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  • Publication
    Africa in the New Trade Environment: Market Access in Troubled Times
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-02-10) Coulibaly, Souleymane; Kassa, Woubet; Zeufack, Albert G.; Mattoo, Aaditya; Coulibaly, Souleymane; Kassa, Woubet; Zeufack, Albert G.
    Sub-Saharan Africa represents only a small share of global production and trade while hosting half of the extreme poor worldwide. To catch up with the rest of the world, the continent has no alternative: it must undertake reforms to scale up its supply capacity while better linking its production and trade to the global economy. If it does so, it stands to gain from unlimited demand and innovation along the supply chain. Some progress has been made over the past decade, with the region’s exports and imports growing rapidly. Because most African economies rely heavily on trade for a large share of national income, they will also be more vulnerable to the trade disruptions of external shocks, as illustrated by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Africa in the New Trade Environment: Market Access in Troubled Times provides a comprehensive, state-of-the-art analysis by a team of renowned trade economists who present a strategy to bolster Sub-Saharan Africa’s market access in the current global environment.
  • Publication
    Future Drivers of Growth in Rwanda: Innovation, Integration, Agglomeration, and Competition
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020) World Bank Group; Government of Rwanda
    A strong and widely acknowledged record of economic success—including a three-and-ahalf- fold increase in per capita income since 1994—places Rwanda among the world’s fastest-growing economies. Traumatic memories of the 1994 genocide are gradually fading, as associations begin to take a more positive form—of a nation on the rise, powered by human resilience, a sense of common purpose, and a purposeful government. Past successes and a sense of frailty have fueled aspirations for a secure, prosperous, and modern future. Sustaining high rates of economic growth is at the heart of these ambitions. Recent formulations of the nation’s Vision 2050 set a target of achieving upper-middleincome status by 2035 and high-income status by 2050. Future Drivers of Growth in Rwanda: Innovation, Integration, Agglomeration, and Competition, a joint undertaking by experts from Rwanda and the World Bank Group, evaluates the country’s possibilities and options in this endeavor. The report identifies four essential drivers of growth—innovation, integration, agglomeration, and competition—and reforms in six priority areas: human capital development, export dynamism and regional integration, well-managed urbanization, competitive domestic enterprises, agricultural modernization, and capable and accountable public institutions.
  • Publication
    The Africa Competitiveness Report 2017: Addressing Africa’s Demographic Dividend
    (Geneva: World Economic Forum, 2017-05-01) World Economic Forum; World Bank; African Development Bank
    Without urgent action to address low levels of competitiveness, Africa’s economies will not create enough jobs for the young people entering the job market. If current policies remain unchanged, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs needed in Africa in the next 20 years will be created. These are among the key findings of the Africa Competitiveness Report 2017, a biennial publication jointly produced by the World Economic Forum, the African Development Bank, and the World Bank Group. Priorities to meet the changing demographics include policy reform to improve the quality of institutions, infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology. House construction and better urban planning present opportunities for short-term competitiveness gains. The report finds that the ability of Africa’s economies to generate enough jobs for its young and growing population rests on the successful implementation of urgent structural reforms to boost productivity. Competitiveness is defined as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity, and hence future prosperity, of a country. The report, which covers North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, comes at a time when growth in most of the region’s economies has been slowing after a decade of sustained growth. Further stagnation is likely in the absence of improvements in the core conditions for competitiveness. Compounding the challenge to Africa’s leaders is a rapidly expanding population.
  • Publication
    Africa's Cities: Opening Doors to the World
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2017-02-09) Lall, Somik Vinay; Venables, Anthony J.; Avner, Paolo; Aguilar, Juliana; Aguilera, Ana; Antos, Sarah; Avner, Paolo; D'Aoust, Olivia; Huang, Chyi-Yun; Jones, Patricia; Lozano Garcia, Nancy; Nakamura, Shohei
    Cities in Sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing rapid population growth. Yet their economic growth has not kept pace. Why? One factor might be low capital investment, due in part to Africa’s relative poverty: Other regions have reached similar stages of urbanization at higher per capita GDP. This study, however, identifies a deeper reason: African cities are closed to the world. Compared with other developing cities, cities in Africa produce few goods and services for trade on regional and international markets To grow economically as they are growing in size, Africa’s cities must open their doors to the world. They need to specialize in manufacturing, along with other regionally and globally tradable goods and services. And to attract global investment in tradables production, cities must develop scale economies, which are associated with successful urban economic development in other regions. Such scale economies can arise in Africa, and they will—if city and country leaders make concerted efforts to bring agglomeration effects to urban areas. Today, potential urban investors and entrepreneurs look at Africa and see crowded, disconnected, and costly cities. Such cities inspire low expectations for the scale of urban production and for returns on invested capital. How can these cities become economically dense—not merely crowded? How can they acquire efficient connections? And how can they draw firms and skilled workers with a more affordable, livable urban environment? From a policy standpoint, the answer must be to address the structural problems affecting African cities. Foremost among these problems are institutional and regulatory constraints that misallocate land and labor, fragment physical development, and limit productivity. As long as African cities lack functioning land markets and regulations and early, coordinated infrastructure investments, they will remain local cities: closed to regional and global markets, trapped into producing only locally traded goods and services, and limited in their economic growth.
  • Publication
    The World Bank Group A to Z 2016
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2016) World Bank Group
    Note: Information in this title reflected the institution at the time of publication and may be subject to change... The World Bank Group A to Z provides concise and essential information about the mission, policies, procedures, products, and services of the new World Bank Group. This second edition is a follow-up to the first volume released for the 2014 Annual Meetings. The World Bank Group A to Z series builds on previous editions of A Guide to the World Bank to include features not found in its predecessors including: a graphical introduction to the World Bank Group, highlighting the Bank Group’s goals, financials, regions, and results; examples and photos of Bank Group projects and programs; and tools to guide you to the information you are looking for (even if you don’t know exactly what that is). It also reflects the wide-ranging reforms that have taken place within the World Bank Group in recent years, including the launch of the new World Bank Group Strategy; new approaches to development; the establishment of new Global Practice Groups and Cross Cutting Solutions Areas; and the goal of becoming a “Solutions Bank,” one that will marshal the vast reserves of evidence and experiential knowledge across the five World Bank Group agencies and apply them to local problems. With more than 280 entries arranged in encyclopedic A-to-Z format, readers can easily find up-to-date information about the five agencies of the World Bank Group and the wide range of areas in which they work: from agriculture, education, energy, health, social protection and labor to gender, jobs, conflict, private sector development, trade, water and climate change. The World Bank Group’s work in all of these areas now focuses on two new twin goals: eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity of the poorest 40 percent in every developing country.
  • Publication
    The Africa Competitiveness Report 2015
    (Geneva: World Economic Forum, 2015-06-01) World Economic Forum; World Bank; African Development Bank; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
    The Africa Competitiveness Report 2015 comes out at a promising time for the continent: for 15 years growth rates have averaged over 5 percent, and rapid population growth holds the promise of a large emerging consumer market as well as an unprecedented labor force that - if leveraged - can provide significant growth opportunities. Moreover, the expansion of innovative business models, such as mobile technology services, is indicative of the continents growth potential. However, Africa continues to be largely agrarian, with an economy that is underpinned by resource-driven growth and a large and expanding informal sector. Indeed, more than a decade of consistently high growth rates have not yet trickled down to significant parts of the population: nearly one out of two Africans continue to live in extreme poverty, and income inequality in the region remains among the highest in the world. What is more, across sectors - from agriculture to manufacturing and services - productivity levels remain low. It will be necessary to raise productivity across all sectors of the economy to achieve higher growth and create quality employment, and turn this progress into sustainable inclusive growth.
  • Publication
    The World Bank Group A to Z
    (Washington, DC, 2015) World Bank Group
    Note: Information in this title reflected the institution at the time of publication and may be subject to change... The World Bank Group (also known as the “Bank Group”) is the largest anti-poverty institution in the world, offering loans, advice, knowledge, and an array of customized resources to more than 100 developing countries and countries in transition. Established in 1944 and headquartered in Washington DC, the Bank Group is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is made up of 188 member countries. It works with country governments, the private sector, civil society organizations (CSOs), regional development banks, think tanks, and other international institutions on a range of issues—from climate change, conflict, and food crises to education, agriculture, finance, and trade—with the sole purpose of meeting two goals: ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity of the bottom 40 percent of the population in all developing countries. The World Bank Group A to Z provides ready-reference insight into the history, mission, organization, policies, financial services, and knowledge products of the institution’s five agencies. Each of the more than 200 entries are arranged in encyclopedic A-to-Z format and are extensively cross-referenced to related information in the book. This volume also has a detailed index, reference materials on World Bank Group country membership, organizational charts of the five agencies, and information about how to connect with or work for the institution. Building on previous editions of A Guide to the World Bank, The World Bank Group A to Z has been completely revised and updated to reflect the wide ranging reforms of recent years, including the new World Bank Group Strategy; new approaches to development assistance; the establishment of new Global Practice Groups and Cross Cutting Solutions Areas; and the goal of becoming a “Solutions Bank”, one that will marshal the vast reserves of evidence and experiential knowledge across the five World Bank Group agencies and apply them to local problems. An indispensable guide for anyone interested in understanding what the World Bank Group does and how it does it, this book shows readers who want to learn more where to begin.
  • Publication
    Turn Down the Heat : Confronting the New Climate Normal
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-11-23) World Bank Group
    This report focuses on the risks of climate change to development in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and parts of Europe and Central Asia. Building on earlier Turn Down the Heat reports, this new scientific analysis examines the likely impacts of present day (0.8°C), 2°C and 4°C warming above pre-industrial temperatures on agricultural production, water resources, ecosystem services, and coastal vulnerability for affected populations. Data show that dramatic climate changes, heat, and weather extremes are already impacting people, damaging crops and coastlines, and putting food, water, and energy security at risk. Across the three regions studied in this report, record-breaking temperatures are occurring more frequently, rainfall has increased in intensity in some places, while drought-prone regions are getting dryer. The poor and underprivileged, as well as the elderly and children, are found to be hit the hardest. There is growing evidence that even with very ambitious mitigation action, warming close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by mid-century is already locked into the Earth’s atmospheric system, and climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be unavoidable. If the planet continues warming to 4°C, climatic conditions, heat, and other weather extremes considered highly unusual or unprecedented today would become the new climate normal—a world of increased risks and instability. The consequences for development would be severe as crop yields decline, water resources change, diseases move into new ranges, and sea levels rise. The task of promoting human development, ending poverty, increasing global prosperity, and reducing global inequality will be very challenging in a 2°C world, but in a 4°C world there is serious doubt whether this can be achieved at all. Immediate steps are needed to help countries adapt to the climate impacts being felt today and the unavoidable consequences of a rapidly warming world. The benefits of strong, early action on climate change -- action that follows clean, low carbon pathways and avoids locking in unsustainable growth strategies -- far outweigh the costs. Many of the worst projected climate impacts could still be avoided by holding warming to below 2°C. But the time to act is now.
  • Publication
    The Economic Impact of the 2014 Ebola Epidemic : Short- and Medium-Term Estimates for West Africa
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-11-20) World Bank Group
    Beyond the terrible toll in human lives and suffering, the Ebola epidemic currently afflicting West Africa is already having a measurable economic impact in terms of forgone output; higher fiscal deficits; rising prices; lower real household incomes and greater poverty. These economic impacts include the costs of healthcare and forgone productivity of those directly affected but, more importantly, they arise from choices by others to avoid exposure to the disease, called 'aversion behavior'. This report provides a systematic analysis of the channels of economic impact and the likely magnitude of that impact for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, as well as West Africa as a whole. The short-term (2014) impact of Ebola on economic output is on the order of US$359 million in foregone output in 2013 prices. Two alternative scenarios are used to estimate the medium-term (2015) impact of the epidemic. A 'Low Ebola' scenario corresponds to rapid containment within the three most severely affected countries, while 'High Ebola' corresponds to slower containment in the core three countries, with some broader regional contagion. The estimates of the GDP lost as a result of the epidemic in the core three countries for 2015 alone sum to US$97 million under Low Ebola (implying some recovery from 2014), and US$809 million under High Ebola (in 2013 dollars). Over the medium term, however, both epidemiological and economic contagion in the broader sub-region of West Africa is likely. This report uses a multi-country general equilibrium model to estimate the medium-term impact on output for West Africa as a whole. Under Low Ebola, the loss in GDP for the sub-region is estimated to be US$2.2 billion in 2014 and US$1.6 billion in 2015. Under High Ebola, the estimates are US$7.4 billion in 2014, and US$25.2 billion in 2015. This analysis shows that the economic impacts are already very serious in the core three countries - particularly Liberia and Sierra Leone - and could become catastrophic under a slow-containment, High Ebola scenario. In broader regional terms, the economic impacts could be limited if immediate national and international responses succeed in containing the epidemic and mitigating aversion behavior. If, on the other hand, the epidemic spreads into neighboring countries, some of which have much larger economies, the cumulative two-year impact could reach US$32.6 billion by the end of 2015 - almost 2.5 times the combined 2013 GDP of the core three countries.
  • Publication
    The Fiscal Dimension of HIV/AIDS in Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland, and Uganda
    (World Bank, 2012) Lule, Elizabeth; Haacker, Markus
    HIV/AIDS imposes enormous economic, social, health, and human costs and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The challenge is particularly acute in Sub-Saharan Africa, home to two-thirds (22.5 million) of the people living with HIV/AIDS globally, and where HIV/AIDS has become the leading cause of premature death. But now, after decades of misery and frustration with the disease, there are signs of hope. HIV prevalence rates in Africa are stabilizing. This book sheds light on these concerns by analyzing the fiscal implications of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa, the epicenter of the epidemic. It uses the toolbox of public finance to assess the sustainability of HIV/AIDS programs. Importantly, it highlights the long-term nature of the fiscal commitments implied by HIV/AIDS programs, and explicitly discusses the link between HIV infections and the resulting commitments of fiscal resources. The analysis shows that, absent adjustments to policies, treatment is not sustainable. But it also shows that, by accompanying treatment with prevention, and making existing programs more cost-effective, these countries can manage both treatment and fiscal sustainability. Even in countries where HIV/AIDS-related spending is high or increasing (as past infections translate into an increasing demand for treatment), the fiscal space absorbed by the costs of HIV/AIDS-related services will decline if progress in containing and rolling back the number of new infections can be sustained. The purpose of this study is to refine the analysis of the fiscal burden of HIV/AIDS on national governments and assess the fiscal risks associated with scaling-up national HIV/AIDS responses. The study complements and contributes to the agenda on identifying and creating fiscal space for HIV/AIDS and other development expenditures. The findings from this study, and the analytical tools developed in it, could help governments in defining policy objectives, improving fiscal planning, and conducting their dialogue with donor agencies.