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Publication(Washington, DC, 2013-08) World BankThis First Phase Report on Sierra Leone growth poles is the result of a 9 months consultative process led by the Office of the President which specifically requested that the output of this diagnostic be in an engaging format. The fundamental concept of growth poles is that they exploit agglomeration economies and spillover effects to spread resulting prosperity from the core of the pole to the periphery. At the basis of this theory is the assumption that economic development is not uniform over a region. Rather, it concentrates around a geographic feature or economic hub. In particular, it frequently concentrates around a key industry, around which linked industries develop. A growth pole can be used to nurture direct and indirect linkages from the flagship industry to supporting sectors, which vastly expands the employment generation potential of new investments in said flagship industry. The expansion of this key industry implies the expansion of output, employment, related investments, as well as new technologies and new industrial sectors.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2005-11) World BankThis paper looks at firm-level evidence on the African business environment from surveys undertaken for Investment Climate Assessments by the World Bank in 2000-2004. These surveys confirm a pattern of generally low "factory-floor" productivity, and show that this is partly due to business environment-related losses. The surveys also show the importance of high indirect costs in further depressing the "net" productivity of African firms relative to those in other regions. Reforms are moving forward but more slowly than is needed to accelerate growth; this raises the possibility that countries settle into a low-level political equilibrium sustained partly by structural and ethnic cleavages.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2005-01) World BankThe conclusions of the recently-conducted Kenya Investment Climate Assessment (ICA), based on a survey of 368 firms, have a bearing on the country's growth agenda. The results have a bearing on the key issue of labor productivity and its implications on firm performance, revealing that capital-intensity in Kenya was relatively high, compared to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and also to firms in China and India, but also relatively less productive. Labor productivity in Kenya had not improved materially over the past decade or so, so that unit labor costs compared very unfavorably with those prevailing in Asian countries like India, China, Indonesia or Thailand. Major constraints to doing business cited by firms in the survey related to infrastructure, tax administration and corruption. On infrastructure, power supply was seen as the most problematic, on account of the high number of outages, compounded by high losses in transmission and distribution. 64 percent of firms reported damage to equipment on account of power outages or fluctuations valued at nearly $15,000 per firm per year. To cope with these outages 70 percent of firms had acquired generators, further adding to the cost of doing business. Road and rail services were reported by most firms as being of very poor quality, and nearly a quarter of firms reported having to spend their own resources to improve the quality of roads in surrounding areas. On corruption, three quarters of firms surveyed reported this as a problem, though only about half reported having to spend resources in terms of unofficial payments.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2003-01-10) World BankThis study was designed to go below the radar of Zambia's macroeconomic developments to examine trends, constraints, and opportunities in specific economic subsectors. It sought to build upon existing and planned analyses within the country in order to better understand: 1) the underlying bases for competitive advantage and disadvantage in the evolving Zambian economy; 2) the likely sustainability of those patterns of economic diversification which have already taken place; 3) what linkages have and have not been formed within the agricultural and mining sectors which might still be a basis for future growth; 4) the specific effects of certain macroeconomic developments and "external" events on different stakeholders and the types of responses they have made to these; and 5) what measures could be taken to improve competitiveness within the Zambian economy and accelerate future growth. The work was designed to complement on-going analytical work, especially by the Export Board of Zambia and the Zambia National Farmers Union, ans also complement on-going work to assess the constraints and opportunities facing Zambia's tourism sector. The present study draws upon available data, an updated analysis of agricultural production costs and profitability, and surveys of private agribusiness, non-traditional export, and mining (and mining-related companies. A parallel analysis was undertaken on the food and agricultural import demand into South Africa, a potential trade destination.