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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Public Transport Microenterprises : Formalization Experiences In South Africa

1999-12, Ahmed, Yasir

This note outlines the progress achieved by the Western Cape Provincial Government to attain formalization of the minibus taxi industry envisaged in terms of the National Taxi Task Team (NTTT) recommendations released in September 1996. The Western Cape departed from the other eight Provinces of South Africa by deciding to commit key elements of the NTTT recommendations to legislation in the Western Cape Road Transportation Act Amendment Law. This action was prompted by the determination of the Provincial Minister of Transport to arrest the violent situation that had characterized the Minibus Taxi Industry up to then. The formation of a Provincial Taxi Working Group (PTWG) backed by this legislation has been an effective means to advance the formalization process in the Western Cape Province. This initiative is currently at its most active, and will continue through the remainder of 1998 and into 1999, until the minibus taxi industry has been fully regulated. Training and economic restructuring measures are also being provided according to the NTTT recommendations.

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Ghana - Women's Role in Improved Economic Performance

1999-10, World Bank

The Government of Ghana's program to develop a gender strategy has been supported by the World Bank. This article is based on a Bank-assisted sector study, Ghana: gender analysis and policymaking for development. The Bank team worked closely with Ghanaian Ministries of Agriculture, Micro-finance, Education, and Health to identify gender issues and study feasible recommendations. Along with the government, a broad range of stakeholders participated in the study, including academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and women's groups. Through workshops and mission visits, four points of focus were identified for the study: agriculture, micro-enterprises, education, and health. Many of the stakeholders also emphasized the importance of strengthening Ghana's institutional capacity to develop and implement policies that adequately address gender concerns. The study focuses on two broad areas of gender-based differences and inequalities: the links between gender and economic productivity, and the development of human capital. In addition to the study described here, the Ghanaian government produced two policy documents from this study; both are now under final review within the government.

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Financing Higher Education in Africa : Makerere - The Quiet Revolution

1999-09, World Bank

One of the standing conundrums of educational policy in Africa in the last fifteen years has been how to provide good quality higher education to large numbers, equitably but without undue dependence on public resources. Now, from Makerere University in Uganda, comes an instructive demonstration of new possibilities for solving this conundrum. In the past seven years, Makerere has reversed the plant decay and capacity loss of the 1970s and 1980s, and moved from the brink of collapse to a point where it can again aspire to become the pre-eminent intellectual and capacity building resource in Uganda and the wider region. It has more than doubled student enrolment, instigated major improvements in the physical and academic infrastructure and drastically reduced its traditional financial dependence upon the state. This has been achieved despite declining financial support from government but in a national context of economic growth and political stability. The contribution of the World Bank has been a set of programs supporting the macro-economic and governmental reforms which have reinforced the context of institutional change.

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Ethiopia - The Gilgel Gibe Resettlement Project

1999-08, World Bank

The development plan of the Federal Government of Ethiopia emphasized low-cost energy supply as a prerequisite to the enhancement of industrial and economic development for the period 1984-1993. Current power planning studies have estimated Ethiopia's hydropower potential at 30,000 MW, which greatly exceeds foreseeable domestic demands. Presently, only 1 percent of the potential is utilized. The government has therefore initiated the implementation of the Gilgel Gibe hydroelectric power plant to enhance industrial development and increase its national income through export sales of surplus energy to neighboring countries. The World Bank-assisted Ethiopia Second Energy, projected to end in the year 2000 will help to realize this objective. The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) will implement the construction of the power plant, whose reservoir will cover an area of 6200 ha, necessitating land acquisition and involuntary resettlement. An environmental assessment (EA) including a social assessment was carried out and a resettlement action plan (RAP) designed to address the adverse social impacts presumed to be linked to the building of the reservoir. The reservoir as well as the resettlement site are located in the Oromia Region under the Jima zone administration. The host population and the resettled population are both Oromo and of Moslem faith. The main economic activity of the population is agriculture and animal husbandry.

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Entrepreneurship and Firm Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa

1999-12, Ramachandran, Vijaya, Shah, Manju Kedia

The development of the private sector in Sub-Saharan Africa is of crucial importance to the overall rate of economic growth of the region. Entrepreneurial firms have a prominent role in the private sector in many countries in the region. This analysis measures the impact of various entrepreneurial characteristics on the rate of firm growth. The analysis uses data from the Regional Program on Enterprise Development (RPED) at the World Bank. Approximately 200 firms in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania were surveyed in each country in the food processing, textile, furniture, and metalworking sectors; only the subset of firms owned by entrepreneurs is used in this study.

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The Roll Back Malaria Partnership : Defining the role of the World Bank

1999-10, World Bank

Malaria kills over one million people and causes 300-500 million episodes of illness each year. The majority of the 3,000 deaths each day and ten new cases every second occur in Africa. The disease not only takes a high human toll; it also impedes development. Malaria has economic impacts through labor efficiency and land use; adversely affects school attendance, performance and cognitive ability; and translates in monetary costs in terms of expenditures by households and the public health sector. The poor are affected most, as they have less access to services, information and protective measures (e.g. nets, screens, prophylaxis), and have less power to avoid living or working within malaria-affected areas. Malaria is on the rise. While efforts to control malaria in the past fifty years have achieved a decline in malaria mortality and morbidity in some regions, the gains have often not been sustained (e.g. Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Central Asia). Emerging drug and pesticide resistances threaten to reduce the availability of effective and affordable prevention and treatment of malaria. Recent epidemics indicate a resurgence of the disease in previously low-risk areas (e.g. the highlands of Kenya), and climate changes are expected to lead to further changes in intensity of transmission. While there is no magic bullet for malaria, a range of cost-effective interventions exists, namely antimalarials for treatment, prophylaxis, insecticide treated materials and residual spraying with insecticide. New tools are available and are continually being developed, such as treatment for severe malaria, rapid diagnostic tests, and combination drug therapy to prevent resistance. As access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment are essential to reducing the burden; malaria can only be effectively controlled within the context of broader health sector development. The main strategies for addressing malaria are timely care-seeking, diagnosis and effective treatment, the use of prophylaxis during pregnancy, and the use of insecticide-treated bednets and materials.

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Progress in Public Expenditure Management in Africa : Evidence from World Bank Surveys

1999-08, Mohan, Prasad C.

One of the World Bank's key advisory roles is to assist its partner countries to make strategic decisions about the use of their public funds. Governments and the Bank together assess the public sector's potential role as a provider, financier, or regulator of services, or simply as a catalyst for private sector activity. The Bank's traditional vehicle for contributing to this kind of analytical work is the Public Expenditure Review (PER). The Africa Region undertook a survey of 20 task managers of PERs in 1997/98. This Note summarizes the main survey findings and key recommendations.

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CARE Peri-Urban Lusaka Small Enterprise (CARE PULSE) Project Zambia

1999-12, Amuah, Alexander K.

In January 1992, at the invitation of the Zambian Government, CARE International commenced operations in Zambia and set up a local branch named CARE Zambia. The initial focus of its programs was emergency relief in response to the severe drought of the early 1990s and interventions to militate against the effects of escalating inflation and extreme poverty in urban areas. Two years after its inauguration, CARE Zambia launched the Peri-Urban Lusaka Small Enterprise (PULSE) Project. The overall goal is to increase household income, economic security and employment opportunities among the families of poor micro-entrepreneurs in peri-urban areas of Zambia, through the provision of sustainable savings and credit services. The program provides working capital to micro and small-scale entrepreneurs, mostly women, who reside in the peri-urban areas of Mtendere and George. This service has recently been extended to Mandevu, Chawama and some peri-urban areas of Lusaka.

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Uganda’s Integrated Information Management System : A New Approach in Statistical Capacity-Building

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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The Abidjan-Ouagadougou Railway Concession

1999-08, Budin, Karim-Jacques, Mitchell, Brigitta

Since the 1980s, most Sub-Saharan African railways have been experiencing a severe crisis: declining traffic and revenue, lack of market orientation and poor service, continued operation of high-loss passenger services, poor maintenance, gross overstaffing, lack of technical and financial discipline, and heavy financial losses. Attempts to 'restructure' railways as public entities have generally failed. Involvement of the private sector in railway operations under a concession arrangement now seems to be a promising tool for transforming railways into business-oriented enterprises. The concession technique, successfully applied in Latin America, was used for the first time in Sub-Saharan Africa in Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina, who jointly concessioned the Abidjan-Ouagadougou railway to a private operator in December 1994.