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Climate change and Africa’s Infrastructure: Adapt now, but do so wisely

Raffaello Cervigni's picture
In less than a week, the leaders of more than 190 countries will meet in Paris to reach a new agreement to prevent the warming of the earth’s atmosphere from exceeding two degrees above pre-industrial times.
The issue of adaptation will feature more prominently than ever in the discussion. Agreeing to limit warming to two degrees means the negotiators recognize that certain degree of warming is unavoidable.  Countries need to adapt, and adequate resources are needed to help poorer countries make the transition.

How should countries go about adaptation? The answer is not an easy one. The technological solutions to reduce emissions are well known, but exactly how development decisions in response to anticipated climate change are most effectively made is a lot trickier.

“Industrial-strength” poverty reduction? Thoughts on Africa Industrialization Day

Aletheia Amalia Donald's picture

Leading up to the 26th anniversary of “Africa Industrialization Day,” a big new report by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) puts the structural transformation of African economies through industrialization back in the spotlight as imperative to ensure sustained economic growth and poverty eradication on the continent.

Sustaining structural reforms in Africa in good and tough times

Sudharshan Canagarajah's picture

The recently-published
Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) by the International Monetary Fund underscores the enduring view of  international financial institutions that the depth, pace and perfecting of structural reforms needs to continue, not only for competitiveness and growth but also for resilience should external headwinds emerge. The report also presents an important opportunity to further develop this agenda, by the additional treatment of the underlying causes, particularly non-price based ones, and thereby generate a more actionable view of the growth, competitiveness and equality trends so incisively presented in the report.

Challenges for African Agriculture

Jean-Claude Devèze's picture
Also available in: Français

Challenges for African Agriculture was first published in 2008 in French by Karthala, and then in English by the World Bank in 2011 as part of the Africa Development Forum Series, in partnership with Agence Francaise de Developpement. The book deals with the challenges facing Sub-Saharan agriculture.
Since the work appeared, the rural development challenges analyzed at length in the book, whether demographic, economic, environmental, social, cultural or political, seem even more difficult to contend with. Many Sub-Saharan countries, the Sahel in particular, have yet to begin their demographic transition. The agricultural economy, still largely dominated by small family farms, is hindered in achieving its full potential by the lack of interest demonstrated by weak public authorities and scattered aid agencies.

Défis agricoles africains

Jean-Claude Devèze's picture
Also available in: English

L’ouvrage Défis agricoles africains est paru en 2008 chez Karthala. Il est publié en anglais par la Banque mondiale en 2011, dans le cadre de la série Africa Development Forum, en partenariat avec l’Agence française de développement. Ce livre met en scène les défis que doivent relever les agricultures subsahariennes. 
Depuis cette parution, les enjeux du développement rural largement analysés dans l’ouvrage, qu’ils soient démographiques, économiques, environnementaux, sociaux, culturels ou politiques, semblent encore plus difficiles à affronter.

L’Afrique connaîtra-t-elle un dividende éducatif ?

Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue's picture
Also available in: English
La transition actuelle de la fécondité dans les pays d’Afrique sera-t-elle profitable à l’économie ? Entre 1990 et 2010, le taux de natalité est passé de 6,2 à 4,9 enfants par femme. Un recul qui, en créant les conditions d’un « dividende démographique » historique, aurait dû améliorer les perspectives de la région sur le plan de l’éducation et du développement. En théorie, un dividende intervient avec la réduction temporaire des taux de dépendance (rapport actifs/inactifs) consécutive au repli du taux de fécondité. Mais, dans la pratique, ce phénomène et les conditions qui favorisent son apparition sont difficiles à cerner.

Six critical areas for stability in West Africa

Alexandre Marc's picture
Also available in: Français

Six Critical Areas for Stability in West Africa

This blog was first published on September 15, 2015 by Alexandre Marc, Chief Specialist for Fragility, Conflict, and Violence at the World Bank and author of the recently published book, “The Challenge of Stability and Security in West Africa. It is being re-posted this week to highlight the book’s launch event in Europe, at the Agence Française de Développement in Paris.

A few months ago, as I was walking through the streets of Bissau, the capital of Guinea Bissau, I reflected on what had happened to this country over the last 20 years. It had gone through a number of coups and a civil war; its economy had barely been diversified; electricity and water access was still a major issue. There was the city of Bissau on one side, where a semblance of services where provided, and the rest of the country on the other. 

Will Africa get a schooling dividend?

Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue's picture
Also available in: Français

Will Africa benefit economically from its current fertility transition?  Between 1990 and 2010, Africa’s birth rate fell from 6.2 to 4.9 births per woman. Such a decline was expected to enhance the region’s schooling and development prospects, by creating a historical opportunity for a ‘demographic dividend.’ In theory, dividends result from a temporary reduction in age-dependency ratios as birth rates fall. In practice however, dividends and the conditions under which they emerge are hard to pin down.