Owusu, Solomon

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Structural transformation, International trade, Global value chains, Development Economics
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Solomon Owusu is a research economist at the German Development Institute (DIE) in Bonn, Germany, and also serves as a coordinator of the Complexity Economics Working Group of the Young Scholars’ Initiative, Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET, New York). He is also a former World Bank Africa fellow. Solomon has experience in economic research, teaching, and policy from working with and working on projects for reputable organizations such as the World Bank (Washington, DC), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO, Vienna), European Commission (EU-JRC, Belgium), Asian Development Bank, United Nations University–MERIT (the Netherlands), and Ghana Statistical Service. He is currently finalizing his PhD in economics at the Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Solomon’s research focuses broadly on development economics in areas such as the measurement and analysis of structural transformation, jobs and inclusive growth, global and regional value chains, international trade, and issues at the intersection of technology and productivity in developing countries with particular focus on countries in Africa. Solomon’s research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the World Economy and Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    Africa in Manufacturing Global Value Chains: Cross-Country Patterns in the Dynamics of Linkages
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10) Abreha, Kaleb ; Lartey, Emmanuel ; Mengistae, Taye ; Owusu, Solomon ; Zeufack, Albert
    Africa's linkages in manufacturing global value chains are reasonably high compared with other developing regions. Still, linkage rates have declined steeply in recent years in non-resource rich countries in the region although they have increased sharply in countries that are rich in natural resources. Moreover, the level and dynamics of linkages to manufacturing global value chains vary significantly between countries within each group of natural resource endowments. The current levels, activity structure, and geographic configuration of linkage rates evolved over the past 20 years. In addition, these linkages cut across broad activity categories, including manufacturing textiles and apparel, metal products, transport equipment, and electrical goods. This paper analyzes the sources of the variation in linkage rates in the framework of an estimated gravity and linear probability model. It is shown that the domestic actors in these linkages are typically relatively large establishments (100 or more employees) and have been in operation for five years or longer. These manufacturers are also more likely to have foreign equity holders or foreign technology licenses. These findings should be seen in the light of policies that promote industrialization by facilitating integration into manufacturing global value chains at links that maximize job and productivity gains.
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    Industrialization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Seizing Opportunities in Global Value Chains
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-11-23) Abreha, Kaleb G. ; Kassa, Woubet ; Lartey, Emmanuel K.K. ; Mengistae, Taye A. ; Owusu, Solomon ; Zeufack, Albert G.
    Industrialization drives the sustained growth in jobs and productivity that marks the developmental take-off of most developed economies. Yet, academics and policy makers have questioned the role of manufacturing in development for late industrializers, especially in view of rapid advancements in technologies and restructuring of international trade. Concurrently, industrialization and structural transformation are integral to the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the development strategies of several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Given this renewed interest in industrialization across the region, a central question is not whether SSA countries should pursue industrialization as a potential path to sustainable growth but how to promote the prospects of industrialization. Industrialization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Seizing Opportunities in Global Value Chains addresses this question by reassessing the prospects for industrialization in SSA countries through integration into global value chains. It also examines the role of policy in enhancing these prospects. The main findings indicate that • SSA has not experienced premature deindustrialization; the region has witnessed substantial growth in manufacturing jobs despite a lack of improvement in the contribution of manufacturing value-added to GDP. • The region’s integration into manufacturing global value chains is reasonably high but it is dominated by exports of primary products and engagement in low-skill tasks. • Global value chain integration has led to job growth, and backward integration is associated with more job creation. The report emphasizes the role of policy in maintaining a competitive market environment, promoting productivity growth, and investing in skills development and enabling sectors such as infrastructure and finance. Policy makers can strengthen the global value chain linkages by (1) increasing the value-added content of current exports, (2) upgrading into high-skill tasks, and (3) creating comparative advantages in knowledge-intensive industries.
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    Africa's Pulse, No. 25, April 2022
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-04-13) Zeufack, Albert G. ; Calderon, Cesar ; Kabundi, Alain ; Kubota, Megumi ; Korman, Vijdan ; Raju, Dhushyanth ; Abreha, Kaleb Girma ; Kassa, Woubet ; Owusu, Solomon
    Sub-Saharan Africa's recovery from the pandemic is expected to decelerate in 2022 amid a slowdown in global economic activity, continued supply constraints, outbreaks of new coronavirus variants, climatic shocks, high inflation, and rising financial risks due to high and increasingly vulnerable debt levels. The war in Ukraine has exacerbated the already existing tensions and vulnerabilities affecting the continent. Given the sources of growth in the region and the nature of the economic linkages with Russia and Ukraine, the war in Ukraine might have a marginal impact on economic growth and on overall poverty—as this shock affects mostly the urban poor and vulnerable people living just above the poverty line. However, its largest impact is on the increasing likelihood of civil strife as a result of food- and energy-fueled inflation amid an environment of heightened political instability. The looming threats of stagflation require a two-pronged strategy that combines short-term measures to contain inflationary pressures and medium-to-long-term policies that accelerate the structural transformation and create more and better jobs. In response to supply shocks, monetary policy in the region may prove ineffective to bring down inflation and other short-run options may be restricted by the lack of fiscal space. Concessional financing might be key to helping countries alleviate the impact of food and fuel inflation. Over the medium term, avoiding stagflation may require a combination of actionable measures that improve the resilience of the economy by shoring up productivity and job creation. Lastly, ongoing actions to enhance social protection—including dynamic delivery systems for rapid scalability and shock-sensitive financing—could be strengthened further to improve economic resilience against shocks and foster investments in productive assets.
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    Technology in the Classroom and Learning in Secondary Schools
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06) Blimpo, Moussa P. ; Gajigo, Ousman ; Owusu, Solomon ; Tomita, Ryoko ; Xu, Yanbin
    This paper studies the impact of a computer-assisted learning program on learning outcomes among high school students in The Gambia. The program uses innovative technologies and teaching approach to facilitate the teaching of mathematics and science. Since the pilot schools were not randomly chosen, the study first used administrative and survey data, including a written test, to build a credible counterfactual of comparable groups of control students. It used these data to conduct a pre-analysis plan prior to students taking the high-stakes certification exam. The study later used the certification exam data on the same students to replicate the results. The findings show that the program led to a 0.59 standard deviation gains in mathematics scores and an increase of 15 percentage points (a threefold increase) in the share of students who obtained credit in mathematics and English, a criterion for college admission in The Gambia. The impact is concentrated among high-achieving students at the baseline, irrespective of their gender or socioeconomic background.