Country Economic Memorandum

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  • Publication
    The Union of Comoros Country Economic Memorandum: Boosting Growth for Greater Opportunities
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-09-14) World Bank
    Comoros is at the crossroads to redefine its future and become an upper-middle income country by 2050, but this would require implementing an ambitious reform agenda that focuses on increasing productivity and private investment. The current business-as-usual policy framework has delivered low private investment and human capital, sectoral growth below potential, and no poverty eradication. Pursuing this policy framework, which would not allow Comoros to reach the GDP growth target of 7.5 percent by 2030 laid out in the national development plan, could result in GDP per capita of US$1,890 and a poverty rate of 22.9 percent by 2050. By contrast, under a policy framework of ambitious reforms that include measures to increase inclusiveness, Comoros could reach a GDP per capita of US$3,934 and reduce the poverty rate to below 5 percent by 2050. Supported by the continuous implementation of ambitious reforms, such a level of GDP per capita could have Comoros reach upper-middle-income status by 2050. Under this ambitious reform agenda, private investment would average 11.9 percent of GDP in 2023–2050, and total factor productivity growth would average 1.45 percentage points per year during the same period.
  • Publication
    Kenya Country Economic Memorandum: Seizing Kenya’s Services Momentum
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-07-31) World Bank
    Kenya’s economy has been growing solidly but maintaining and increasing growth will depend on increasing private investment and productivity. Between 2010 and 2019, Kenya maintained a steady annual growth rate of 5 percent and the economy was able to rebound relatively rapidly from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, productivity growth did not make much of a contribution to output growth, and growth has been lower than that of some other, fast-growing middle-income countries. This points to the potential for Kenya to increase growth via productivity gains, by expanding the role of the private sector and, especially, accelerating private investment. Doing this has become more urgent as the Government's fiscal space to invest has shrunk, making it crucial also for the sustainability of growth to identify new opportunities for the private sector to contribute. This Country Economic Memorandum (CEM) focuses on the question of how seizing opportunities in Kenya’s services sector can contribute more effectively to long-term economic growth. This report argues that growing the services sector should not be seen as an alternative to industrialization, but rather as an enabler of economy-wide growth, including in manufacturing, and in agriculture too. It focuses on five channels through which services contribute to jobs, economic transformation and inclusion: (i) the need to SHIFT the services sector to higher value-added activities; (ii) how to LINK services better to other economic activities to grow its enabling role; (iii) how to BOOST the productivity of the sector through technology and increasing competition; (iv) how to TRADE more services through removing regulatory barriers to trade and investment; and finally (v) how to SECURE people’s economic livelihoods better, especially those working in lower-skilled and economically more vulnerable services subsectors. Growing the contribution of services will require a program of structural reforms and complementary efforts.
  • Publication
    Ethiopia’s Great Transition: The Next Mile - A Country Economic Memorandum
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2022-06-17) World Bank
    Ethiopia’s rapid growth over the past two decades has resulted in a surge in income per capita levels, with the country approaching fast the middle-income milestone. Over the past decade, fast growth was driven by capital accumulation, but the extent to which this growth has been equally distributed is unclear. Public infrastructure spending accelerated dramatically in the first half of the 2010s, helping underpin fast economic growth. However, this approach seems to have had important shortcomings. Contrary to the findings of World Bank (2015) which examined an earlier period, total factor productivity (TFP) declined during 2011-2020, contributing negatively to growth. In addition, inequality at the household level increased between 2011 and 2016. Finally, macroeconomic imbalances have widened, a trend exacerbated by recent shocks. This report discusses the drivers of growth in Ethiopia and, in the absence of official subnational gross domestic product (GDP) figures, examines whether there has been convergence in economic activity at the subnational level.
  • Publication
    Ghana Rising: Accelerating Economic Transformation and Creating Jobs
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-11-10) World Bank
    Ghana has been a rising growth star and a beacon of hope in West Africa. Strong economic growth over the past two decades led to a near doubling of GDP per capita, lifting the country through the threshold for middle-income status in 2011. GDP per capita grew by an average of 3 percent per year over the past two decades, putting Ghana in the top ten fastest growing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). A rising tide has tended to lift all boats. Poverty rates more than halved between 1998 and 2016, and the extreme poverty rate declined from 36.0 percent in 1991 to 8.2 percent in 2016. The net primary school enrollment rate rose from 62.5 percent in 2000 to 86.0 percent in 2019. This progress has motivated the government’s goal to lift the country to high-income status by 2057. The focus of this Country Economic Memorandum (CEM) is to review options for Ghana to create enough higher quality jobs through economic transformation. Economic transformation, or inclusive productivity growth, occurs as people and resources shift from lower to higher productivity activities. It raises household incomes and living standards, thereby lifting people out of poverty. It can be achieved through the movement of workers and other resources between firms and sectors, or through workers staying within existing firms that benefit from within-firm productivity growth by adopting better technologies and capabilities.
  • Publication
    Lake Chad Regional Economic Memorandum: Technical Paper 4. Infrastructure and Structural Change in the Lake Chad Region
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-11-09) Lebrand, Mathild
    This paper focuses on the impact of infrastructure on economic development for the countries around the Lake Chad area, an economically- and socially-integrated area in north-west Africa that has development potential, but which has been undermined by multiple and interrelated drivers of fragility, conflict, and violence. The Lake Chad region comprises a set of administrative areas across Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria that surround Lake Chad, with an estimated 17 million to 19 million people, who are primarily involved in agriculture and fishing activities. The region has one of the largest concentrations of extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa and the world and lags in human development outcomes and access to key public services. The paper analyzes the impact of infrastructure in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria, from a national and regional perspective, and with a particular focus on the Lake Chad area. The paper is structured as follows. Section two presents the data. Section three presents the empirical strategy and results. Section four develops a spatial general-equilibrium model to produce counterfactuals for more regional integration. Section five concludes.
  • Publication
    Removing Regulatory Barriers to Competition
    (Washington, DC, 2021-11) World Bank
    Competition can drive productivity growth in Kosovo, especially in the context of the post-Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) recovery. As the economy rebuilds, it is key that markets function smoothly, and that anticompetitive firm behavior or government intervention do not constrain the path to recovery. Competitive product markets can help a country recover from economic shocks more quickly. Competition in product markets can also prop-up economic recovery in a more inclusive way for the poorest households. Kosovo has made significant progress towards pro-competition regulation of product markets but there is still significant room for improvement. Although the product market regulation (PMR) indicators are limited in scope and should therefore be considered as an entry point for further analysis, this assessment allows to identify potential constraints to competition and possible policy reforms. Kosovo can increase competition by: (a) eliminating public owned enterprise (POE) - related barriers to competition to ensure a level playing field for private and public operators in markets where they compete, (b) improving the regulatory process and facilitating business registration to boost market entry, and (c) introducing policy reforms in network sectors and professional services to eliminate regulatory barriers to competition and avoid anticompetitive practices.
  • Publication
    Overview of Digital Development in the Horn of Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06-21) Kelly, Timothy; Dunand, Eric
    This paper follows the World Bank Group’s approach to Jobs and Economic Transformation (JET) which identifies economic transformation as key to creating more and better jobs. It builds on the Digital Economy for Africa (DE4A) approach to developing a digital economy to create the jobs of the future, which is aligned with the African Union’s Digital Transformation Strategy, 2020-2030. Helping countries build new digital This section is prepared in the context of Covid-19 pandemic that threatens decades of hard-won development gains and is likely to have triggered the deepest global recession since the World War II. The economic crisis is generating massive unemployment, particularly affecting the poor and vulnerable, and highlights the importance of jobs and economic transformation. The HoA countries already faced the challenge of a population growth at a rate around 3% preinfrastructure, and to develop regulations, skills and platforms that are compatible with neighboring countries should enable them to develop a larger and more efficient digital market that can facilitate economic transformation by enabling technological leapfrogging, and the creation of new jobs in old and new sectors. New forms of market connectivity can bring opportunities for new services and regional economic development in the Horn of Africa.
  • Publication
    A Framework for Enhancing Intra-regional Connectivity in the Horn of Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06-21) Kunaka, Charles
    This background paper systematically maps and assesses the connectivity of cities in the Horn of Africa (HoA) and uses the results to proposes a number of policy perspectives on how to strategically boost connectivity in different parts of the region. Analytically, this is achieved through network analysis of the directness, the diversity, topology and the density of HoA cities’ transport infrastructure connections. Crucially, network analysis allows proxying HoA cities’ potential to participate in value chains at various geographical scales and identifying key areas of possible intervention. Results can guide institutional and governance measures that can be taken to influence connectivity as a whole and for specific cities and transport corridors in particular. The output can thus help determine the interventions that are needed to tackle bottlenecks in corridors, addressing infrastructure, policy and regulatory constraints. The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. Section 2 outlines the rationale for an analysis of inter-urban connectivity in general and its linkages with the broader topic of regional integration and the economic geographies of the HoA in particular. Section 3 discusses our analytical framework, while Section 4 discusses the results. The paper is concluded with a discussion of key policy perspectives in section 5.
  • Publication
    Infrastructure and Structural Change
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06-21) Herrera Dappe, Matias
    Access to infrastructure support economic development through both capital accumulation and structural transformation. This paper investigates the links between investments in electricity, Internet, and road infrastructure, in isolation and bundled, and economic development in the Horn of Africa, a region that includes countries with different levels of infrastructure and economic development. Using data on the expansion of the road, electricity, and Internet networks, it provides reduced-form estimates of the impacts of infrastructure investments on the sectoral composition of employment. It uses a spatial general equilibrium model, based on Moneke (2020), to quantify the impacts of future transport investments and trade facilitation measures on economic development in the Horn of Africa countries.
  • Publication
    Boosting Export Performance
    (Washington, DC, 2021) World Bank
    Improving Kosovo’s export competitiveness can help to catalyze growth and reduce poverty. As a small economy, Kosovo will benefit from integration, both globally and regionally, to exploit scale economies from access to a larger market. Higher exports will not only contribute to growth and lower current account deficits but can also help heighten productivity due to more innovation and learning by exporting. Exporting firms, which are more competitive, will also be able to create better jobs and economic opportunities for Kosovars. This background note examines export dynamics in Kosovo over the period 2010-19, benchmarking Kosovo against relevant comparator countries. It overviews Kosovo’s trade structure, export dynamics at the firm level, trade policy and regulatory framework, and constraints to trade in goods and services and identifies policy options for consolidating trade growth in growing sectors. The note also spotlights digitalization and digital trade. It analyzes the enabling environment and suggests policies to enhance digital connectivity, improve the regulatory environment for digital trade, and encourage the use of e-payments.