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BRIEF

Office of Chief Economist in the Africa Region (AFRCE)

October 20, 2014

The Office of Chief Economist in the Africa Region (AFRCE) seeks to bring the best possible knowledge to bear on policy and institutional reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa. It produces and oversees the production of research articles and reports on the most pressing development issues facing the continent.  It also guides the production and implementation of the World Bank’s strategy of assistance for the Africa Region.

One of its most important functions is to foster a community of economists interested in Sub-Saharan Africa, within the World Bank and in the continent.

Initiatives

  • Africa’s Pulse: The Office of Chief Economist in the Africa Region monitors the development outlook of the region and produces a bi-annual publication with analysis on the short term economic prospects for the continent and current development challenges. More
  • Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA): This index measures and tracks the strength of policies and institutions in IDA-eligible countries since 1980. The information contained in the CPIA is valuable to governments, the private sector, civil society, researchers and the media as a tool to monitor their country’s progress and benchmark it against progress in other countries. More
  • Impact Evaluation: The Africa Region of the World Bank has well over one hundred active impact evaluations, spanning the sectors, from health, education, social protection, and gender, to agriculture, infrastructure, and public sector reform. They include evaluations of World Bank projects but also evaluations of other government and non-governments organization programs that have relevance to eliminating extreme poverty and increasing the quality of life for women and men across the African continent.  More
  • Agriculture in Africa – Telling Facts from Myths: Governments, donors, and the private sector are investing billions of dollars in Africa’s agriculture. A thorough bottom-up update is needed to guide these investments, establish baselines, and ground the agricultural policy dialogues. This initiative addresses this void, using the Living Standards Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA). The surveys are conducted in 6 countries, representing 40 percent of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa. For initial findings, see:

    Overview:
    Introduction to Agriculture in Africa – Telling Facts from Myths” project (video)

    Findings:
    The use of modern inputs, like chemical fertilizer, remains dismally low (paper, ppt)
    African Agriculture is intensifying (paper)
    Land, labor and capital markets remain largely incomplete and imperfect (paper, ppt)
    Post-Harvest Losses are large (paper, video)
    Seasonality continues to permeate rural livelihoods (paper, video, ppt)
    African farmers are increasingly diversifying their incomes (paper, video, ppt)
    Non-Farm Enterprises operate on survival mode (paper, video, ppt)

    Work in Progress:
    Agricultural labor productivity is low
    African youth is exiting agriculture
    Access to credit remains low
    Land is abundant and land markets are poorly developed
    Women perform the bulk of Africa’s agricultural tasks (video, ppt)
    Droughts dominate Africa’s risk environment
    Rural households in SSA are predominant net food buyers
    Agricultural commercialization and diversification improve nutritional outcomes

    Mentoree Papers: 
    Above or below optimal rates?  Nitrogen application for maize production in Nigeria
    Maize Price Volatility: Does Market Remoteness Matter?
    Are Informal Household Enterprises also subject to Agglomeration Economies? Evidence from Rural Africa (video, ppt

Research

The following pieces of research are sponsored by the Office of Chief Economist in the Africa Region.

FY12

Project ID

Title

TTL

P118251

African Success Stories (P118251)

Punam Chuhan-Pole

P118481

A Study Of Cargo Delays and Logistics
Costs in SSA (P118481)

Gael J. R. F. Raballand

P119462

Impact of fuel price distortion to transport costs and economic growth in Africa (P119462)

Fang Xu

P119597

Financing Africa: Through the Crisis and Beyond (P119597)

Samuel Munzele Maimbo

P123082

ICT Transformation in Africa (P123082)

Timothy John Charles Kelly

P124924

Harmonized Data in AFR (P124924)

Andrew L. Dabalen


FY13

Project ID

Title

TTL

P108228

Improving Skills Development in the informal sector: strategies for SSA (P108228)

Setareh Razmara


Researchers