Publication Project Africa Yearbook
The Sudan Research Group (SRG) has now released its conference report on the first conference held in Khartoum, Sudan which took place some months after the Sudanese Revolution and the instalment of the Transitional Government. The title of the report is “Towards Sustainable Inclusive Development in Sudan“. The participants were divided into eight clusters to discuss 31 papers around the Conference’s main themes: 1- Macroeconomic Management for Inclusive Development; 2- Bringing the Productive Sectors back in Sudan; 3- Governance and Institutions; 4- Management of Natural Resources; 5- Sustainable Infra-Structure; 6- Social Policy and Public Service Delivery; 7- The Role of the Private Sector; and 8- Gender. The Report was published in 2020 and contains Recommendations on Macroeconomic Issues, Reviving the Productive Sectors, Governance and Institutions, The Management of Natural Resources, Sustainable Infrastructure, Social Policy and Public Service Delivery, and the Private Sector. There are specific recommendations to the Transitional Government, to the Ministry of Finance and to other competent ministries, to International Donors, and to Civil Society Organizations. The full report contains information about all the clusters of the conference.
The Sudan Research Group (SRG) writes about its mandate: “The Sudan Research Group is a UK-based voluntary organization. It was formed in 2003 by a group of academics and researchers who felt a pressing need for a specialized network that brings together multidisciplinary academics, researchers, activists and policy makers in a forum devoted to in-depth discussions of the key and pressing issues that face the country. Dedicated to impact, it aims to produce and promote research and scholarship that may inform home-grown policies to address the country’s urgent economic, political, and social needs.” And the SRG reports about the conferences: “The main conferences and events organized by the Group so far include “Economic Challenges in Post-conflict Sudan” (2004), “Institutional and Governance Requirements for the Future Development of Sudan” ( 2005 ), “Education and Capacity Building” (2006), “Assessing the Peace-building in Darfur”, (2008), “General Education Crisis in Sudan” (with an Open Themes Group), (2016), Training in Communication for Sudanese NGOs” (2019), and a series of Webinars.” Then, “Towards Sustainable Inclusive Development in Sudan” (2019) was the first conference that SRG was able to convene in Sudan after the Sudanese Revolution which started in December 2018. It was convened for June 2019, but was then postponed to November 2019 (SRG 5TH Meeting Tentative Agenda).
About the Report on the SRG Conference November 2019 in Khartoum, Sudan: “The Sudan Research Group (SRG) is pleased to introduce a summary of the proceedings of its Fifth Conference, with the title “Towards Sustainable Inclusive Development in Sudan”. Held only three months after the formation of the Transitional Government that followed the end of three decades of dictatorship, the conference sought to provide a neutral space for open discussions that help in shaping the agenda for change. More than 160 researchers, policy makers, private sector and civil society participants engaged in three days of constructive - and sometimes heated debate - about immediate reform programs and long -term development policies. This report provides a brief summary of the discussions on the key themes of the conference and its substantive findings. It should be noted that the messages and ideas summarized are not intended to indicate a consensus and they do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the SRG”. The report is available for download as a PDF under: Final SRG 5th Conf. 2019. Professor Karl Wohlmuth had the privilege to be invited to the conference as a speaker for the cluster Infrastructure. Professor Wohlmuth follows the studies and projects of the SRG carefully.
Dr. Gamal Al-Tayib from UNECA in Addis Ababa is one of the founders of the SRG.
Another important development about Sudan as two thinktanks are cooperating: SRG is joined by SWEA in development work
In the new Sudan independent NGOs can be founded and have space for action. SWEA (see below) is now ready to mobilise the women economists. There are links between SRG and SWEA. SERG in Bremen is cooperating with these groups.
Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA): Empowering the Women in the Peripheries through Capacity Building Projects
Women economists work together for a peaceful and prospering Sudan. Sawsan Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil from the Ministry of Finance in Khartoum, Sudan is a co-founder of the Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA). SWEA was founded in June 2020. SWEA is collaborating with the Sudan Research Group (SRG) in a capacity building project. The first (and so far the only) project was an online training on a research proposal writing for the students of Nayala, El Fahser, Gedaref and Kassala, but much more is in the pipeline. Sawsan Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil from the Ministry of Finance in Khartoum, Sudan is working now with the Aid Coordination Unit of the Ministry to restructure their strategy. We cooperate from the SERG in Bremen with SRG and SWEA to learn more about the reforms ongoing in Sudan and to support the process of change in the country. It is intended to cooperate on the new Yearbook project of the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen (see the International Call for Papers Volume 23).
The Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA) is becoming an important partner for democratic development, inclusive growth, and economic change in Sudan.
Source: Website SWEA
About the Mandate of SWEA:
“The Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA) was founded in June 2020, on the ground of redeeming the prevalent gap of women economists participation in the policy and academic spheres in Sudan. Fuelled by the enthusiasm of its founders and members, SWEA aims at building capacities, encouraging and amplifying the contribution of women economists, and of young women pursuing degrees in economics. SWEA strives to achieve this by providing a platform to convene Sudanese women economists, offering networking opportunities and enriching the economic research space by the contributions from its members.”
The Vision of SWEA:
“SWEA’s vision is to advance Sudanese women economists’ participation in academic and public policy spheres in Sudan. Our aim is to promote solidarity between Sudanese women economists across generations, as a key step to build capacity of young women in economics and to amplify the voices of Sudanese women in economic research and practice.”
The website of SWEA is: https://sweasd.org.
Source: Website SWEA
Professor Samia Nour from the University of Khartoum, Sudan has published (in cooperation with Dr. Eltayeb Mohamedain) a working paper and two policy briefs on Food Security and Agricultural Development in Kassala State, Sudan. These are publications of the CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute). The CMI Sudan Working paper Number 1 (21 July 2020) and the two CMI Policy Briefs (21 July 2020) are of interest as the focus is on research done by regional universities and for advice to policymakers in peripheral regions in Sudan. The two policy briefs are based on the findings in the CMI Sudan working paper number 1 (21 July 2020) that analyses agricultural development and food security with the use of survey data from Kassala State. This research is conducted as part of the Agriculture and Food Security cluster in the Assisting Regional Universities in Sudan (ARUS) programme. The ARUS programme is a collaboration between CMI, the University of Khartoum, Ahfad University for Women, the University of Bergen, and several regional universities in Sudan. The programme is funded by the Norwegian Embassy in Khartoum. The importance of these studies is that regional universities in Sudan are participating, and that key issues of peripheral areas like food security and agricultural development are more deeply researched.
Professor Samia Nour is now also Book Reviews/Book Notes Editor of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. She has advised the editors of volumes 20 (2018) and 21 (2019) and is Unit editor and Volume Editor for volume 22 (2020/21). She is also collaborating with various international research organisations. She has recently published in the SERG discussion papers of IWIM on Sudan’s revolution (see Number 44 of the SERG discussion papers with the title: “Overview of the Sudan Uprising”: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/sudan_economy_research_group/).
Access to these three CMI publications (see links below) which are co-authored by Professor Samia Nour:
CMI Sudan Working Paper Number 1: “Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State”, CMI Sudan Working Paper Number 1, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway, 21 July 2020, pp. 1-113. Link: Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State
See the Abstract (shortened) below.
Sudan CMI Policy Brief Number 3: “Food Insecurity in Sudan as seen from Kassala State ”, Sudan CMI Policy Brief Number 3, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway, 21 July 2020, pp. 1-4. Link: Food Insecurity in Sudan as seen from Kassala State
“This policy brief discusses the incidence of food insecurity, explores families’ survival strategies, and recommends measures that may combat food insecurity.”
Sudan CMI Policy Brief 4: “Agricultural development and food Security in Sudan as seen from Kassala State”, Sudan CMI Policy Brief Number 4, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway, 21 July 2020, pp. 1-4. Link: Agricultural development and food Security in Sudan as seen from Kassala State
“This policy brief uses data from Kassala State to assess the close link between agricultural development and food security, and investigates factors and policies that can strengthen agricultural development, thereby increasing food security in Sudan.”
Abstract (shortened) of Sudan Working Paper 1, 21 July 2020
Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State,
by Prof. Dr. Samia Mohamed Nour and Dr. Eltayeb Mohamedain, Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (Sudan Working Paper 2020:1)This research discusses the relationship between agricultural development and food security, the determinants of the supply of food and of the demand for food, and the determinants of food insecurity in Kassala State. In so doing, it provides a significant contribution to the current literature. Used are new primary data from a Food Security Household Survey which was conducted in Kassala State (2019). It was found that the majority of households are food insecure (77%), out of which 32.9% of the households are severely food insecure, while fewer households are fully food secure (23%). There is a large variation in households' food insecurity between localities, with rural Kassala having most of the food insecure households. This may be explained by the variation in monthly income between localities.
Three hypotheses are examined. A first hypothesis is verified that the most significant determinants of production of food are the size of agricultural land, the available livestock, and the irrigation systems. There is support for the second hypothesis that the family's own production of food and the household income have positive effects on food consumption. It is found that the significant determinants of the production of sorghum (the main staple food) are the size of agricultural land and the available livestock, and that the significant determinants of consumption of sorghum are the family's own production of sorghum, the household income, and the family size. For small farmers, their own consumption of sorghum is to a larger extent determined by their own production of sorghum. Therefore, enhancing production of sorghum among smallholders would contribute to enhancing consumption of sorghum and hence supporting food security. The third hypothesis is verified that better working conditions of the farmers are crucial for family own production of food and are then supporting food security; the probabilities of households being food secure increase with better working conditions for higher family own production .
Investigating the gender gap related to food production and food security has led to the results that male-headed households produce more food and are more food secure than female-headed households. Some reasons for this observation are analyzed. Also, it was found out that agricultural production is impeded by the lack of agricultural land, the cultivation of only few crops, an insufficient irrigation system, and shortages of agricultural services, which are mainly related to the provision of agricultural technology. Therefore, the major policy implication is that measures aimed at increasing household incomes and enhancing family own production of food are important for eliminating food insecurity. Recommended are therefore policies that may increase household incomes and may enhance smallholders' own production of food. Relevant policy instruments may be increases of agricultural land ownership, increases of the size of cultivated land for smallholders, more diversification of agricultural food crops, an improvement of irrigation systems, measures for enhancing female participation in agricultural activities and food security, steps towards improvement of agricultural services, mainly related to the adoption of technology, improving access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation systems, and, in general terms, improved infrastructure which may help in access to food, to inputs, and to production requirements.
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/.
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”.
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.
“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.
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.
Two new studies came out from the Bremen Tunisia Project – first, a study on De-Industrialization, Reindustrialization and Employment. Elements of a National Employment Strategy for Tunisia and second, a whole Unit of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook 2019 containing a set of studies on Innovation Policies, Industrial Cluster Policies and Health Sector Reform Policies in Tunisia. A Synopsis on the proposed strategies for the policymakers was written by Professor Karl Wohlmuth (see the PDF Tunisia-Employment, Industry and STI Policies 2019).
The first study is on implementing economic reforms through a) labour market transformations and laying the institutional foundations for a National Employment Strategy, b) managing de-industrialization through pro-active industrial development policies, c) exploiting multiple paths of reindustrialization via promotion of all productive sectors, regional industry development, supporting viable regional and global value chains and mobilizing green growth potentials in the country, and d) involving new partners and actors in the implementation process of economic reforms, also at regional and global levels. These issues were discussed at a conference on reindustrialization in Tunisia (see about the Reindustrialization Conference in Tunisia and the Bremen Tunisia Project: http://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/sti_policies_tunisia/).
In the second study three key areas of STI policies were discussed, first, the role of obstacles to innovation in and among Tunisian firms; second, the role of industrial clusters smart specialization policies for innovations; and third, the role of innovation policies in the health sector comprising all relevant sub-sectors and value chains. These essays are part of a strategy to promote STI policies in North Africa with a focus on Egypt and Tunisia. Two volumes of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook (Volume 20 for 2018 and Volume 21 for 2019) were devoted to the issue of Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth in Africa. These essays are in Volume 21.
The Bremen Tunisia Project is running since 5 years. A short report was presented by Professor Hans-Heinrich Bass from the University of Applied Sciences Bremen at a jubilee meeting in 2018 for an international study programme on Applied Economic Languages (AWS/Angewandte Wirtschaftssprachen) Arabic, Japanese and Chinese running for 30 years (see Bass Presentation AWS). Volume 21 for 2019 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook is also part of a jubilee event in 2019 as this Yearbook Project is now running for 30 (thirty) years, as the number one issue on Human Dimensions of Adjustment in Africa was published in 1989 (see the link to the various issues of the Yearbook Project: http://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/african_development_perspectives_yearbook/ and: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/africa/africanyearbook.htm).
Bibliographic Information on the New Publications:
Wohlmuth, Karl, 2018, De-Industrialisierung, Reindustrialisierung und Beschäftigung. Elemente einer nationalen Beschäftigungsstrategie für Tunesien (Deindustrialization, Reindustrialization and Employment. Elements of a National Employment Strategy for Tunisia), Seiten 33-90, in: Zeitschrift "Berichte", 2018/II, 28. Jg., Nr. 213, ISSN 1022-3258, Thema des Heftes (Theme of the Issue of the Journal): Gegensätze - Westbalkan, Tunesien und Karl Marx, Berlin, Forschungsinstitut der Internationalen Wissenschaftlichen Vereinigung Weltwirtschaft und Weltpolitik (IWVWW) e. V.
African Development Perspectives Yearbook 2019, Volume 21, Theme: 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 and Karl Wohlmuth, LIT Publishers Wien-Zürich, 2019, with contributions on Tunisia in Unit 2: Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policies for Economic Transformation in North Africa by: Nazar Mohamed Hassan and Karl Wohlmuth; Zouhour Karray and Wiem Ben Ghorbel Abed; Maximilian Benner; and by Mondher Khanfir and Sana Ayari-Riabi.
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/.