in China are to respond to a politics of US sanctions and restrictions. The chapter “What’s Happening in China’s AI Chip Industry” is of great interest to all those being interested in the future competitive position of Chinese AI firms, especially also of the many start-ups which emerged since 2016. There is globally an increasing interest in the AI Unicorn Club (see the research brief: https://www.cbinsights.com/research/ai-unicorn-club/), and the study by Dieter Ernst is an important additional source to understand the most recent AI industry developments.
To read and to download the full report please click on: https://www.cigionline.org/publications/competing-artificial-intelligence-chips-chinas-challenge-amid-technology-war.
Dr. Dieter Ernst is associated with the Centre for International Governance Innovation/CIGI, Waterloo, Canada & East-West Center/EWC, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; see about his studies and the works at CIGI and EWC:
For citation of the new CIGI Study:
Ernst, D., 2019, Competing in Artificial Intelligence Chips – China’s Challenge Amidst Technology War, published in March 2020 by the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 6C2, pages vii plus 60 pages, homepage: www.cigionline.org
A Follow-up Report by Professor Dr. Chunji Yun about his Sabbatical at the University of Bremen: New research reports were published on “Germany’s Export Growth and the Changing Demand Structures”
Professor Dr. Chunji Yun (from the Department of Economics, Seinan Gakuin University, Japan) was invited by the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies of the University of Bremen (at the initiative of Professor Karl Wohlmuth who was a host of the Japanese Professor already many years ago at IWIM) to spend his sabbatical in Bremen for a research on “Transforming the European Social and Economic Model in the Enlarged EU from a Viewpoint of the Production and Employment Regime”. Professor Yun was with his family in Bremen during the period of 1st September, 2017 to 31st August, 2018. It was agreed at the start of the research work in Bremen that Professor Yun’s work would more specifically focus on employment regimes and international production networks which are organized in automotive and electronics industries across Germany and the four Visegrád countries (labelled hereafter as V4). He has presented during his stay three Progress Reports and a Final Research Report addressed to the Faculty via Professor Karl Wohlmuth (see the Final Research Report to the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies at the University of Bremen).
Now he reports on the publications which were written recently at home in Japanese language (see below):
Yun, Chunji (2019) “Doitsu no Yushutsu- Seicho to Juyo-Kozo no Henka (Ⅰ): Posuto-Fodoshugi ‘Seicho-Model’- Ron no Kento,” Seinan Gakuin Daigaku Keizaigaku Ronshu, Dai 53 Kan Dai 3・4 Gappei-Go (Title Translated in English: “German Export Growth and Changing Demand Structure (Ⅰ): Review of Post-Fordist ‘Growth Models’,” The Economic Review of Seinan Gakuin University, Vol.53, No.3-4.)
Yun, Chunji (2019) “Doitsu no Yushutsu- Seicho to Juyo-Kozo no Henka (Ⅱ): Tayoka-Kohinshitsu-Seisan to Sekai-Keizai no Saihen,” Seinan Gakuin Daigaku Keizaigaku Ronshu, Dai 54 Kan Dai 1・2 Gappei-Go (Title Translated in English: “German Export Growth and Changing Demand Structure (Ⅱ): Diversified Quality Production and Reconfiguration of the World Economy,” The Economic Review of Seinan Gakuin University, Vol.54, No.1-2)
In his Third Progress Report (of June 19, 2018) Professor Yun gave details about his discussion of Professor H. W. Sinn’s Bazaar Economy approach to explain the export boom of Germany. Professor Yun is critically assessing the scientific positions of German economics and sociology professors on the role of the German manufacturing firms in global and regional value chains and the impact on value capture in the chains. His scientific interest is in the accumulation and financialization of profits, on the labour costs and wage structures, and on current and future industrial and employment relations.
See on the earlier (and somewhat related) studies of Professor Yun at IWIM the three series of IWIM publications where he has contributed: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/schriftenreihe_des_iwim/, and: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/weisse_reihe/, and: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/blaue_reihe/. Further studies from the Japanese Professor regarding his most recent research period in Bremen are expected also to appear in English language versions and translations. Also other Japanese professors have contributed to the IWIM Publication Series (see http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/index.php?content=316&lng=de). The cooperation between the University of Bremen and universities in Japan started with the Collaborative Research and Exchange Project “Schumpeter and the Asian Crisis” of IWIM at the University of Bremen and Aichi University in Toyohashi, Japan.
“Africa’s employment perspectives towards 2040”: This is the title of an important international conference of leading development experts on the employment crisis in Africa and the options which African countries and the international community have to support employment creation on a sustainable basis. The conference organizers state in the invitation: “Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the only world region where the number of poor people is still rising. The vast majority of the workforce is employed informally, often under precarious conditions. While many Asian countries have shown that such conditions can be overcome, it is unclear what could drive such structural transformation in SSA. At the same time, international conditions for economic development are undergoing radical change. Some changes open up new opportunities, whereas others may lead to SSA falling even further behind.
Potential game changers include cost-reducing digital technologies; Africa’s rapid urbanization and rising middle classes; increasing global demand for high-value agricultural products; decarbonization and the replacement of fossil resources with biomaterials; asset stranding in the oil & gas industries; new opportunities stemming from low-cost renewable energy supply in rural areas; China becoming a high-income country that sheds labour-intensive light industries; trade wars among the main economic blocs and increased trade integration within Africa, to name just a few. At the conference, we take such international trends as a starting point, exploring their likely impacts on structural transformation and employment in SSA, rather than extrapolating African trends from the past. This will allow us to (1) identify new development opportunities and threats and (2) address broader issues, such as assessing the future importance of industrialization, the development contributions of urbanization or the relative importance of exports vs. domestic sources for Africa’s development.”
The conference was conceived as a joint endeavour of various African and international research institutes and groups which focus on African Development Perspectives (see for information the Programme of the DIE Conference). More than 50 speakers informed a group of around 300 participating development experts about analyses, projections, and proposed solutions. Professor Karl Wohlmuth was invited to the conference and participated in the plenary sessions and selected special sessions. Some of the sessions were of particular interest for the future work on volumes of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. The Yearbook has since 1989 addressed Africa’s development problems, and quite often the employment issues were presented by the contributors (see on the Yearbook editions since 1989: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/index.php?content=345&lng=de).
The organizers have produced a video and a short summary of the wrap-up panel (see the links below):
Five experts brought together the highlights of the conference in the final conference session.
The DIE gives also access to all the PowerPoints and to a video of the panel with the highlights of the conference upon request: https://www.die-gdi.de/veranstaltungen/details/africas-employment-perspectives-towards-2040/
A short report was provided by the journal D+C: https://www.dandc.eu/en/article/how-governance-matters-creating-full-employment-africa; see also for further information about the conference topics: https://knowledge.unccd.int/publications/africas-employment-perspectives-towards-2040-17-18022020-bonn-german-development; and: https://www.ebcam.eu/events/archives/528-africa-s-employment-perspectives-towards-2040; and: https://sg-csd.org/news_events/20200219/; and: https://www.fairobserver.com/region/africa/africas-2040-employment-problem/.
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.
Von Fragen der Industrialisierung, der Agrarentwicklung und der Armutsbekämpfung bis hin zu Wissenschaft, Technologie und Innovation als Voraussetzungen für inklusives Wachstum in Afrika reichen die Themen, die im Jahrbuch abgehandelt werden. Drei Jahrzehnte afrikanischer Entwicklungen und Politikreformen sind im Fokus dieses Publikationsprojektes der Bremer Universität gewesen, und das Projekt wird weitergeführt. Die Forschungsgruppe Afrikanische Entwicklungsperspektiven Bremen unter der Leitung von Prof. Dr. Karl Wohlmuth und das Institut für Weltwirtschaft und Internationales Management (IWIM) am Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaft der Universität Bremen haben dieses Bremer Entwicklungsprojekt für Afrika begründet. Vor wenigen Wochen ist nun der Band für 2019 des „African Development Perspectives Yearbook“ erschienen (siehe das Cover unten). Der Titel des englischsprachigen Bandes lautet „Science, Technology And Innovation Policies For Inclusive Growth In Africa – Human Skills Development And Country Cases” („Wissenschafts-, Technologie- und Innovationspolitiken für inklusives Wachstum in Afrika – Entwicklung der menschlichen Fähigkeiten und Länderstudien“).
Die Forschungsgruppe unter der Leitung von Professor Dr. Karl Wohlmuth startete mit ihrer Arbeit bereits 1988 und gab seinerzeit den Band 1 des Afrika-Jahrbuchs mit dem Titel „Human Dimensions of Adjustment“ („Menschliche Dimensionen der Anpassung“) im Jahr 1989 heraus (siehe das Cover unten). Dieser Band fand sehr großes Interesse, weil eine neue und kritische Sicht auf die Vorschläge von internationalen Finanzorganisationen für Wirtschaftsreformen in Afrika präsentiert wurde. In den 30 Jahren von 1989 bis 2019 wurden immer wieder zentrale Fragen der afrikanischen Entwicklung unter dem Gesichtspunkt der notwendigen Politikreformen aufgegriffen und tiefschürfend abgehandelt. Wichtige Themen waren etwa: Industrialisierung auf der Basis landwirtschaftlicher Entwicklung; Energie für Afrikas Entwicklung; Aktive Arbeitsmarktpolitiken für Afrika; Regionale Chancen und Perspektiven der Beschäftigung; Governance und ökonomische Entwicklung; Economic Empowerment von kleinen Produzenten in Afrika; Afrikas Reintegration in die Weltwirtschaft; Privatsektorenentwicklung und Entrepreneurship Development in Afrika; Öffentliche und private Wirtschaftssektoren in Afrika im Gleichgewicht; Auswege aus dem Dilemma der Primärgüterexporte; Rohstoffabhängigkeit und Exportdiversifizierung in Afrika; Neue Wachstums- und Armutsbekämpfungsstrategien für Afrika; Internationale, regionale, institutionelle und lokale Strategien der Armutsbekämpfung in Afrika; die Auswirkungen der globalen Finanzkrise auf die Wirtschaftsreformen in Afrika; die Formierung und Implementierung makroökonomischer Politiken in Afrika; Regionale Integration und makroökonomische Politik in Afrika; Afrikas Fortschritte bei der regionalen und globalen Wirtschaftsintegration, und nun in zwei Bänden für 2018 und 2019 die Thematik der Wissenschafts-, Technologie- und Innovationspolitik als Hebel für eine inklusive Wachstumspolitik in Afrika. Alles Themen, die jeweils im Mittelpunkt der Entwicklungspolitik für Afrika standen bzw. noch immer stehen.
Über dieses Jubiläum wurde eine Presseerklärung verfasst (vgl. die PDF Info 30 Jahre Jahrbuch). Vgl. dazu auch die Mitteilungen auf der Homepage des Fachbereichs Wirtschaftswissenschaft der Universität Bremen: https://www.uni-bremen.de/wiwi/news/detailansicht/ein-projekt-der-afrikaforschung-an-der-universitaet-bremen. Es ist auch geplant, eine Online-Festschrift „30 Jahre African Development Perspectives Yearbook – Reformimpulse für Afrika“ zu veröffentlichen. Wichtige Unterstützer, Herausgeber, Autoren wollen sich zu dem Projekt äußern.
Bibliographische Information über die neue Publikation:
African Development Perspectives Yearbook 2019
Science, Technology And Innovation Policies For Inclusive Growth In Africa - Human Skills Development And Country Cases,
Edited by Achim Gutowski, Nazar Mohamed Hassan, Tobias Knedlik, Chantal Marie Ngo Tong, Karl Wohlmuth,
LIT Verlag Wien, Zürich 2020
ISBN 978-3-643-91173-5 (pb)
ISBN 978-3-643-96173-0 (PDF)
i-xxxvi und 527 Seiten und i-x
Infos über die Publikationsreihe: 1989-2019
Der nächste Band des Jahrbuchs für 2020/21 ist in Vorbereitung und wird dem Thema “Sustainable Development Goal 9 (Infrastructure, Industrialization, Innovation) and African Development – Challenges and Opportunities” gewidmet sein. Vgl. den International Call for Papers zur Übersicht der Inhalte (PDF International Call for Papers Volume 22). Für das Jahr 2022 ist das Thema „Business Opportunities, Growth of Start-Ups, and Digital Transformation in Africa” in Planung.
Durch Forschungsprojekte wird die Herausgabe dieser Bände unterstützt. Ein aktuelles Forschungsprojekt der Forschungsgruppe Afrikanische Entwicklungsperspektiven Bremen thematisiert die Frage, ob die Tendenzen der De-Industrialisierung in Afrika durch die globalen technologischen Entwicklungen und durch die globale digitale Transformation eher verstärkt oder aber abgeschwächt werden. Das neue Thema ist von hoher Politikrelevanz, weil vielfach nicht nur der Industriesektor in Afrika vor großen Problemen steht, sondern auch der Landwirtschaftssektor unter strukturellen Problemen leidet. Ziel der Forschungsarbeit ist es daher, die Grundlagen einer neuen Industrie- und Landwirtschaftspolitik für Afrika zu erarbeiten, die auf kohärenten Wissenschafts-, Technologie- und Innovationspolitiken beruhen. Vgl. dazu die neue Veröffentlichung über technologische Kompetenzen, Strukturwandel und digitale Transformation in Afrika (Veröffentlichung als Discussion Paper in der Blauen Reihe des IWIM mit dem Titel: „Technological Development, Structural Change and Digital Transformation in Africa“, Nummer 128, 2019); Access: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/blaue_reihe/).
Im Rahmen einer Ringvorlesung „Afrika - Der zurückgelassene Kontinent“ referierte Professor Karl Wohlmuth über die Chancen der Demokratiebewegung im Sudan und über die Perspektiven der Bürgerbewegung (vgl. die PDF mit der Präsentation von Professor Karl Wohlmuth zur Bürgerbewegung und zur Demokratisierung im Sudan). Professor Wohlmuth ging zunächst auf die aktuelle Lage im Sudan nach dem Sturz des Bashir-Regimes ein und skizzierte dann die Entwicklung und die Struktur der Bürgerbewegung, die den Regimewechsel maßgeblich herbeiführte. Um aber auch einen nachhaltigen Systemwechsel zu ermöglichen, ist es nach Meinung des Bremer Professors notwendig, die Rahmenbedingungen für eine erfolgreiche Bürgerbewegung zügig zu schaffen. Dies setzt voraus, dass die Machtpfeiler des Systems (Militär und Sicherheitsapparat; Parteien und parteiabhängige Organisationen; Regierungen und Bürokratien auf zentraler und lokaler Ebene; islamische Bruderschaften und abhängige islamische Gruppierungen; große Unternehmen und Kapitalgruppen; professionelle Vereinigungen, Gewerkschaften und Arbeitgeberverbände) auf Grund ihrer ökonomischen Vernetzung als „Elemente eines tiefen Staates“ begriffen werden.
Um den „tiefen Staat“, der innerhalb von 30 Jahren (1989 - 2019) im Sudan geschaffen wurde, durch Bürgerbewegungen und demokratische Prozesse zu kontrollieren, müssen die sozialen, organisatorischen und ökonomischen Verflechtungen zwischen diesen Machtpfeilern erkannt und beeinflusst werden. Die vorliegenden Untersuchungen zum „tiefen Staat“ im Sudan kommen von zivilgesellschaftlichen sudanesischen Nichtregierungsorganisationen und von internationalen Organisationen. Die Studien zeigen, dass es nur teilweise gelungen ist, diese Verflechtungen im vergangenen Jahr seit dem Sturz des Bashir-Regimes aufzubrechen. Im Vortrag wurden die Verflechtungen im „tiefen Staat“ an Beispielen dargestellt und die Perspektiven einer „Demokratisierung von unten“ wurden erläutert. Strategische Sektoren, wie die Telekommunikation, die Goldgewinnung und andere Bergbauaktivitäten, die Pharma- und Chemieindustrie, die Bauwirtschaft, und die Rüstungsindustrie, werden nach wie vor von Militärs, Milizen, Geheimdienstoffizieren, Politikern der National Congress Party, und von der Familie von al-Bashir kontrolliert. Kapitalgruppen, die im Rahmen der Privatisierungspolitik des Bashir-Regimes entstanden sind, geben den Mantel für diese Verflechtungen.
Gezeigt wurde im Vortrag auch, dass die Reformen im Sudan nach wie vor durch internationale Sanktionen, durch mangelnde finanzielle und logistische Unterstützung von Seiten westlicher Länder, und durch regionale Krisenfaktoren behindert werden. Interne Faktoren dominieren aber unter all den Hemmnissen für einen Systemwechsel. Ansatzpunkte für Reformen ergeben sich auf vielen Ebenen, doch zeigen die Erfahrungen seit der Unabhängigkeit im Jahre 1956, dass die Demokratiebewegungen im Sudan schwach blieben und demokratisch gewählte Regierungen immer nur von kurzer Dauer waren. Professor Karl Wohlmuth arbeitet derzeit an einer Studie, die externe und interne Krisenfaktoren in ihrem Zusammenwirken bei der Blockierung von Reformen seit der Unabhängigkeit des Sudan analysiert. Grundlage sind die Studien, die seit 1978 in Bremen über den Sudan angefertigt wurden. Besondere Aufmerksamkeit wird dem „tiefen Staat“ im Sudan in der Periode seit 1989 gewidmet werden.
Quelle: Salzburger Nachrichten, 9. April 2020 (Vor allem die Frauen trugen die Revolution im Sudan).
Bild: SN/APA/AFP/AHMED MUSTAFA
Professor Karl Wohlmuth hat in mehreren Arbeiten die Wirtschaftsdoktrinen des Bashir-Regimes untersucht und aufgezeigt, dass praktisch alle Maßnahmen der Bashir-Regierung seit 1989 dem Ziel untergeordnet wurden, die Ressourcen des Landes (Öl, Gold, Wasser, Land) und die öffentlichen, privatisierten und privaten Unternehmen der National Congress Party (NCP) nutzbar zu machen. Diesem Ziel wurden die Privatisierungspolitik, die Handels- und Technologiepolitik, die Industrie- und Wettbewerbspolitik, aber auch die Infrastruktur- und Landwirtschaftspolitik untergeordnet. Auch der vom Regime initiierte gelenkte Föderalismus wurde in den Dienst dieser Politik gestellt. Die Verflechtungen von Militär, Milizen, Sicherheitsapparat und Wirtschaft wurden auf allen Ebenen vertieft, bis hin zur Stärkung der Military Industry Corporation (MIC); die Instrumentalisierung von Konflikten im Sudan und mit Nachbarländern wurde wichtiger Teil dieser Politik. In der Diskussion nach dem Vortrag wurde immer wieder die Frage artikuliert, ob denn im Sudan Potentiale für erfolgreiche Bürger- und Demokratiebewegungen gesehen werden können (vgl. zur Thematik des Vortrages die Studien, die im Rahmen der Sudanforschungsgruppe/Sudan Economy Research Group/SERG angefertigt wurden; die Nummer 38 der SERG Discussion Papers gibt einen Überblick über diese Veröffentlichungen in: „Sudan Studies 1979 - 2011 in Bremen“, January 2011; Zugang mit dem Download: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/sudan_economy_research_group/).
Professor Karl Wohlmuth has recently published various studies on economic reform policies for Tunisia. Such reforms are overdue in a country which has initiated the Arab Spring events in 2011 and since enjoys substantial international support and goodwill from so many developed countries. A summary article is published to give an overview of the key findings of these studies (see the PDF with the synopsis). The analyses are related to vital branches of economic policy, especially on deindustrialization, reindustrialization and employment policies in Tunisia, and also on innovation, regional development and health sector policies for Tunisia.
Most recent is the new volume of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook 2019 with four studies on Tunisia; the volume was published in early 2020 by the LIT Verlag. Two studies (on innovation and on health sector policies) were done by research groups in Tunisia, the third study on regional development and cluster policies was contributed by an independent researcher on Tunisia, and the fourth study with a focus on development strategies was prepared by two editors of this volume of the Yearbook (see the cover of the Yearbook volume 2019 below). Although Tunisia has quite interesting and sophisticated approaches towards sector policies, the authors found out that there is a need to update the policies and strategies and to synchronize these policies so that the overall development framework becomes more sustainable in Tunisia.