In this paper I ask how the ongoing processes of urban and local government development in Sub-Saharan Africa can and should benefit the countries, and what conditions must be met to achieve this favourable outcome. The region faces close to a doubling of the urban population in fifteen years. This urban transition poses an opportunity as well as a management challenge. Urban areas represent underutilised resources that concentrate much of the countries' physical, financial, and intellectual capital. Therefore it is critical to understand how they can better serve the national growth and poverty reduction agendas. The paper challenges several common ‘myths’ that cloud discourse about urban development in Africa. I also take a hard look at what the urban transition can offer national development, and what support cities and local governments require to achieve these results. I argue that, rather than devoting more attention to debating the urban contribution to development in Africa, real energy needs to be spent unblocking it.
<p>Access to clean energy is necessary for environmental cleanliness and poverty reduction. That notwithstanding, many in developing countries especially those in sub-Saharan Africa region lack clean energy for their routine domestic activities. This study sought to unravel the factors that influence clean energy accessibility in sub-Saharan Africa region. Clean energy accessibility, specifically access to electricity, and access to clean cooking fuels and technologies, were modeled as a function of income, foreign direct investment, inflation, employment and political regime for a panel of 31 sub-Saharan countries for the period 2000–2015. Regression analysis from fixed effect, random effect and Fully Modified Ordinary Least Squares show that access to clean energy is influenced positively by income, foreign direct investment, political regime and employment while inflation has some negative effect on its accessibility. The policy implications from the findings among other things include that expansion in GDP per capita in the sub-region shall be helpful in increasing accessibility to clean energy. Moreover, strengthening the democratic institutions of countries in the region shall enhance the citizens' accessibility to clean energy. Ensuring sustainable jobs for the citizens is necessary for access clean energy.</p>
Enrollment rates for higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa are by far the lowest in the world at 6%. Yet because of conventional beliefs that tertiary education is less important for poverty reduction, the international development community has encouraged African governments’ relative neglect of higher education. This article challenges beliefs that tertiary education has little role in promoting economic growth and alleviating poverty. First, we review recent evidence that higher education can produce significant public and private benefits. Next, we analyze the relationship between tertiary education and economic growth. We find evidence that tertiary education improves technological catch-up and, in doing so, may help to maximize Africa’s potential to achieve more rapid economic growth given current constraints. Investing in tertiary education in Africa may accelerate technological diffusion, which would in turn decrease knowledge gaps and help reduce poverty in the region. We also review new developments and trends in the higher education scene in Africa. Le taux d’inscription dans l’enseignement supérieur en Afrique sub-saharienne est de loin le plus faible du monde, atteignant seulement 6%. Pourtant, parce que l’enseignement supérieur est perçu comme moins important que les enseignements primaire et secondaire pour lutter contre la pauvreté, la communauté internationale a encouragé les gouvernements africains à moins y prêter attention. Cet article conteste l’idée que l’enseignement supérieur joue un rôle peu important dans le développement économique et la lutte contre la pauvreté. Tout d’abord, nous nous intéressons à de récents résultats qui montrent que l’enseignement supérieur crée des bénéfices publics et privés. Ensuite, nous analysons la relation entre l’enseignement supérieur et la croissance économique. Nous montrons que l’enseignement supérieur permet de rattraper le retard technologique et, ce faisant, pourrait aider l’Afrique à maximiser sa capacité à accélérer sa croissance économique dans les conditions actuelles. Investir dans l’enseignement supérieur en Afrique pourrait permettre une diffusion plus rapide des avancées technologiques, qui pourrait à son tour réduire la disparité de savoir et participer à la réduction de la pauvreté dans la région. Nous passons aussi en revue les nouveautés et tendances dans l’enseignement supérieur africain.
This chapter examines the notions of stigma, bias, and myth of poverty reduction and focuses specifically on rural poor populations in nations that fell behind in implementing the global targets of poverty reduction, the majority of them in Sub-Saharan Africa. The task is to examine various characterizations of myth and stigma in historical discourse and explain the processes and mechanisms by which myth and stigma function as a mediator of various tensions within historical discourse. First, this chapter describes the characterizations of stigma and the misconceptions of poverty; second, it explains the barriers and the daunting task of poverty reduction; and third, it shows how negative perceptions of poverty ultimately complicate the implementation of the poverty reduction agenda.
AbstractThe debate on the land–poverty nexus is inconclusive, with past research unable to identify the causal dynamics. We use a unique global panel dataset that links survey and census derived poverty data with measures of land ecosystems at the subnational level. Rainfall is used to overcome the endogeneity in the land–poverty relationship in an instrumental variable approach. This is the first global study using quasi-experimental methods to uncover the degree to which land improvements matter for poverty reduction. We draw three main conclusions. First, land improvements are important for poverty reduction in rural areas and particularly so for Sub-Saharan Africa. Second, land improvements are pro-poor: poorer areas see larger poverty alleviation effects due to improvements in land. Finally, irrigation plays a major role in breaking the link between bad weather and negative impacts on the poor through reduced vegetation growth and soil fertility.
Lack of good-quality planting materials has been identified as the most severe problem militating against increased agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and beyond. However, investment of research efforts and resources in addressing this menace will only be feasible and worthwhile if attendant economic gains are considerable. As a way of investigating the economic viability of yam investment, this research has been initiated to address problems confronting yam productivity in eight countries of SSA and beyond: Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Papua New Guinea, Jamaica, and Columbia. Research options developed were to be deployed and disseminated. Key technologies include the adaptive yam minisett technique (AYMT), varieties adapted to low soil fertility and drought, nematode-resistant cultivars (NRC), and crop management and postharvest practices (CMPP). This article aims at estimating the potential economic returns, the expected number of beneficiaries, and poverty reduction consequent to the adoption of technology options. Estimates show that the new land area that will be covered by the technologies in the eight countries will range between 770,000 ha and 1,000,000 ha with the highest quota accounted for by AYMT. The net present value will range between US$584 and US$1392 million and was highest for the NRC. The CMPP had the lowest benefit-cost ratio of 7.74. About 1,049,000 people would be moved out of poverty by these technologies by 2037 in the region. These technologies are less responsive to changes in cost than that in adoption rate. Therefore, the realization of the potential economic gains depends on the rate and extent of adoption of these technologies. Giving the knowledge-intensive nature of some of these interventions, capacity building of potential adopters will be critical to increasing the sustainability of the yam sector, thereby enhancing food security and reducing poverty.