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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 24
  • Publication
    Borrow with Sorrow? The Changing Risk Profile of Sub-Saharan Africa's Debt
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-01) Calderon, Cesar; Zeufack, Albert G.
    In the post-global financial crisis period, the financing of countercyclical policies led not only to a reduction in the fiscal surpluses across Sub-Saharan African countries, but also an increase in their levels of indebtedness. Although public debt for the region in 2018 was still below that of the pre-debt forgiveness period, the risk profile of public debt has sharply increased. The share of concessional public debt has been declining while that owed to private creditors and non–Paris Club bilateral creditors has been rising. The resulting reconfiguration of public debt has led to increased debt service in the region. Hence, the higher risk profile of debt and rising payments might lower the threshold for debt distress in the region. Addressing public debt vulnerabilities requires the buildup of external and fiscal buffers by conducting prudent fiscal policies and implementing growth-enhancing reforms, and the strengthening of debt management practices. However, the policy toolkit can be enlarged by gradually moving from debt management to balance-sheet management of the public sector, and policies to boost the efficiency of public investment.
  • 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
    Housing Finance and Inclusive Growth in Africa: Benchmarking, Determinants and Effects
    (Taylor and Francis, 2021-04) Nguena, Christian-Lambert; Tchana, Fulbert Tchana; Zeufack, Albert G.
    Using a panel database of 48 Sub-Saharan African countries from 2000 to 2012 that we partially constructed, this paper analyses the structure of housing finance in Africa, its determinants, and its impact on inclusive growth. We find that market capitalization and urbanization are key positive determinants of housing finance, while a post-conflict environment is conducive to greater housing finance development. This result suggests that housing finance is driven by standard market forces of demand and supply. Besides, we find that housing finance development in Africa is not yet an effective tool for reducing economic inequality, at its current, very earlier stage. However, we show that above a given threshold, housing finance could be efficient at reducing inequality. Finally, there is a slightly positive relationship between housing finance and greater economic development in Africa. All these findings suggest that policies to boost housing finance development in Africa would be fruitful in the medium to long terms.
  • 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
    Inequality of Outcomes and Inequality of Opportunity in Tanzania
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-05) Zeufack, Albert G.; Zeufack, Albert
    The paper investigates the structure and dynamics of consumption inequality and inequality of opportunity in Tanzania. The analysis covers the period 2001 to 2012. It reveals moderate and declining levels of consumption inequality at the national level, but increasing inequalities between geographic regions. Spatial inequalities are mainly driven by the disparities of households’ characteristics and endowments across geographic locations. An important part of these endowments results from intergenerational transmission of parental background. Father’s education appears as the most important background variable affecting consumption and income in Tanzania. Without appropriate policy actions, there are few chances for the next generations to spring out of the poverty and inequality lived by their parents, engendering risks of poverty and inequality traps in the country.
  • Publication
    Africa's Pulse, No. 24, October 2021: An Analysis of Issues Shaping Africa’s Economic Future
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-10-06) Zeufack, Albert G.; Kubota, Megumi; Korman, Vijdan; Cantu Canales, Catalina; Kabundi, Alain Ntumba
    In 2021, Sub-Saharan Africa emerged from the recession, but its recovery is still timid and fragile. The region is projected to grow at a rate of 3.3 percent—a weaker pace of recovery than that of advanced and emerging market economies. In 2022–23, the region is projected to grow at rates below 4 percent; however, growth above 5 percent is attainable with rapid vaccine deployment in the region and thereby withdrawal of COVID-19 containment measures. In response to the pandemic, African countries are undertaking structural and economic reforms. Countries have been relatively disciplined on monetary and fiscal policies. However, limited fiscal space is handicapping African countries in injecting the fiscal resources required to launch a vigorous policy response to COVID-19.Accelerating the economic recovery in the region would require significant additional externalfinancing, in addition to rapid deployment of the vaccine. Africa’s unique conditions, such as low baseline development, preexisting climate vulnerabilities, low use of fossil fuel energy, and high reliance on climate-sensitive agriculture, pose additional challenges from climate change, but also provide opportunities to build and use greener technologies. Climate change should be considered by policymakers as a source of structural change. For instance, the energy access problem in the region can be solved by the adoption of renewable energy alongside expansion of the national grid. Policy makers need domestic and international financing to create new jobs—including green jobs. For example, in a region where much of the infrastructure, cities, and transportation systems are yet to be built, investments in climate-smart infrastructure can help cities create jobs. In resource-rich countries, wealth exposure to carbon risk can be reduced by fostering asset diversification that supports human and renewable natural capital accumulation. Financing climate change adaptation in Sub-Saharan Africa is essential, and policies to mobilize resources are critical to create more, better, and sustainable jobs.
  • Publication
    Sovereign Wealth Funds and Long-Term Investments in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-12) Diallo, Boubacar; Tchana Tchana, Fulbert; Zeufack, Albert G.
    This paper explores the landscape, contributions, and determinants of sovereign wealth funds' long-term investments in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study finds that of all regions, Africa receives the lowest share of investment from sovereign wealth funds, and the landscape is dominated by Asian funds. The investment strategies of sovereign wealth funds established by African countries tend to be to invest less domestically and more abroad, contrary to Asian funds. In addition, using an enriched simple mean-variance portfolio model with an exponential utility function, the analysis shows that the investment rate of return and political connections have a positive and significant effect on sovereign wealth fund investments, and risk exerts a negative but not significant effect. The paper confirms these results empirically, using a database that includes 26 sovereign wealth fund investments over 1985-2013. Hence, sovereign wealth funds investing in Africa care more about high returns and the political interests of their country of origin than the risk of their investment.
  • Publication
    Optimal Allocation of Natural Resource Surpluses in a Dynamic Macroeconomic Framework: A DSGE Analysis with Evidence from Uganda
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-12) Kopoin, Alexandre; Zeufack, Albert; Nganou, Jean-Pascal; Tchana Tchana, Fulbert; Kemoe, Laurent
    In low-income, capital-scarce economies that face financial and fiscal constraints, managing revenues from newly found natural resources can be a daunting challenge. The policy debate is how to scale up public investment to meet huge needs in infrastructure without generating a higher public deficit, and avoid the Dutch disease. This paper uses an open economy dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model that is compatible with low-income economies and calibrated on Ugandan's data to tackle this problem. The paper explores macroeconomic dynamics under three stylized fiscal policy approaches for managing resource windfalls: investing all in public capital, saving all in a sovereign wealth fund, and a sustainable-investing approach that proposes a constant share of resource revenues to finance public investment and the rest to be saved. The analysis finds that a gradual scaling-up of public investment yields the best outcome, as it minimizes macroeconomic volatility. The analysis then investigates the optimal oil share to use for public investment; the criterion minimizes a loss function that accounts for households' welfare and macroeconomic stability in an environment featuring oil price volatility. The findings show that, depending on the policy maker's preference for stability, 55 to 85 percent of oil windfalls should be invested.
  • 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.