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Zeufack, Albert G.

Office of the Chief Economist for Africa Region
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Zeufack, Albert (ed.)
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Micro-foundations of macroeconomics
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Office of the Chief Economist for Africa Region
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Last updated: April 3, 2023
Biography
Albert G. Zeufack is the World Bank Country Director for Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sao Tome and Principe. Prior to this assignment, from 2016 to 2022, Dr. Zeufack held the position of Chief Economist for the World Bank’s Africa region. A Cameroonian national, Dr. Zeufack joined the World Bank in 1997 as a Young Professional and started his career as a research economist in the macroeconomics division of the research department. Since then, he has held several positions in the World Bank’s Africa, East Asia and Pacific, and Europe and Central Asia regions. Between 2008 and 2012, when on leave from the World Bank, he served as Director of Research and Investment Strategy/Chief Economist for Khazanah Nasional Berhad, a Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund. He previously worked as Director of Research at the Natural Resource Governance Institute, and before that he co-founded the Natural Resource Charter.
Citations 11 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 12
  • Publication
    Africa's Pulse, No. 23, April 2021: An Analysis of Issues Shaping Africa’s Economic Future
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-04) Zeufack, Albert G.; Kambou, Gerard; Kubota, Megumi; Korman, Vijdan; Cantu Canales, Catalina; Aviomoh, Henry E.
    The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa has been severe; however, countries are weathering the storm so far. Real GDP is estimated to contract by 2.0 percent in 2020—close to the lower bound of the forecast range in April 2020, and less than the contraction in advanced economies and other emerging markets and developing economies, excluding China. Available data from the second half of 2020 point to rebound in economic activity that explain why the contraction in the region was in the lower bound of the forecasts. It reflected a slower spread of the virus and lower COVID-19-related mortality in the region, strong agricultural growth, and a faster-than-expected recovery in commodity prices. Economic activity in the region is expected to rise to a range between2.3 and 3.4 percent in 2021, depending on the policy measures adopted by countries and the international community. However, prospects for a slow vaccine rollout, the resurgence of pandemic, and limited scope for additional fiscal support, could hold back the recovery in the region. Policies to support the economy in the near term should be complemented by structural reforms that encourage sustained investment, create jobs and enhance competitiveness. Reducing the countries’ debt burden will release resources for public investment, in areas such as education, health, and infrastructure. Investments in human capital will help lower the risk of long-lasting damage from the pandemic which may become apparent over the longer term, and can enhance competitiveness and productivity. The next twelve months will be a critical period for leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area in order to deepen African countries’ integration into regional and global value chains. Finally, reforms that address digital infrastructure gaps and make the digital economy more inclusive –ensuring affordability but also building skills for all segments of society, are critical to improve connectivity, boost digital technology adoption, and generate more and better jobs for men and women.
  • Publication
    Trade Integration, Export Patterns, and Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-01) Calderon, Cesar; Cantu, Catalina; Zeufack, Albert G.
    This paper examines systematically the growth effects of trade integration in Sub-Saharan Africa. It complements and improves upon the empirical literature in two aspects: first, it jointly estimates the impact of different dimensions of trade integration, namely, trade volumes, export/trade patterns by product (primary and manufacturing goods), and by destination (inter- and intra-regional). Second, it estimates the impact of trade integration on economic growth and its sources, that is, capital accumulation and total factor productivity growth. The analysis finds causal evidence that trade integration fosters growth. Additionally, manufacturing trade boosts growth and trade in primary goods hampers growth. Doubling the manufacturing trade share in Sub-Saharan Africa's gross domestic product would increase growth by 1.9 percentage points per year, while increases in primary trade reduce growth by 1 percentage point. This impact is mainly transmitted through lower capital accumulation. Finally, inter- and intra-regional trade have a positive impact on growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. Doubling inter-regional trade will increase growth by 1.9 percentage points, and the same increase for intra-regional trade enhances growth by 0.6 percentage points. The effects of inter-regional trade are transmitted primarily through capital accumulation, while those of intra-regional trade are channeled through enhanced total factor productivity growth.
  • Publication
    Sources of Productivity Growth in Uganda: The Role of Interindustry and Intra-industry Misallocation in the 2000s
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-12) Dennis, Allen; Mengistae, Taye; Yoshino, Yutaka; Zeufack, Albert
    Uganda's growth in gross domestic product of the 2000s was accompanied by high growth rates of labor productivity across industries producing tradable goods and services. This came about primarily as a result of investment in equipment and other fixed assets, but also entailed substantial gains in total factor productivity Based on data from two waves of the Uganda Business Indicators survey this paper estimates that economy wide aggregate labor productivity and aggregate TFP grew at average annual rates of 13 t and 3 percent, respectively between survey years 2002 and 2009. Part of the growth in productivity on each measure reflected gains from technical progress made at the establishment level and within narrowly defined industries. But it was also in part the outcome of reallocation of labor and capital within as well as across industries. In particular, the paper estimates that about one-fifth of the aggregate growth in labor productivity between the two years reflected the shifting of labor toward industries and sectors where it was more productive on average and at the margin. The rest of the observed growth in labor productivity reflected gains made within narrowly defined industries. But almost in every case 55 to 90 percent of the observed "within industry" growth in labor productivity represented allocative efficiency gains from the correction of intra-industry inter-firm misallocation of labor. The balance of the observed within-industry growth in labor productivity represented establishment-level gains in technical efficiency.
  • Publication
    Risk Sharing in Labor Markets
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2003-09) Bigsten, Arne; Collier, Paul; Dercon, Stefan; Fafchamps, Marcel; Gauthier, Bernard; Gunning, Jan Willem; Oduro, Abena; Oostendorp, Remco; Pattillo, Cathy; Soderbom, Mans; Teal, Francis; Zeufack, Albert
    Empirical work in labor economics has focused on rent sharing as an explanation for the observed correlation between wages and profitability. The alternative explanation of risk sharing between workers and employers has not been tested. Using a unique panel data set for four African countries, Authors find strong evidence of risk sharing. Workers in effect offer insurance to employers: when firms are hit by temporary shocks, the effect on profits is cushioned by risk sharing with workers. Rent sharing is a symptom of an inefficient labor market. Risk sharing; by contrast, can be seen as an efficient response to missing markets. Authors evidence suggests that risk sharing accounts for a substantial part of the observed effect of shocks on wages.
  • Publication
    Market Access, Supplier Access, and Africa's Manufactured Exports : An Analysis of the Role of Geography and Institutions
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-06) Elbadawi, Ibrahim; Mengistae, Taye; Zeufack, Albert
    In a large cross-country sample of manufacturing establishments drawn from 188 cities, average exports per establishment are smaller for African firms than for businesses in other regions. The authors show that this is mainly because, on average, African firms face more adverse economic geography and operate in poorer institutional settings. Once they control for the quality of institutions and economic geography, what in effect is a negative African dummy disappears from the firm level exports equation they estimate. One part of the effect of geography operates through Africa's lower "foreign market access:" African firms are located further away from wealthier or denser potential export markets. A second occurs through the region's lower "supplier access:" African firms face steeper input prices, partly because of their physical distance from cheaper foreign suppliers, and partly because domestic substitutes for importable inputs are more expensive. Africa's poorer institutions reduce its manufactured exports directly, as well as indirectly, by lowering foreign market access and supplier access. Both geography and institutions influence average firm level exports significantly more through their effect on the number of exporters than through their impact on how much each exporter sells in foreign markets.
  • Publication
    Selection, Firm Turnover, and Productivity Growth: Do Emerging Cities Speed Up the Process?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-01) Jones, Patricia; Mengistae, Taye; Zeufack, Albert
    This paper identifies and estimates the impact of firm entry and exit on plant-level productivity in Ethiopia as part of a selection mechanism that might be driving aggregate productivity growth in cities. Specifically, the paper investigates how firms’ entry and exit contribute to the pace of factor reallocation and total factor productivity growth within industries—and whether these processes occur in higher numbers and rates in larger cities. The analysis is carried out using establishment census data from Ethiopia that cover the period from year 2000 to 2010. Importantly, these data include information on plants’ physical outputs and their prices, which allows distinguishing between revenue-based measures of total factor productivity (TFPR) and those based on physical productivity (TFPQ). The analysis reveals that these two measures generate very different results under imperfect competition, suggesting that physical productivity measures (TFPQ) are better suited to examining firm dynamics when local producers have some degree of market power. In addition, the findings show that less productive (higher cost) firms are more likely to exit than their more productive (lower cost) rivals—but the analysis controls for producers’ transport costs. This is consistent with the probability of firm exit being higher when transport costs are lower.
  • 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
    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.
  • Publication
    Market Size, Sunk Costs of Entry, and Transport Costs: An Empirical Evaluation of the Impact of Demand-Side Factors versus Supply-Side Factors on Manufacturing Productivity
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06) Jones, Patricia; Lartey, Emmanuel; Mengistae, Taye; Zeufack, Albert
    This paper uses plant-level, panel data from the Ethiopian manufacturing census to estimate the effects of demand-side and supply-side factors on industrywide aggregate productivity. The paper focuses on the effects of three factors: (1) local market size, (2) the value of transportation costs that firms incur in selling to customers outside their market, and (3) licensing fees needed to enter the market. Identification is based on a model of production under monopolistic competition, which enables interpreting the estimated coefficients of a reduced form, dynamic productivity equation. The paper analyzes 11 industries in Ethiopia over 2000 to 2010. Several interesting results emerge. In the most parsimonious specification, the estimated coefficients are consistent with all three predictions of the model—but only for one industry: cinder blocks. In this industry, the expansion of the local market boosts industrywide total factor revenue productivity, while increases in transport costs and licensing fees reduce it. The picture is somewhat mixed in the other 10 industries but broadly consistent with the predictions of the model.
  • Publication
    Structural Transformation and Productivity Growth in Africa: Uganda in the 2000s
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-12) Ahmed, Sabin; Mengistae, Taye; Yoshino, Yutaka; Zeufack, Albert G.
    Uganda’s economy underwent significant structural change in the 2000s whereby the share of non-tradable services in aggregate employment rose by about 7 percentage points at the expense of the production of tradable goods. The process also involved a 12-percentage-point shift in employment away from small and medium enterprises and larger firms in manufacturing and commercial agriculture mainly to microenterprises in retail trade. In addition, the sectoral reallocation of labor on these two dimensions coincided with significant growth in aggregate labor productivity. However, in and of itself, the same reallocation could only have held back, rather than aid, the observed productivity gains. This was because labor was more productive throughout the period in the tradable goods sector than in the non-tradable sector. Moreover, the effect on aggregate labor productivity of the reallocation of employment between the two sectors could only have been reinforced by the impacts on the same of the rise in the employment share of microenterprises. The effect was also strengthened by a parallel employment shift across the age distribution of enterprises that raised sharply the employment share of established firms at the expense of younger ones and startups. Not only was labor consistently less productive in microenterprises than in small and medium enterprises and larger enterprises across all industries throughout the period, it was also typically less productive in more established firms than in younger ones.