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  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Ghana has exhibited rather strong economic growth since the 1980s, but little transformation of the productive structure of its economy. The paper argues that ruling elites' policy choices are shaped by their political survival strategies. In turn, these strategies are shaped by (1) the characteristics of the ruling coalitions, which include a high degree of vulnerability in power, strong lower-level factions of the ruling coalition, and a substantial amount of fragmentation among the higher factions of the ruling coalition; (2) the weak capabilities and political influence of the nascent productive capitalists; and (3) easy access to financing for the state and the ruling coalition from foreign aid, mining and cocoa bean exports. As a result, ruling elites' policy actions did not prioritize the development of new productive sectors (or upgrading of old ones), but were geared towards delivering benefits to the higher and lower levels of the ruling coalition, as well as delivering a small amount of visible goods and services to as much of the population as possible in an effort to 'swing' voters their way at election time. Neither of these political survival strategies resulted in significant productive sector investments.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics, Social Stratification, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the Fourth Republic was inaugurated in 1993, politics in Ghana has been increasingly characterized by competitive clientelism. Ruling coalitions are characterized by a high degree of vulnerability in power due to a strong opposition party, by strong lower-level factions within the ruling coalition due to their importance in winning elections, and by a high degree of fragmentation among the ruling elite. These characteristics, combined with a weak domestic capitalist class and high inflows of foreign aid, have led the ruling elites across political parties to pursue and implement policies that have a short time horizon, that do not significantly shift the allocation of resources towards building productive sectors, and which are often plagued by problems of enforcement. The results have led to growth without economic transformation. In particular, the country has witnessed recurrent macroeconomic instability, a haphazard process of privatization of state-owned enterprises, and no serious attempt to build up productive sectors outside of cocoa and gold.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Politics, Social Stratification, Foreign Aid, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The nascent Ghanaian horticulture export sector, which emerged in the mid-1980s, has been ignored by ruling elites, especially after the return to multiparty democracy in 1993. Ruling elites across the two party governments between 1993 and 2008 did not actively pursue initiatives to support the industry. Without sustained political support, the types of public-private coordination of actions and investments needed to help the sector expand and upgrade were not forthcoming in an effective and timely manner. This private sector-driven non-traditional export sector constitutes a neglected opportunity for export diversification and building a new agro-industry, and also highlights some of the factors explaining why the country's economy was still dependent on the traditional exports of cocoa and gold by the close of the 2000s. The political challenges to changing the productive structure in Ghana can be found in the characteristics of ruling coalitions–vulnerability of the ruling elite in power, the high fragmentation within ruling coalitions, and their existing sources of and strategies for financing the state and the ruling coalition, combined with the country's existing economic structure as well as the size and capabilities of domestic capitalists. The characteristics of ruling coalitions in Ghana shaped the incentives facing ruling elites such that the ruling elites were not sufficiently compelled to support new productive sectors, such as horticulture export, which did not (yet) provide substantial revenues.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Social Stratification, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Peter Hansen
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines remittance and diaspora policy formation in Tanzania as cargo cult. Both migration-development policy formation and cargo cults express the belief in the miraculous transformation of the local by the arrival of wealth emanating from the outside. The paper is based on ethnographic research in Dares Salaam, and adds to our understanding of the links between migration and development in Tanzania, and to our understanding of the relationship between remittances and the state, where the underlying cultural values, ideas and imaginaries expressed in remittance policies and thinking have been ignored.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The economic policy agenda which promoted a non-interventionist state, trade openness, deregulation, liberalization and privatization as the formula for unleashing private sector productive forces in developing countries is discredited. The economic record of the past decades does not support this theory. Former proponents of the agenda acknowledge that the 'supply side' response of the private sector, especially in African countries, has not been what was expected in reaction to these economic reforms. Consensus is building on the need for industrial policy, and the debate is over what kinds of state interventions are likely to help build the private sector. Thus, the time is ripe for an evidence-based discussion of what is 'private sector development' in Africa, and how it promote it. In order to move the debate forward, we need more analyses of how actual existing industries are created, expanded and remain competitive in the contemporary global economic context.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sam Jones
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Careful consideration of the appropriate level and composition of aggregate public spending is vital in low income countries, especially in the presence of large volumes of foreign aid. Not only can expansion of the public sector weaken economic growth, but also provision of public services may be difficult to re­trench. These issues are relevant to Mozambique as the share of government in GDP already is comparatively high and strategic management of aggregate public spending historically has been weak. A new long-term macroeconomic model quantifies the implications of alternative aggregate spending profiles. It shows that small increases in minimum levels of government spending correspond to large increases in the duration to aid independence. Sharp reductions in aid availability would necessitate significant fiscal and economic adjustments, including cuts in real public spending per capita. For this reason, there is no room for complacency as regards the future of development finance to Mozambique.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, International Political Economy, Poverty, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sam Jones, Peter Gibbon, Yumiao Lin
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the revenue effects of certified organic contract farming and of use of organic farming methods in a tropical African context. These are compared with 'organic by default' conventional farming systems without contractual relations. Survey data from a medium-size cocoa-vanilla contract farming scheme in Uganda is reported using a standard OLS regression and propensity score matching approaches. The analysis finds that there are positive revenue effects for the certified crops from both participation and, more modestly, from using organic farming techniques.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Dennis Rweyemamu
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Tanzania's current growth and poverty reduction strategies are contained in its second PRSP. This document, and the processes leading to its formulation, has helped to mobilize donor funds. However, the content of the PRSP is largely irrelevant for implementation, and has contributed little to better inter-sectoral linkages and synergies both of which were its main purposes. The immediate reasons for this irrelevancy include a participatory planning process not aligned with the domestic political process and with no budget constraints which led to a shopping list of un-prioritized initiatives; an implementation machinery around the budget process which in practice does not ensure that resources are allocated in line with the document's priorities; and limited understanding and/ or acceptance across the spectrum of government institutions and political leadership that the PRSP is the overall strategic guiding document.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper describes and explains the impact of the international-driven 'New Poverty Agenda' in Ghana, focusing on the impact of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) adopted by the New Patriotic Party government in power from 2001 until 2008. The paper argues that the New Poverty Agenda has had some impacts, but not they have been limited and not necessarily helpful in achieving long term poverty reduction. The PRSP was seen by the government in Ghana as necessary to secure debt relief and donor resources, and the strategies produced by the government contained broad objectives rather than concrete strategies on how to achieve those objectives and thus had little impact on government actions. The paper discusses what was actually implemented under the NPP government and the factors influencing those actions. It highlights the constraints Ghanaian governments face in pursuing economic transformation within contemporary domestic and international contexts.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Peter Hansen
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the role of the mild stimulant khat in the economic and political transformation of the independent, yet internationally unrecognized Republic of Somaliland. Rather than seeing khat as a hindrance for nation-state formation and as a developmental problem, the paper argues that khat has been important to the economic viability of Somaliland and to the formation of political practices and identities. In this sense, khat should be seen not only as a drug contributing to violence, state failure and inadequate development, but also as underpinning economic processes, political identities and societal structures that have been crucial to the formation and political success of Somaliland. The paper adds to our understanding of the links between emerging political and economic orders in a post-conflict society.
  • Topic: Economics, Peace Studies, Political Economy, Narcotics Trafficking, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Lars Buur, Obede Suarte Baloi
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the seemingly uncontroversial public life of the PRSP approach in Mozambique and suggests that it embodies much of the Frelimo government's thinking about development since independence, though obviously 'packaged' to fit international donor discourses as they continually change. The PRSP is therefore not an outright 'imposition' on the Frelimo government or necessarily a 'challenge' to its sovereignty, as it is often argued. In general we argue that the PRSP became over time a broad 'consensus document' because it came to potentially incorporate 'all' stakeholders needs and wishes. We argue that after the political turbulence of the 1980s and 1990s with privatisation and structural adjustments, the PRSP allowed for different elite groups to find common ground with regard to ideological and party-preserving concerns, as social and market-economic trade-offs could now be legitimately accommodated.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Keith Hart
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: I explore here the dialectic of formal and informal economy in the context of 'development' discourse over the last four decades. It would not be hard, in post-colonial Africa for example, to conceive of this dialectic as a war waged by the bureaucracy on the people, allowing informal economic practices to be portrayed as a kind of democratic resistance. Yet, however much we might endorse the political value of self-organized economic activities, there are tasks of large-scale co-ordination for which bureaucracy is well-suited; and the institution's origins were closely linked to aspirations for political equality, even if historical experience has undermined that expectation. So the task is not only to find practical ways of harnessing the complementary potential of bureaucracy and informality, but also to advance thinking about their dialectical movement.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Tina Maria Jensen
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite several decades of development aid, economists generally agree that on average, most developing countries have experienced no or only little economic growth: while a limited number of countries particularly in South East Asia have experienced a rather significant growth, most African countries have had very limited or in some cases even negative economic growth. Only two of the 47 Sub-Saharan African countries, Botswana and Equatorial Guinea – both low in population – have reached annual growth rates of 7% over the last 15 years, while only nine countries have managed a growth rate above 2%. Moreover, 21 of the African countries have experienced negative growth, while on a global scale, just five countries have reached an annual growth rate of 7 % or more over a 15 year period (1985-2000) (Clemens et al. 2004:9-10).
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Lone Riisgaard
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Export of cut flowers from East Africa to Europe is an example of how tightened quality regulations and increasing concern with social and environmental issues have created a highly codified industry. For producers participating in value chains driven by large retailers, adopting social and environmental standards is a requirement and specificities are dictated by the buyers. In this paper focus is on private social standards and the opportunities and challenges they pose for labour organizations, especially trade unions. By incorporating the concept of labour agency, global value chain analysis is widened to encompass not just industrial development but also labour development.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Tanzania, East Africa
  • Author: Poul Ove Pedersen
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The purpose of this paper is first to discuss the paradox that freight transport, which so clearly is an important prerequisite for the processes of regional development and economic internationalisation and globalisation, since the 1970s has almost vanished from mainstream economic geography and development studies, and is most often hardly mentioned in studies of international industrial development and global commodity or value chains. Secondly, the paper discusses the consequences of leaving freight transport out of the value chain analyses and argues that it has had serious consequences for economic development especially in the peripheral parts of the world, not least in Africa, and for our understanding of rural poverty.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Evelyne Lazaro, Adam Akyoo
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The fall in the agricultural sector's contribution to Tanzanian export earnings since the early 1990s has increased attention toward new crops with the potential of supplementing the country's traditional export crops. Particular attention has been focused upon identifying crops enjoying price stability, high demand elasticity and low substitutability. Spices fall into this category. Consequently there have been efforts by public agencies and private exporters, both on the mainland and on Zanzibar, to promote the crop. However, access to high value export markets raises issues of supply chain dynamics and conformity with international standards. This paper focuses upon the recent history of the spice industry in Tanzania with reference to these issues. The main conclusions are that Certified Organic standards are the only international standards complied with, and that a very loosely coordinated chain exists alongside a more coordinated one. Macro- and micro-institutional weaknesses need attention if the full potential of the sub-sector is to be realized.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zanzibar, Tanzania
  • Author: Simon Bolwig, Peter Gibbon
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The paper examines the relative profitability of certified organic and conventional farming operations in tropical Africa as well as differences between organic and conventional farmers in rates of adoption of farming practices and in household factor endowments. The paper is based on three surveys in Uganda of smallholder farmers of respectively, organic coffee, cocoa, and pineapple and of matching control groups of conventional farmers. Organic production was in all cases organised on a contract farming-type basis, in schemes operated by the firm exporting the organic product. The central conclusion from the study is that farms that engaged in certified organic export production were significantly more profitable in terms of net farm income earnings than those that engaged only in conventional production. This was the result of generally significant differences between organic and conventional farmers' gross farm incomes, although these differences were further amplified by differences in costs. Income differences related partly to differences between organic and conventional farmers' factor endowments. Preliminary analyses indicted that, among factor endowments, area under crops subject to organic certification (CSC) and numbers of CSC plants had the strongest relations to farmers' sales volume and incomes,. Labour availability and average age of CSC plants had a much lower level of importance. As for other factors, yields were strongly related to sales volumes, but average price received was of lesser importance. The precise relative contribution of these different factors to sales volumes and incomes remains to be established in a further paper, however. The results for average net income also show enormous differences in profitability between organic farmers of different cash crops, with pineapple farmers earning three and five times more than cocoa and coffee farmers, respectively. It is worth underlining that, in contrast to the experience in developed countries, we found that organic conversion in tropical Africa is associated with increases rather than reductions in yield, which relates to the low-input characteristics of conventional farming on the continent. Focus group interviews suggest that organic farmers enjoyed higher yields due to more effective farm management technique, but the survey results on rates of adoption of yield-enhancing farming practices could not verify this.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Kim Raben, Michael Kidoido, David Loserian, Johnson Nyingi, Zarupa Akello
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Tropical forests are characterised by stakeholders with multiple and often conflicting interests. This paper identifies and analyses local stakeholders in the Participatory Environmental Management (PEMA) programme in the Kasyoha-Kitomi forest landscape in Uganda and the South Nguru forest landscape in Tanzania. The overall objective of the PEMA programme is to pilot and promote an approach to the management of natural resources in two high-biodiversity Forest Reserves and surrounding landscapes that reconciles the conservation and development interests of multiple stakeholders at local, national and international levels. The Danish Institute for International Studies had as one of its task to carry out an analysis of local stakeholders i.e. the rural people in the forest landscapes, who directly or indirectly benefit from services provided by the forests. The image of stakeholders and interests in forest management is complex and stakeholder analysis provides a means to start understanding it. Based on the stakeholder identification methodology (Ravnborg and Westermann 2002) the paper investigates stakeholders and the interdependencies among them with regard to the management of natural resources. Point of departure is taken in individuals’ interests, and previous and current uses of services provided by the Kasyoha-Kitomi Forest Reserve and Nguru South Forest Reserve are documented. These services are for instance the provision of agricultural land, wood products, NTFP, hunting, fishing, grazing and the less tangible services such as climate regulation, water quantity and quality. Where possible, interests are distinguished according to social groups. It is concluded that local inhabitants’ stakes in the forest reserves are determined by their access to technology, capital, markets, skills, as well as their locality, gender, age, ethnicity and (lack of) alternative livelihood strategies. In addition, the context of inter-related demographic and socio-economic processes that influence patterns of resource use and determine (and change) local inhabitants’ interests in and use of the forests are described and conflicting interests and interdependencies identified. The stakeholder analysis provides a start to understanding the complex picture of interests attached to the forests and the potential for involving local stakeholders in the PEMA programme. The paper concludes, among other things, that activities such as cultivation within the forest reserves, labouring in logging activities, collection of material for thatch and sambu oil seeds are mainly the interests of the poor local inhabitants. Findings from both forest landscapes show that NTFP such as weaving and thatch material constitute important sources of income for the local inhabitants including the poor and should thus be considered when negotiating use rights to resources in the forest reserve. In general, it is recommended that profound attention is given in the PEMA programme to improving the local stakeholders’ access rights to the forest reserves and not just meet the interests of more powerful non-local stakeholders
  • Topic: Economics, Environment
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Tanzania, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Stefano Ponte, Lisa Ann Richey
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Bono's launch of Product (RED)™ at Davos in 2006 marks the opening of a new frontier for development aid. The advent of 'Brand Aid' explicitly linked to commerce, not philanthropy, reconfigures the modalities of international development assistance. American Express, Gap, Converse and Armani represent the faces of ethical intervention in the world, as customers are encouraged to do good by dressing well. Consumption, trade and aid wed dying Africans with designer goods, as a new social contract is created to generate a sustainable flow of money to support The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Aid celebrities – the bard, the teacher and the healer – guarantee the 'cool quotient,' the management and the target of this new modality. Bono is the rock-star who led his fans to believe that they could solve Africa's problems of AIDS and poverty. Jeffrey Sachs is the recently-radicalized economist who masterminded The Global Fund. And Paul Farmer is the physician who convinced the world that treatment of AIDS was possible in even the poorest communities. The consumer's signification of status through designer RED products does not represent the exploitation of the most downtrodden – it actually helps them. 'Brand Aid' creates a world where it is possible to have as much as you want without depriving anyone else. Promoted as new leftist development chic, compassionate consumption effectively de-links the relations of capitalist production from AIDS and poverty.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, America
  • Author: Ole Therkildsen
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Although Graduated Personal Tax (GPT) paid to local government in Uganda has caused numerous tax riots throughout the past century, it is only since the mid-1990s that competitive presidential elections have provided people with an effective way to express their dissatisfaction with it. Thus, greater political competition was instrumental in almost dismantling the GPT in 2001 and abolished in 2005. Positive governance effects will follow from this. As shown by the comparison of taxpayer rights and enforcement practices (in particular the use of imprisonment) for GPT and income tax paid to central government, the former has been collected with the use of much more coercion than the latter. Coercive approaches to taxation become more difficult to sustain with greater political competition.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa