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Mr. Alun H. Thomas
Recent micro level data from East Africa is used to benchmark aggregate data and assess the role of agricultural inputs in explaining variation in crop yields on smallholding plots. Fertilizer, improved seeds, protection against erosion and pesticides improve crop yields in Rwanda and Ethiopia, but not Uganda, possibly associated with lack of use there. With all positive yield determinants in place, wheat and maize yields could increase fourfold. The data hints at the negative effect of climate change on yields and the benefits of accompanying measures to mitigate its adverse impact (access to finance and protection against erosion). The adverse effect of crop damage on yields varies between 12/13 percent (Rwanda, Uganda) to 36 percent (Ethiopia). Protection against erosion and investment financing mitigate these effects considerably.
Jeanne Gobat and Ms. Kristina Kostial
Five years into the ongoing and tragic conflict, the paper analyzes how Syria’s economy and its people have been affected and outlines the challenges in rebuilding the economy. With extreme limitations on information, the findings of the paper are subject to an extraordinary degree of uncertainty. The key messages are: (1) that the devastating civil war has set the country back decades in terms of economic, social and human development. Syria’s GDP today is less than half of what it was before the war started and it could take two decades or more for Syria to return to its pre-conflict GDP levels; and that (2) while reconstructing damaged physical infrastructure will be a monumental task, rebuilding Syria’s human and social capital will be an even greater and lasting challenge.
Ms. Christine Dieterich, Anni Huang, and Mr. Alun H. Thomas
As labor market data is scarce in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), this paper uses household survey data to analyze the determinants of the gender gap in the labor market and its welfare implications for five SSA countries in multinomial logit models with propensity score matching method. The analysis confirms that education opens up opportunities for women to escape agricultural feminization and engage in formal wage employment, but these opportunities diminish when women marry—a disadvantage increasingly relevant when countries develop and urbanization progresses. Opening a household enterprise offers women an alternative avenue to escape low-paid jobs in agriculture, but the increase in per capita income is lower than male-owned household enterprises. These findings underline that improving women’s education needs to be supported by measures to allow married women to keep their jobs in the wage sector.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) highlights the progress report for Guinea. In order to strengthen the dynamics undertaken in the area of planning and implementing the poverty reduction strategy, with the support of its development partners, the government in September 2012 undertook the process of preparing its third PRSP, which covers 2013–2015. PRSP-3 implementation for the 2013 annual period registered disappointing results, explained by the unfavorable domestic as well as international context (political instability and falling commodities prices) and poor performance in growth sectors such as mining. Investments in infrastructures in support of growth increased substantially. Support and strengthening of the efforts made in this area will make it possible to ensure stable GDP growth rates of approximately 7.8 percent between 2013 and 2015. However, investments in the energy sector have yielded disappointing results as a result of the poor condition of the network, commercial management problems, and other factors.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Burkina Faso
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper focuses on Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) 2013–2018 for Rwanda. Ownership of the EDPRS by a wide range of stakeholders at national level has been a key factor of success. The EDPRS 2 has integrated inclusiveness and sustainability as driving factors in elaborating the strategy. Community-based solutions, working closely with the population, have made possible fast-track and cost-effective implementation and increased demand for accountability, in education with the 9YBE construction of classrooms, the Crop Intensification Program in agriculture, and community-based health care programs.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Niger understands the need to adopt a long-term strategy capable of optimizing natural and human resources to promote sustainable economic and social development and inclusive growth. The government has renewed planning efforts in the preparation of three principal strategic documents. These three strategic planning tools are complementary, and the government is committed to implementing them so that they interact with each other synergistically while ensuring dynamic linkages between short-, medium-, and long-term programs.