Africa Region Findings & Good Practice Infobriefs

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These briefs report on ongoing operational, economic, and sector work carried out by the World Bank and its member governments in the Africa Region.

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    Ethiopia : The Energy II Project
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-04) Mohan, P. C.
    The project's objectives were to (i) increase the efficiency and sustainability of Ethiopia's power sector and to increase electricity use for economic growth and improved quality of life; and (ii) improve the utilization efficiency of rural renewable energy. An IDA credit of US$ 200 million over the years 1998-2005 supported these objectives. The project had 3 components: (i) the Gilgel Gibe Hydroelectric plant; (ii) Rural energy; and (iii) Institutional Development. An Emergency Recovery Project was included in June 2004 for emergency equipment and materials for war-affected areas and in particular to replace stranded goods and equipment at Assab Port.
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    Migrant Labor Remittances in Africa : Reducing Obstacles to Developmental Contributions
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-02) Sander, Cersten ; Mainbo, Samuel Munzele
    Migrants have received heightened international recognition from the development community in recent times. New World Bank estimates on the volume of remittances show that documented remittance flows continue to increase at a rapid rate, putting global annual flows at US$88 billion for 2002 (revised up from earlier estimates of US$80 billion reported in the 2003 World Bank Global Development Report) and projecting $90 billion for 2003, based on trends in the first half of the year. Actual figures are generally accepted to be much higher. This means that remittance flows constitute the largest source of financial flows to developing countries after Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and indeed in many countries exceed FDI flows.
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    East Africa-South Asia : Learning and Exchanging Indigenous Knowledge
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-03) Mohan, P.C.
    The Africa Region's Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program promotes client/staff action learning through cross regional exchanges to learn about the impact of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) systems in development. The first such exchange and learning tour was organized in September-October 2002 between three East African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda) and two South Asian countries (Sri Lanka and India). The exchange involved several innovative features which are highlighted here. The learning exchange included 16 development practitioners from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda (i.e., project staff from Bank-supported projects in early childhood development and medicinal plant projects, civil society representatives, a traditional healer, a parliamentarian and a minister) accompanied by 5 Bank staff working on these projects. The group visited counterparts in Sri Lanka and India, including projects using informatics for social sector development.
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    Ghana's Poverty Monitoring System
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2001-05) Canagarajah, Sudharshan ; Mohan, Prasad C.
    The note features the particularly serious problem of poverty monitoring systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, namely through the case of Ghana, where in 1987, the first Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS) was conducted. It notes though, that over the years data collection in Ghana improved substantially, where recent LSMS data for the country, became the centerpiece of Consultative Group meetings, undoubtedly a "good practice" that deserves special mention. Lessons, and trends that facilitated the process address the increased upstream planning in data entry, data cleaning, and data analysis, in addition to capacity building, and training prior to launching surveys. Nonetheless, areas for further improvement still indicate prevailing institutional bottlenecks, and delays in the release of counterpart funds, which are conducive to weak procurement practices, aggravated by the continued, over-reliance on external consultants.
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    Rural Electrification : Lessons Learned
    ( 2001-02) Sanghvi, Arun ; Barnes, Douglas
    The note focuses on the external benefits of rural electrification (RE), i.e., improved access to communication, education, and economic opportunities, in addition to extended health services. It outlines key lessons to scaling up RE, namely macroeconomic stability, continued government commitments, and institutional capacity. However, it also suggests that grid extension is not always cost-effective, rather, decentralized delivery options, and alternative energy sources, such as solar photovoltaic, mini-hydro, and other renewable energy sources should be considered. Moreover, good practices indicate the need for power sector reform, regulatory framework with legal guarantees that utilities can operate autonomously, and, financial viability, that is, to ensure commercialization, and identify a cost-recovery system that takes into account capital investment costs, and contributions levels. Strongly emphasized is the involvement of local communities in the design, and implementation of RE, by setting rural electrification committees, and by establishing institutional, and organizational procedures for project planning.
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    Uganda’s Integrated Information Management System : A New Approach in Statistical Capacity-Building
    (Washington, DC, 1999-09) World Bank
    Uganda is embarking on a major program to upgrade its statistical systems. As with many African countries, the quality of national statistics and the timeliness with which they are produced have been issues of considerable concern for a number of years. It has suffered from problems common to many national statistical offices, including: high staff turnover, inadequate funding, lack of timeliness in delivering outputs, unevenness in quality of data produced and inability to respond quickly to new data needs. The starting point for reform has been to persuade government and donors to commit more resources to essential statistical activities. This led to the establishment in 1999 of a new semi-autonomous Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and to the development of a draft UBOS Corporate Action Plan. The World Bank will be channeling its support through the Second Economic and Financial Management Project (EFMPII). The main goal of the program is to support the building of national capacity to collect, process, store and disseminate statistical information for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating outcomes and outputs of development policies and programs at both national and district levels.
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    African Development Indicators 1997
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 1998-05) World Bank
    Monitoring Africa's development progress and aid flows requires basic empirical data that can be readily used by analysts. African development indicators 1997, a World Bank publication, provide a starting point for accomplishing that task. This revised and expanded statistical collection provides the most detailed collection of data on Africa available in one volume. This volume, which is the fifth in a series that began with African economic and financial data in 1989, and was followed by African development indicators 1992, 1994-95, and 1996, presents data from 53 African countries, arranged in 292 separate tables or matrices for more that 400 development indicators. In addition, 24 charts facilitate data interpretation and cross-country comparison. The indicators are grouped into 15 chapters: background data national accounts, prices and exchange rates, money and banking, the external sector, external debt and related flows, government finance, agriculture, power or communication and transportation, labor force and employment, public enterprises, aid flows, social indicators, environmental indicators, and household welfare indicators. Each chapter includes a brief introduction on the nature of the data and their limitations followed by technical notes that define the indicators and identify specific sources.
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    Special Program for African Agricultural Research (SPAAR) : Frameworks for Action - An Initial Review
    (Washington, DC, 1996-06) World Bank
    Special Program for African Agricultural Research (SPAAR) was established in 1985 to foster collaboration in agricultural research and development in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) between donor organizations and African agricultural research systems. It also sought to enable Africa to benefit from the accumulated knowledge of global agricultural research and technology generation and transfer. The SPAAR membership consists of twenty-three donor organizations, comprising of bilateral and multilateral donors, international, autonomous and regional agencies. Its Secretariat is housed in the World Bank. In 1994, SPAAR donors decided to open SPAAR membership to all the national agricultural research systems (NARSs) in SSA.
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    African Development Indicators 1994-95
    (Washington, DC, 1995-10) World Bank
    This volume, which is the third in a series that began with African Economic and Financial Data (World Bank and UNDP) in 1989, followed by the first African Development Indicators in 1992, presents data from 53 African countries, arranged in 255 separate tables or matrices for more that 300 development indicators. In addition, 25 charts facilitate data interpretation and cross-country comparison. The indicators are grouped into 15 chapters: background data, national accounts, prices and exchange rates, money and banking, the external sector, external debt and related flows, government finance, agriculture, industry, labor force and employment, public enterprises, aid flows, social indicators, environmental indicators, and household welfare indicators. Each chapter includes a brief introduction on the nature of the data and their limitations followed by technical notes that define the indicators and identify specific sources. Most of the indicators present data by year for the period 1980-93. Many indicators also include averages or average growth rates for three recent time periods, covering the years 1975-93 or the most recently available year. Considerable effort has been made to standardize the data to facilitate cross-country comparisons.
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    Agricultural Research in the Sahel : Challenge and Response
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 1994-03) Weijenberg, Jan
    The problem which this report seeks to address is the slow rate of technology generation of the agricultural research system in the Sahel. To overcome this problem, the report proposes to strengthen the national agricultural research systems in the region through a three-pronged effort: (a) institutional reforms of the national agricultural research systems to evolve an enabling environment for creativity, innovation and improved performance; (b) new modes of regional cooperation based on the principles of comparative advantage and the relative strengths of national agricultural research systems; and (c) a series of cross-cutting actions to support the revitalized national and regional efforts. It is expected that a more demand-driven national/regional research agenda and more vibrant linkages between scientists and clients will lead to faster rates of technology generation, as was demonstrated by the success of cotton research in the Sahel.