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  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Leonardo Iacovone, Martin Schmidt
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Many countries in Africa suffer high rates of underemployment or low rates of productive employment; many also anticipate large numbers of people to enter the workforce in the near future. This paper asks the question: Are African firms creating fewer jobs than those located elsewhere? And, if so, why? One reason may be that weak business environments slow the growth of firms and distort the allocation of resources away from better-performing firms, hence reducing their potential for job creation.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Israel
  • 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: Joshua Meltzer
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper is about the potential of the Internet as a platform for international trade. A traditional understanding of the impact of the Internet on commerce is derived from the dot.com experience of the 1990s, where Internet companies such as Pets.com and Amazon sold goods online. Since then, the impact of the Internet on commerce has grown and changed. Certainly, the ability to sell goods online remains important. However, the key development is that the Internet is no longer only a digital storefront. Instead, the Internet as described in this working paper is a platform for businesses to sell to customers domestically and overseas, and is a business input that increases productivity and the ability of businesses to compete. Understanding the Internet as a platform for trade highlights its broad economic potential. It emphasizes how the commercial opportunities are no longer limited to Internet companies, but are now available for businesses in all sectors of the economy, from manufacturing to services. Moreover, the global nature of the Internet means that these opportunities are no longer limited to domestic markets, but are embraced wherever Internet access is available.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Science and Technology, Communications
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe
  • Author: Akira Murata
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The paper uses a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to elicit job preferences among youth, and analyzes survey data collected from engineering students at 10 universities in six cities in Egypt during the period of July through October 2013. For a comparative analysis, the survey was also conducted at eight universities in five cities in Indonesia, which is one of the nations in Asia with a Muslim-majority population that faces the same demographic issue. The findings of this research will contribute to building a foundation for designing youth employment policies in Egypt. The most obvious findings to emerge from this study are that: the public-private sector wage differentials must be narrowed; better benefits must accompany private sector employment (particularly support for continuing education, upgrading qualifications, and health insurance); and good IT infrastructure matters. Taken together, these steps could significantly contribute to an increase in the rates of a private sector employment among young Egyptian job seekers, even in the case of continued high public sector wages.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Islam, Labor Issues, Youth Culture
  • Political Geography: Africa, America, Arabia
  • Author: Richard Downie, Jennifer G. Cooke
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Africa's changing economic landscape is prompting a shift in how U.S. policymakers view the continent. High growth rates, new technologies, and a rapidly expanding consumer class are driving greater global competition for investment and access to potential export markets, and the United States is recognizing that it will need to step up its game to remain relevant and influential in an increasingly crowded and competitive environment. This will mean placing a stronger emphasis on strengthening trade and investment ties and encouraging U.S. companies to take fuller advantage of expanding opportunities. Playing up these opportunities will not only serve long-term U.S. commercial interests in Africa but will serve U.S. development and diplomatic objectives as well. U.S. investments, done right, can have long-term development impacts in Africa, through technology and knowledge transfer, training, systems development, and partnerships. And a new, more optimistic engagement with Africa's citizens and entrepreneurs will have strong resonance with the continent's up-and-coming generation, creating links based on enduring mutual interest.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Kristen E. Boon
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: This report assesses the United Nations Security Council's current approach to drawing down sanctions in intrastate war situations. After examining broader questions surrounding the UN's authority to impose sanctions and the corresponding limits on these powers, this report assesses criteria used by the council to terminate sanctions. It observes that multilateral sanctions under the UN Security Council tend to last substantially longer than sanctions by regional organizations, such as the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); and it argues that short sanctions periods are preferable to long sanctions periods.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, International Trade and Finance, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Chris Alden
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: China is on course to becoming more deeply involved in Africa's security landscape. While the motivation behind Chinese involvement remains primarily economic, the growing exposure of its interests to the vagaries of African politics, as well as pressures to demonstrate greater global activism, are bringing about a reconsideration of Beijing's approach to the continent. China faces threats on three fronts to its standing in Africa: reputational risks derived from its assocation with certain governments; risks to its business interests posed by mecurial leaders and weak regulatory regimes; and risks faced by its citizens operating in unstable African environments. Addressing these concerns poses challenges for Beijing, whose desire to play a larger role in security often clashes with the complexities of doing so while preserving Chinese foreign policy principles and economic interests on the continent.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia
  • Author: Tang Xiaoyang
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Asian investors' impact on Africa's cotton, textile, and apparel sectors may have profound consequences for the continent's industrialization and development. As southeast African countries seek to industrialize and build indigenous cotton-textile-apparel value chains, the interactions between Asian—particularly Chinese—investors and African companies become more and more complex. Indeed, Asian investors present both a challenge to and an opportunity for local industries, and southeast African countries need a clear vision and tailored policies to make the most of the opportunities. Asian investors' impact on Africa's cotton, textile, and apparel sectors may have profound consequences for the continent's industrialization and development. As southeast African countries seek to industrialize and build indigenous cotton-textile-apparel value chains, the interactions between Asian-particularly Chinese-investors and African companies become more and more complex. Indeed, Asian investors present both a challenge to and an opportunity for local industries, and southeast African countries need a clear vision and tailored policies to make the most of the opportunities.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Judith A. Chambers
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Against a background of rapid global adoption rates and two decades of safe use, the overly cautious approach to genetic modification (GM) technology in agriculture by African governments seems misplaced. To date, only three African countries are engaged in commercial production of GM crops, although others are experimenting with the technology. Among those African countries experimenting with the technology, several are proceeding along a path toward commercialization and reside geographically close in East Africa, where the potential for regional trade impacts and issues exist. An examination of their historical circumstance and experience with GM technology, and the resultant effects on regulatory policy, can offer some useful insights about the various factors that impact GM technology adoption in Africa, especially from the perspective of the biosafety policies enacted.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology, Food, Governance
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Laura E. Seay
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Although its provisions have yet to be implemented, section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is already having a profound effect on the Congolese mining sector. Nicknamed “Obama's Law” by the Congolese, section 1502 has created a de facto ban on Congolese mineral exports, put anywhere from tens of thousands up to 2 million Congolese miners out of work in the eastern Congo, and, despite ending most of the trade in Congolese conflict minerals, done little to improve the security situation or the daily lives of most Congolese. In this report, Laura Seay traces the development of section 1502 with respect to the pursuit of a conflict minerals-based strategy by U.S. advocates, examines the effects of the legislation, and recommends new courses of action to move forward in a way that both promotes accountability and transparency and allows Congolese artisanal miners to earn a living.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Poverty, Natural Resources, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Democratic Republic of the Congo