Rethinking African solar power for Europe

Emanuele Massetti, Elena Ricci, 23 July 2014

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The DESERTEC Foundation has suggested that up to 20% of power demand in Europe can be obtained by connecting African deserts to European cities (Figure 1). The idea is to build a large number of concentrated solar power (CSP) plants in Middle Eastern and Northern African (MENA) countries, and to transmit electricity to Europe by means of very efficient high-voltage direct-current cables.

Topics: Energy, Environment
Tags: Africa, climate change, concentrated solar power, deserts, energy security, Europe, Middle East, photovoltaic, Renewable energy, solar, wind

British and French educational legacies in Africa

Denis Cogneau, Alexander Moradi , 17 May 2014

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Britain and France followed two very distinct approaches to education in their African colonies (Garner and Schafer 2006).

Topics: Development, Economic history, Education
Tags: Africa, colonialism, institutions, West Africa

Newspaper readership, civic attitudes, and economic development: Evidence from the history of African media

Julia Cagé, Valeria Rueda, 14 May 2014

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Poor governance due to lack of political accountability is often cited as an explanation for the low level of economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. Lack of political accountability can emerge when voters do not choose their candidates according to their expected performance.

Topics: Development, Economic history, Institutions and economics, Politics and economics
Tags: accountability, Africa, democracy, development, media, religion, technology, voting

More to do on measuring hunger

Joachim De Weerdt, Kathleen Beegle, Jed Friedman, John Gibson, 18 February 2014

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One of the first Millennium Development Goals is to reduce hunger by half between 1990 and 2015. To date, the global hunger count has fallen slightly, from 1 billion in 1990–1992 to 870 million in 2010–2012 (Food and Agriculture Organization 2013). As a proportion of the world’s population, this is just a one-third fall in the hunger rate, from 19% to 13%.

Topics: Poverty and income inequality
Tags: Africa, development, food, hunger, measurement error, Millennium Development Goals, Poverty, surveys, Tanzania

Why don’t African firms create more jobs?

Leonardo Iacovone, Vijaya Ramachandran, 7 February 2014

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There is an urgent need for job creation in Africa. Many economies on the continent suffer high rates of under-employment and/or low-productivity employment. In addition, because of demographic factors, many countries anticipate that large numbers of youth will enter the workforce in the near future.

Topics: Development, Labour markets
Tags: Africa, firms, jobs

The value of democracy in the world’s poorest region: Evidence from Kenya’s road building

Ameet Morjaria, 5 February 2014

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An enormous literature points to a diverse set of factors behind Africa’s growth tragedy, ranging from bad policies, poor education, and poor infrastructure, to aging leaders, the historic slave trade, and political instability.

Topics: Development, Institutions and economics, Politics and economics
Tags: Africa, autocracy, democracy, ethnic inequality, public finance

With a little help from my friends – FDI in Africa

Holger Görg, Christiane Krieger-Boden, Adnan Seric, 10 December 2013

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Foreign direct investment (FDI) and the emergence of multinational firms (MNEs) have proven successful strategies for the growth performance of host countries. In recent years, developing economies have gained substantial shares of such worldwide FDI flows. Now, a “new wave of FDI” has even swept sub-Saharan Africa, one of the poorest regions of the world (Figure 1).

Topics: Development, International trade
Tags: Africa, FDI

AGOA rules: The intended and unintended consequences of special fabric provisions

Lawrence Edwards, Robert Z. Lawrence, 20 November 2013

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The US and EU often claim credit for granting duty-free quota-free access to products from the least developed countries. Such preferential treatment is of interest not only because it might provide one-time benefits in the form of higher incomes and increased employment, but also because trade is often associated with dynamic benefits that lead to faster growth and development.

Topics: Development, International trade
Tags: Africa, development, quotas, tariffs

Managing bureaucrats

Imran Rasul, Daniel Rogger, 19 November 2013

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Since its inception in the 1850s, the British Civil Service has become a cornerstone of the executive branch of the UK government, translating the policy programme of the government into practice.

Topics: Development, Institutions and economics, Politics and economics
Tags: Africa, bureaucracy, civil service, incentives, Management, monitoring, Nigeria

Democracy in Africa

Thorvaldur Gylfason, 17 November 2013

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A man’s admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Until the second half of the 19th century, there were so few democratic states around the world that they could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Topics: Development, Economic history, Politics and economics
Tags: Africa, anocracy, autocracy, Corruption, democracy, education, fertility, growth, life expectancy

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