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  • Author: Xanthe Ackerman
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Many more girls are going to school than ever before, thanks in large part to the Education for All movement (EFA),14 the Millennium Development Goals and international and national programs that have increased access to school for all children. Legislation to make primary education free of charge in many African and Asian countries has greatly contributed to the decrease in the number of primary-school-age girls who are out of school, even as the population of schoolage children has continued to increase. At the primary level, the share of girls in the out-of-school population dropped from 58 percent in 2000 to 53 percent in 2012.15
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Violence in the Niger Delta may soon increase unless the Nigerian government acts quickly and decisively to address long-simmering grievances. With the costly Presidential Amnesty Program for ex-insurgents due to end in a few months, there are increasingly bitter complaints in the region that chronic poverty and catastrophic oil pollution, which fuelled the earlier rebellion, remain largely unaddressed. Since Goodluck Jonathan, the first president from the Delta, lost re-election in March, some activists have resumed agitation for greater resource control and self-determination, and a number of ex-militant leaders are threatening to resume fighting (“return to the creeks”). While the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East is the paramount security challenge, President Muhammadu Buhari rightly identifies the Delta as a priority. He needs to act firmly but carefully to wind down the amnesty program gradually, revamp development and environmental programs, facilitate passage of the long-stalled Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and improve security and rule of law across the region.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Development, Environment, Oil, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Fiona Blyth, Mireille Affa'a Mindzie
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The International Peace Institute convened a roundtable discussion on "Insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea: Assessing the Threats, Preparing the Response" on June 6, 2013, in New York. The meeting aimed to help develop a better understanding of the peace and security challenges facing the Gulf of Guinea by examining the multifaceted threats to the stability of the region; considering national, regional, and international responses to these threats; and providing practical policy recommendations with a view to strengthening regional and international responses.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Fragile/Failed State, Governance, Piracy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Alan Gelb, Christian J. Meyer
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We consider economic development of Sub-Saharan Africa from the perspective of slow convergence of productivity, both across sectors and across firms within sectors. Why have "productivity enclaves", islands of high productivity in a sea of smaller low-productivity firms, not diffused more rapidly? We summarize and analyze three sets of factors: First, the poor business climate, which constrains the allocation of production factors between sectors and firms. Second, the complex political economy of business-government relations in Africa's small economies. Third, the distribution of firm capabilities. The roots of these factors lie in Africa's geography and its distinctive history, including the legacy of its colonial period on state formation and market structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, Markets
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anne Mette Kjær
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Ugandan economy resembles many other economies in sub-Saharan Africa in that it has a large subsistence sector, relies on a few primary commodities for export and depends on aid to finance its public services. Oil and minerals have so far not been important to the economy. However, this might change as an estimated 3.5 billion barrel oil reservoir has been discovered in Uganda's Western and Northwestern Albertine Graben. Minerals have also been found and are being sold off as concessions. If oil revenues start to be mobilized as currently planned (2016-17), significant changes in not only government finance but also in the governments' relationships with donors and in state–society relations are likely to occur. The consequences for local communities and the environment are also likely to be significant.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Oil, Natural Resources, Foreign Aid, Fragile/Failed State, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Michael W. Hansen
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: If African developing countries are to benefit fully from the current boom in foreign direct investment (FDI) in extractives (i.e. mining and oil/gas), it is essential that the foreign investors foster linkages to the local economy. Traditionally, extractive FDI in Africa has been seen as the enclave economy par excellence, moving in with fully integrated value chains, extracting resources and exporting them as commodities having virtually no linkages to the local economy. However, new opportunities for promoting linkages are offered by changing business strategies of local African enterprises as well as foreign multinational corporations (MNCs). MNCs in extractives are increasingly seeking local linkages as part of their efficiency, risk, and asset-seeking strategies, and linkage programmes are becoming integral elements in many MNCs' corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. At the same time, local African enterprises are eager to, and increasingly capable of, linking up to the foreign investors in order to expand their activities and acquire technology, skills and market access. The changing strategies of MNCs and the improving capabilities of African enterprises offer new opportunities for governments and donors to mobilize extractive FDI for development goals. This paper seeks to take stock of what we know about the state of and driving forces of linkage formation in South Sahel Africa extractives based on a review of the extant literature. The paper argues that while MNCs and local enterprises by themselves will indeed produce linkages, the scope, depth and development impacts of linkages eventually depend on government intervention. Resource-rich African countries' governments are aware of this and linkage promotion is increasingly becoming a key element in their industrialization strategies. A main point of the paper is that the choice between different linkage policies and approaches should be informed by a firm understanding of the workings of the private sector as well as the political and institutional capacity of host governments to adopt and implement linkage policies and approaches.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lars Buur
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper explores linkage creation in Mozambique related to mega-projects in natural resource extraction and development from a political economy perspective. It explores through a focus on linkage development related to extractive industries in Mozambique the 'best practice' attempts between commodity producers and local content providers. The paper argues that a relatively elaborate state organizational and institutional setup based on policies, strategies and units with funding tools has emerged over time in order to begin to reap the benefits of large-scale investments in the extractive sectors. However, despite the formal acknowledgement, very little has been achieved with regard to forward and backward linkages, state institutions are often despite the official government rhetoric of importance simply bypassed not only by foreign investors, but also by the political leadership.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Natural Resources, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Mongi Boughzala, Mohamed Tlili Hamdi
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Regional disparities and inequality between the rural and the urban areas in Tunisia have been persistently large and perceived as a big injustice. The main regions that did not receive an equitable share from the country's economic growth, as compared to the coastal regions that are highly urbanized, are the predominantly rural western regions. Their youth often have to migrate to the cities to look for work and most of them end up with low-paying and frustrating jobs in the informal sector. The more educated among them face a very uncertain outlook and the highest rate of unemployment. This bias is strongest for female workers and university graduates living in the poor rural regions. The purpose of this paper is to study the underlying causes and factors of these disparities and to discuss policies and measures that may allow these regions to benefit from faster and more inclusive growth.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia, Tunisia
  • Author: Hafez Ghanem
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper examines how economic growth in Egypt can be made more inclusive through a focus on rural development and reducing regional disparities. Nearly all of the extremely poor in Egypt live in rural areas and 83 percent of them live in Upper Egypt. The youth in those rural areas feel particularly excluded.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Boko Haram's four-year-old insurgency has pitted neighbour against neighbour, cost more than 4,000 lives, displaced close to half a million, destroyed hundreds of schools and government buildings and devastated an already ravaged economy in the North East, one of Nigeria's poorest regions. It overstretches federal security services, with no end in sight, spills over to other parts of the north and risks reaching Niger and Cameroon, weak countries poorly equipped to combat a radical Islamist armed group tapping into real governance, corruption, impunity and underdevelopment grievances shared by most people in the region. Boko Haram is both a serious challenge and manifestation of more profound threats to Nigeria's security. Unless the federal and state governments, and the region, develop and implement comprehensive plans to tackle not only insecurity but also the injustices that drive much of the troubles, Boko Haram, or groups like it, will continue to destabilise large parts of the country. Yet, the government's response is largely military, and political will to do more than that appears entirely lacking.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Islam, Armed Struggle, Insurgency, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria