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The Africa Development Forum Series focuses on issues of significant relevance to Sub-Saharan Africa’s social and economic development. Its aim is both to record the state of the art on a specific topic and to contribute to ongoing local, regional, and global policy debates. It is designed specifically to provide practitioners, scholars, and students with the most up-to-date research results while highlighting the promise, challenges, and opportunities that exist on the continent.

Titles in the series examine a wide range of issues: from agriculture, manufacturing, and infrastructure to gender, youth employment, urbanization, and tourism. The series is sponsored by the Agence Française de Développement and the World Bank. Manuscripts chosen for publication represent each institution’s highest quality research output and have been selected for their relevance to the development agenda. Learn More.


Africa's Infrastructure: A Time for Transformation

Sustainable infrastructure development is vital for Africa’s prosperity. This volume is the culmination of an unprecedented effort to document, analyze, and interpret the full extent of the challenge in developing Sub-Saharan Africa’s infrastructure sectors. As a result, this volume represents the most comprehensive reference currently available on infrastructure in the region.
Published: December 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8213-8041-3
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Gender Disparities in Africa's Labor Market

Women’s earnings are a fraction of male’s earnings in several African countries. It is tempting to conclude that this wage gap is a sign of discrimination against women in the labor market. But new datasets show that the gap is the result of multiple factors, including access to education and credit, cultural values and household duties, and, above all, labor market conditions.

Published: August 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8213-8066-6
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Challenges for African Agriculture

What is the future for Sub-Saharan African farms? What role can they play in the development of the subcontinent? This book presents the key demographic, economic, and environmental challenges for agriculture in Africa and proposes courses of action for Africa to be successful in its agricultural transitions.

Published: October 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8213-8481-7
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Contemporary Migration to South Africa: A Regional Development Issue

This book is a call to rethink migration regimes in Southern Africa in ways that are more explicitly developmental and focused on poverty. Current policy debates are devoted almost exclusively to border control and policing, paying only lip service to local and regional developmental strategies. This volume takes a different approach from scholars who are convinced that empirically based policy making stands a better chance of succeeding than untested preconceptions that risk reproducing recipes that have failed elsewhere.

Published: August 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8213-8767-2
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The Informal Sector in Francophone Africa: Firm Size, Productivity, and Institutions

This volume provides a detailed description and analysis of: the characteristics and functioning of informal sector firms; the causes of the pervasiveness of these firms; the relations between formal and informal firms; the consequences of informality for economic development; and appropriate policy responses.

Published: February 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8213-9537-0
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Light Manufacturing in Africa: Targeted Policies to Enhance Private Investment and Create Jobs

The authors of this volume examine how light manufacturing can offer a viable solution for Sub-Saharan Africa’s need for structural transformation and productive job creation, given the region’s potential competitiveness based on low wage costs and an abundance of natural resources that supply raw materials needed for industries.

Published: February 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8213-8961-4
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Structural Transformation and Rural Change Revisited: Challenges for Late Developing Countries in a Globalizing World

Based on an in-depth, seven-country study that surveyed 8,000 rural households, this book addresses the unique situation of countries that remain deeply engaged in agriculture, and proposes a set of policy orientations which could facilitate the process of rural change.

Published: June 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8213-9512-7
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Financing Africa's Cities: The Imperative of Local Investment

This book addresses the issue of financing urban growth in Africa—which has the highest urban growth rate on the planet—over the next decades. The authors aim to clarify the debates and to enlighten the choices of African decision-makers at both the local and national levels while also offering several operational avenues to bolster and modernize the financing that cities urgently require.

Published: July 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8213-9455-7
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Empowering Women: Legal Rights and Economic Opportunities in Africa

Empowering Women provides compelling evidence from 47 Sub-Saharan African countries that gender gaps in legal capacity and property rights need to be addressed--in terms of substance, enforcement, awareness, and access—if economic opportunities for women in Sub-Saharan Africa are to continue to expand. 

Published: October 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8213-9533-2
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The Political Economy of Decentralization in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New Implementation Model in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, and Senegal

For the past two decades, experiments in decentralization and federalization have been developing in Africa, Asia, and the formerly communist states of Eastern Europe. Many of the powers previously in the hands of the central government or its de-concentrated structures have been transferred to lower government layers. This volume offers a new policy-oriented implementation model, applied systematically in parallel in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, and Senegal and compares similar issues based on the same blueprint.

Published: December 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8213-9613-1
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Securing Africa's Land for Shared Prosperity: A Program to Scale Up Reforms and Investments

“This book marks an important milestone for improving land governance in Sub-Saharan Africa. It deserves support from all those involved in—and the well-wishers of—African development.”—Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President; Founder, The Carter Center; Nobel Peace Prize laureate

Published: June 2013
ISBN: 978-0-8213-9810-4
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Enterprising Women: Expanding Economic Opportunities in Africa

Using data from 41 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa,Enterprising Women informs policy makers and practitioners on ways to expand women's economic opportunities. It focuses on four areas that help explain gender differences in entrepreneurial activities and where gender gaps persist: property rights, access to finance, human capital, and political voice.

Published: June 2013
ISBN: 978-0-8213-9703-9
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Urban Labor Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa

“This book provides an in-depth examination of the functioning of urban labor markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, looking in particular at the crucial question of informality. Relying on detailed microeconomic data from several French-speaking urban centers, it makes an innovative and fundamental contribution to the understanding of development in Africa.”—François Bourguignon, Director, Paris School of Economics

Published: June 2013
ISBN: 978-0-8213-9781-7
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Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa

Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa focuses on how to improve the quality of jobs and meet the aspirations of youth in Sub-Saharan Africa. It finds that a strong foundation for human capital development can be key to boosting earnings, arguing for a balanced approach that builds skills and demand for labor.

Published: January 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4648-0107-5
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Tourism in Africa: Harnessing Tourism for Growth and Improved Livelihoods

The authors of this volume show how tourism initiates economic development and how constraints to the growth of tourism in Sub-Saharan Africa can be addressed. With 24 case studies that illustrate tourism development, the book reveals that despite destination challenges, the basic elements needed to initialize or intensify success are applicable across the region.

Published: June 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4648-0190-7
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Safety Nets in Africa: Effective Mechanisms to Reach the Poor and Most Vulnerable

Safety nets can play an important role in protecting the well-being of poor and vulnerable households in Sub-Saharan Africa. This book demonstrates with empirical evidence that it is possible to reach the poorest and most vulnerable people with safety net programs. It also provides lessons for the effective use of targeting methods to achieve this outcome in the region.

Published: January 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4648-0435-9
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Land Delivery Systems in West African Cities: The Example of Bamako, Mali

“In any city, the price and quality of housing is so influenced by what land is available for housing, under what terms, with what services, and at what cost. This book provides a very rich and detailed understanding of this in and around Bamako. But its detailed and careful analyses of the different land delivery channels and stakeholders can serve as guides for (much needed) comparable analyses in other cities.”—Professor David Satterthwaite, Senior Fellow, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED); Visiting Professor, University College London

Published: April 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4648-0433-5
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The Challenge of Stability and Security in West Africa

This book critically examines the challenges of fragility and security in West Africa, along with the factors of resilience. It seeks to investigate key drivers of conflict and violence, and the way in which they impact the countries of the subregion. Along with emerging threats and challenges, these include the challenge of youth inclusion; migration; regional imbalances; extractives; the fragility of political institutions and managing the competition for power; security; and land.

Published: June 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4648-0464-9
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Enhancing the Climate Resilience of Africa's Infrastructure: The Power and Water Sectors

To sustain Africa’s growth and accelerate the eradication of extreme poverty, investment in infrastructure is fundamental. This book evaluates the impacts of climate change on hydro-power and irrigation expansion plans in Africa’s main rivers basins. It also outlines an approach to reduce climate risks through suitable adjustments to the planning and design process.

Published: August 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4648-0466-3
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Africa's Demographic Transition: Dividend or Disaster?

The authors of this timely volume lay out a range of policy actions that are needed at the various phases of Africa’s demographic transition and use global and regional experiences to provide evidence on what has worked and what has not. A range of options are available to speed up the transition: improve investment in the resulting youth cohort; expand labor markets; and encourage savings.

Published: October 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4648-0489-2
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    Knowledge production: An essential tool for public policy in Africa

    Data generation is essential to gain a comprehensive understanding of the economic, social, demographic, and environmental contexts and dynamics in Africa. In the absence of sound information, entrenched ideas continue to dominate public discourse, which leads to distorted views and inappropriate policies.
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    Africa’s infrastructure: Five years on

    This blog looks at the importance of sustainable infrastructure development for Africa’s prosperity. It gives an up-to-date picture of the activities, the interest and the investment devoted to this sector since 2010 in the region. The author also suggests that now is the right time to evaluate both the progress to date and remaining challenges for the next five years.
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    Safety net programs can reach the poor and most vulnerable in Africa through new targeting methods

    In the world’s poorest region, targeted social program transfers are effective in fighting poverty and ensuring prosperity. But resources are limited, and identifying households with the greatest need is difficult in most African countries.
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    Youth employment in Africa: what policy makers can do

    Eleven million young Africans are expected to enter the labor market each year over the next decade. Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa explains how government intervention can alleviate the growing gap between the aspirations of African youth and the realities of the job market, from a demographic, economic, and social standpoint.
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    Understanding urban land markets in West Africa

    The difficulty of acceessing land, and a growing number of land disputes, have become major concerns in West African cities. In spite of political will expressed at the highest level of government, policymakers are often at a loss as to what can be done given the complexity and sensitivity of land market issues.
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    Financing Africa’s Cities: The Local Investment Challenge Africa’s Cities: Scaling up the Volume of Investment

    Africa’s cities have the potential to serve as engines of much-needed economic growth, job creation, and social integration, as long as public policy adequately supports and organizes their growth. In this blog, Thierry Paulais looks at how local urban investment can be scaled up to meet the vast needs spawned by demographic growth as well as the effects of global warming .
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    Climate change and Africa’s Infrastructure: Adapt now, but do so wisely

    The need for countries to adapt to the anticipated effects of climate change will impact their development investments. In this blog, Raffaello Cervigni looks at how the Africa region might effectively invest in its infrastructure and do so in a climate-resilient manner.
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    Challenges for African Agriculture

    Although the future of rural agriculture in Africa looks grim, there are several strengths that could make overcoming challenges possible. In his blog, author Jean-Claude Devèze highlights some of the challenges outlined in his book, Challenges in African Agriculture, in the hopes of finding solutions.
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    Six critical areas for stability in West Africa

    A recent publication, The Challenges of Stability and Security in West Africa, examines key drivers of conflict and violence and the way they impact the countries of the sub-region. In this blog, author Alexandre Marc highlights the six areas critical to stability in the region.
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    20 in 5: How the Agence Francaise and the World Bank partnered to publish 20 important books in five years on the state of Africa’s development

    In 2009, the World Bank and Agence Francaise de développement created the Africa Development Forum with the goal of producing high-quality research to chronicle the region’s ascent. Five years and 20 publications later, the knowledge produced by this partnership is vast and rich.

Current Africa Development Forum Series Advisory Members 


Gaël Giraud

Gaël Giraud is a French economist, specialized in general equilibrium theory, game theory, finance and energy issues. He is Chief Economist at the Agence Française de Développement, affiliated with University of Paris 1-Sorbonne Economic Center (CES) and associated researcher at Paris School of Economics (PSE). He is also member of the Scientific Committee of the “Laboratoire d'Excellence” devoted to financial regulation (LabEx ReFi) and member of the Steering Committee on the Energy Shift within the French government. A former fellow of Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, of ENSAE (Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Administration Economique) and of CORE (Center of Operations Research, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium), he earned his Ph.D. at the Laboratoire d’Econométrie de l’Ecole Polytechnique in 1998. In 2009, he was nominated as Best French young economist by Le Monde/Le Cercle des économistes. 


Mihoub Mezouaghi

Mihoub Mezouaghi is currently deputy executive Director (Directorate of Research and knowledge). PhD in Economics, he joined AFD in 2006 and served as economist in the Mediterranean and Middle East Department, project manager at AFD office in Beirut and head of the training unit. He conducted research on the growth models and economic policies. 


Cyrille Bellier

Cyrille Bellier holds a Degree in Finance and Economics and a MPhil in Applied Economics from Science Po Paris, and a MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. He started his career as an organization consultant with Accenture in France, the UK and Australia. Cyrille joined AFD in 2001 and served as project manager within the organization department, special assistant to the CEO, and deputy director of the AFD Agency in Tunis. He joined the Research and Development unit in September 2013.


Guillaume de Saint Phalle

Guillaume de Saint Phalle completed a Master Degree in Economic Development at Paris Nanterre. He spent 12 years of his professional life working in various NGO’s. He joined AFD in 2003 and served as communications officer and later became Head of the Communications Department. After a fulfilling experience in the African Department (in charge of countries in Austral Africa), today he is Head of Knowledge Management Department.


Current World Bank Advisory Committee Members


Punam Chuhan-Pole

Punam Chuhan-Pole is the Acting Chief Economist of the Africa Region at the World Bank. Her recent work includes the semi-annual publication—Africa’s Pulse—which presents economic trends and prospects for the region, a report on the Socioeconomic Impact of Mining on Local Communities in Africa, and a study documenting recent development progress—Yes Africa Can: Success Stories from a Dynamic Continent. Her area of expertise includes quality and effectiveness of aid, and she has worked extensively on monitoring and assessing the vulnerability of developing countries to external shocks. Punam has a PhD in Economics from Georgetown University. She worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before joining the World Bank.


Markus P. Goldstein

Markus Goldstein is a development economist with experience working in Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, and South Asia. He is currently the Gender Practice Leader in the Africa Region and a Lead Economist in the Research Group of the World Bank. His current research centers on issues of gender and economic activity, focusing on agriculture and small scale enterprises. He is currently involved in a number of impact evaluations on these topics across Africa. Markus has taught at the London School of Economics, the University of Ghana, Legon, and Georgetown University. He holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. 


Stephen McGroarty

Stephen McGroarty is Executive Editor in the World Bank's Publishing and Knowledge Division in the External and Corporate Relations Vice Presidency (ECRPK). Prior to joining the Bank in 2003, he was Economics Editor at Oxford University Press in New York. He earned a BA in Environmental and Business Economics from Rutgers University and a MA in International Development from University College Dublin. 


Carlos Rossel

Mr. Rossel, a native of Santiago, Chile, is the World Bank Group Publisher and has over 25 years of experience in international professional and scholarly publishing. To support the institution’s role as global knowledge institution, the Publishing and Knowledge Division works with departments across the institution to develop and publish a range of products that cover the full spectrum of economic and social development and that are aimed at policymakers, academia, development practitioners, and other constituencies. In 2011 and 2012, he led the transformation of the program into an Open Access (OA) publishing model, including implementation of an OA policy, Creative Commons (CC) licensing, and an OA repository for the Bank’s research and knowledge.


Previous Agence Française de Développement Members

  • Pierre Jacquet, Directeur de la Stratégie et Chef Économiste
  • Rémy Genevey, Executive Director of Strategy
  • Alain Henry, Director of Research Department
  • Philippe Cabin, Head of Knowledge Management Division

Previous World Bank Advisory Committee Members

  • Shantayanan Devarajan, Chief Economist, Africa Region
  • Jorge Arbache, Senior Economist
  • Santiago Pombo-Bejarano, previous Editor-in-Chief, Office of the Publisher
  • Francisco H. G. Ferreira, Chief Economist, Africa Region
  • Richard Damania, Lead Economist, Africa Region
    Richard Damania is the Global Lead Economist in the World Bank’s Water Practice. He has held several positions in the World Bank including as the Lead Economist in the Africa Region’s Sustainable Development Department with oversight for analytical work on infrastructure, environmental and social issues in Africa. He has also served as Lead Economist in the South Asia and Latin America and Caribbean Regions of the World Bank. Prior to joining the World Bank he was Professor of Economics at the University of Adelaide in Australia. He has published extensively with over 100 papers that span matters ranging from Natural Resources, Infrastructure Economics, Climate Change and the Economics of Regulation. He has held numerous advisory positions at government and international organizations and serves on the Editorial Board of several prestigious academic journals.

Latest Publication

Africa's Demographic Transition: Dividend or Disaster?

The authors of this timely volume lay out a range of policy actions that are needed at the various phases of Africa’s demographic transition and use global and regional experiences to provide evidence on what has worked and what has not. A range of options are available to speed up the transition: improve investment in the resulting youth cohort; expand labor markets; and encourage savings.



Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity

“This book marks an important milestone for improving land governance in Sub-Saharan Africa. It deserves support from all those involved in and the well-wishers of African development.” -Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President; Founder, the Carter Center; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate