World Bank Country Studies

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Country Studies are published with approval of the subject government to communicate the results of the Bank's work on the economic and related conditions of member countries to governments and to the development community. This series as been superseded by the World Bank Studies series.
Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa, home to more than 1 billion people, half of whom will be under 25 years old by 2050, is a diverse ...

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 13
  • Publication
    Decentralization, Democracy, and Development : Recent Experience from Sierra Leone
    (World Bank, 2009-06-01) Zhou, Yongmei; Zhou, Yongmei
    In 2004, the government of Sierra Leone opted for a rethink of its national governance arrangement by embarking on the resuscitation of democratically elected local government after 32 years experimenting with central government appointed district and municipal governments. The decision by the government and the people of Sierra Leone was driven by a primary consideration to address the country's seeming nonperformance in the areas of citizens' participation in governance and responding to the needs of citizens as it relates to attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as ensuring poverty reduction in the country. This book is a retrospective of the decentralization reform process in Sierra Leone from 2003-07. During this period, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) reestablished elected district and urban councils across the country, transferred certain responsibilities for primary services and local investment and some financial resources to the new councils, and invested heavily in building the administrative infrastructure and capacity of the local councils. The author is partners who were intimately involved in the reform. Through recording various aspects of the process and reflecting on the observations and learning during that time, the author hope to contribute to the debates on the merits and risks of decentralization in general and its desirability and viability in post-conflict countries.
  • Publication
    Zambia Health Sector Public : Accounting for Resources to Improve Effective Service Coverage
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2009) Picazo, Oscar F.; Zhao, Feng
    Over the past few years, three nagging problems have bedeviled Zambia's health sector: the country is falling off-track from reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it is facing severe financing constraints on the government front, and the health and HIV/AIDS sector is increasingly being fragmented by the reemergence of global disease initiatives. This health sector pubic expenditure review (PER) seeks to assist the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) and its development partners take stock of the resources in the health sector and how these resources can be better used to produce better health services. The results of the PER are expected to be the used for a variety of purposes, including the preparation of the health sector strategic plan, and succeeding rounds of the global fund request for proposals. Policy dialogue between the Bank and GRZ, both at the macro and sector levels, can also be enriched by the PER. The PER also provides critical inputs into the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) process, and in the assessment of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). Likewise, the PER can provide inputs to fine-tune the process of the pooled basket funding mechanism under the sector-wide approach (SWAp).
  • Publication
    Putting Tanzania's Hidden Economy to Work : Reform, Management, and Protection of its Natural Resource Sector
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2008) World Bank
    This paper tells a story about conditions in Tanzania's hidden economy, the parts of the natural resource sector often ignored in conventional economic analyses and studies, and makes recommendations for future policy actions. The paper draws primarily from extensive background studies undertaken of the forestry, fishery, wildlife, mining, and tourism sub sectors (COWI 2005) as well as a wide range of complementary studies undertaken by the World Bank and others. It de-emphasizes those sectors with factors of production that are not readily traded or exported (such as land and water), although some examples are given relating to soil quality and water management based on extensive studies undertaken within the agriculture and water sectors. The story is relatively simple: pricing distortions, coupled with institutional weakness and the lack of rule of law, have created an environment that undermines economic growth. This paper also acknowledges that Tanzania has already taken positive steps to making some of the needed corrections to protect its natural resources. In recent analyses of corruption indicators world-wide (World Bank Institute 2006), Tanzanian stands out among those nations as having made significant progress towards improving accountability and reducing economic leakages. Anti-corruption legislation was drafted for parliament attention in early 2007. Revisions to the Deep Sea Fishing Authority Act were passed into law in early 2007. Moreover, changes in institutional arrangements, taxation, and general management of the resource sector show promise and have contributed positively to general economic growth. Yet, the sector remains fragile and vulnerable in other respects: perceptions of unequal income distribution, impacts of climate change, and other external influences must also be addressed to build on past successes.
  • Publication
    Angola : Oil, Broad-Based Growth, and Equity
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2007) World Bank
    This book points out that the main issues confronting the Angolan authorities in their efforts to consolidate macroeconomic stability on a sustainable basis and in promoting an improvement in the welfare of the Angolan citizens do not seem to differ significantly from those addressed in the 1990 report. Therefore, in the current Country Economic Memorandum, the Bank reassesses some of the key issues that remain relevant nowadays and that should help the Angolan economy reach a path of sustainable economic development. The analysis in this report centers around the following four core issues: (i) taking stock of socio-economic realities; (ii) the options available for the management of the country's mineral wealth without deleterious macroeconomic consequences; (iii) the main constraints to economic diversification away from the mineral sectors; and (iv) the challenges and opportunities to improve the welfare of the population. Each of these core issues forms the building blocks that provide an overview of the current situation and a possible solution to Angola's structural problems in the short to the medium term. The report thus plays an informative role and offers policy recommendations. In Chapter 1, the analysis starts with a brief discussion of socio-economic realities in the country. In Chapter 2, a comprehensive macroeconomic assessment is presented highlighting major past features, the country's constant search for stability, and recent successes in the macroeconomic front. In Chapter 3, the report discusses the structure of the petroleum sector, the future production profile, the size of the oil wealth, and policy options to manage the revenue windfall. Chapter 4 focuses on the diamond sector, its structure, legal and fiscal framework, and explores ways in which the sector can improve its contribution to social development. In Chapter 5, the report assesses the quality of the business environment and the opportunities to improve the investment climate. Chapter 6 discusses alternatives to unleash the potential of the agricultural sector in generating employment outside of the mineral sectors. Finally in Chapter 7, the analysis focuses on how to improve the livelihoods of the poor and of the vulnerable with recommendations on how to use the mineral wealth to improve public service delivery targeted to the poor.
  • Publication
    Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability in Niger
    (Washington, DC, 2005) World Bank
    This study shows how difficult it is for Niger to significantly change its expenditure composition in a short time span. A narrow and volatile domestic resource base, heavy dependence on aid, and a large share of pre-determined expenditures such as external debt payments are important factors behind this lack of flexibility. There are ways, though, to create space in the budget for increasing public spending on priority sectors. The study identifies a number of measures in this regard, such as increasing domestic revenues, more realistic and conservative budgeting, strengthening cash management, controlling the wage bill, prudent borrowing and attracting higher external financing for recurrent costs in priority sectors. The study also shows that enhancing the efficiency and transparency of public spending is as important as increasing spending for PRS priority sectors. It thoroughly assesses public management systems in Niger and presents an action plan, jointly elaborated by the Government and its main external partners, to address the main challenges in this area. This action plan contains a priority set of measures to improve budget preparation, execution as well as internal and external oversight.
  • Publication
    Education in Ethiopia : Strengthening the Foundation for Sustainable Progress
    (Washington, DC, 2005) World Bank
    With the end of civil war in 1991, Ethiopia's government launched a New Education and Training Policy in 1994 which, by the early 2000s, had already produced remarkable results. The gross enrollment ratio rose from 20 to 62 percent in primary education between 1993-94 and 2001-02; and in secondary and higher education it climbed, respectively, from 8 to 12 percent and from 0.5 to 1.7 percent. Yet the government can hardly afford to rest on its laurels. Primary education is still not universal, and already there are concerns about plummeting educational quality and the growing pressures to expand post-primary education. Addressing these challenges will require more resources, both public and private. Yet money alone is insufficient. Focusing on primary and secondary education, this report argues for wise tradeoffs in the use of resources-a result that will often require reforming the arrangements for service delivery. These changes, in turn, need to be fostered by giving lower levels of government more leeway to adapt central standards-such as those for teacher recruitment and school construction-to local conditions, including local resource constraints; and by strengthening accountability for results at all levels of administration in the education system.
  • Publication
    Zambia : Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability Review
    (Washington, DC, 2004-10-12) World Bank
    Zambia's economy is not growing fast. Poverty is on the rise. The quality of economic governance is on the decline. And public resources are not well spent. The badly needed first steps to reverse all this are to start getting the budgetary allocations right and to make sure those allocations go where they re intended. That requires making the public aware of the government s budgetary decisions and holding the government accountable for better performance. Budgets, now not credible, have to become credible. Spending rules, where they exist, must be strengthened and enforced. Where rules are missing, they must be created and once again enforced to remove today s pernicious discretion. Addressing the longstanding challenges that Zambia faces in public expenditure management will require strong political will. For Zambia to assure that public accountability is enduring and not dependent on the government of the day, it must strengthen budget processes and institutions that can provide public oversight and promote basic checks and balances. This report provides an analysis of how Zambia can strengthen budgetary processes and institutions for accountability and effective service delivery to its citizens.
  • Publication
    The Health Sector in Eritrea
    (Washington, DC, 2004-06) World Bank
    This study serves as the preliminary basis for further rounds of discussions and analyses among stakeholders to arrive at a strategic vision for the Eritrea health sector. It incorporates comments received from the Ministry of Health's central agencies, Zoba (regional) health teams, external partners working in Eritrea, and the World Bank Eritrea Country Team. In March 2001, the Ministry of Health of the Government of Eritrea launched a process to prepare a long-term health sector policy and strategic plan (HSPSP), with a focus on assuring equitable, quality, and sustainable health care. The Ministry outlined an open, participatory, three-step process for developing the HSPSP, with active participation from all partners in the health sector.
  • Publication
    Decentralization in Madagascar
    (Washington, DC, 2004-06) World Bank
    This paper takes stock of Madagascar's first 10 years of decentralization. As it happened in many other developing countries, particularly in Africa, Madagascar's decentralization process has seen reversals, uncertainties and lack of clarity all along. This explains why Madagascar, despite the experience with decentralization, remains a highly centralized country with only about 3-4 percent of expenditures spent below the center and with very few prerogatives decentralized to the local level. Notwithstanding the structural impediments to decentralization in poor countries, many positive lessons can be drawn from the Madagascar case, which point to the potentials of the decentralization process. This study provides a detailed analysis of local government finances and develops a methodology for measuring local financing needs (local fiscal gap methodology). Based on this analysis, the study argues that a lot can be gained from simplifying administrative arrangements and fiscal relationships. Instead of a full-blown and ambitious decentralization strategy, this book suggests a number of reforms, which would go a long way by making the current structure work better. These reforms include: (1) a full transfer of the (limited) local competencies to commune, particularly local revenue collection; (2) increasing transfers to rural communes so that per capita allocations would be the same across communes-rural and urban; and (3) assigning revenues to one level of government only, except for some very specific types of taxes (such as on natural resources).
  • Publication
    Education in Rwanda : Rebalancing Resources to Accelerate Post-Conflict Development and Poverty Reduction
    (Washington, DC, 2004) World Bank
    Rwanda's recent history was marred by genocide in 1994, in which at least ten percent of the population lost their lives. Rebuilding the stock of human capital is an important part of the rehabilitation process, where the government has made efforts to broaden access to education, and enhance the quality of services. On the international stage, the education sector has also come into the limelight, specifically under the 2000 United Nations Millennium Declaration, and, the foregoing context presents clear challenges for education managers. The purpose of this report is to provide a factual basis for discussion. Noteworthy are the efforts to reduce grade repetition in primary education; and similarly, reforms in higher education finance have been launched to reduce the cost of government-sponsored overseas studies. The report is addressed to Rwanda's policymakers in the education sector, as well as to education practitioners, and should also be of interest to policymakers in other parts of the government, particularly those charged with managing the country's development strategy, and aligning public spending accordingly. The breadth of its coverage is limited to key economic aspects that are particularly relevant in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) context: cost, finance, service delivery, and education outcomes. Most impressive is the rapid pace of enrollment increase in the aftermath of the genocide. As the system has expanded, it has done so in ways that has moved it toward a good balance between the public, and private sectors, which also compares favorably with that of other low-income countries in Africa, in terms of the socioeconomic disparities in educational access. Challenges ahead focus on managing student flow and graduate output, mobilizing and making effective use of resources for education, ensuring that public resources for education reach the front lines, balancing the accessibility of schools against considerations of scale economies, managing classroom conditions and processes to enhance student learning, and minimizing the barriers to education for orphans and other vulnerable groups. Nevertheless, the task ahead remains daunting as the recovery phase gives way to implementing the sector ' s long-term development. Concerns about efficiency, equity, and fiscal sustainability will be inevitably relevant, as the country seeks to advance educational progress in a resource-constrained environment.