Publication: Performance of Manufacturing Firms in Africa : An Empirical Analysis
Clarke, George R.G.
This book sheds light on the characteristics of formal and informal manufacturing firms in Africa by comparing these firms with firms in other regions. Drawing on two data sources, the authors find that there is a very low share of manufacturing in GDP in Africa and in African exports. Most African manufacturing firms are informal. These firms are also smaller than firms in other regions and few export. Labor productivity is low in Africa relative to other regions, but this may be because of the more challenging environment - with the lack of physical infrastructure, the heavy burden of business regulation, and other issues. However, after accounting for these differences, the authors find that firms in Sub-Saharan Africa appear more, not less, productive than firms elsewhere. This analysis suggests that improving the business environment might allow firms to enhance their performance. However, given the pervasive distortions in the business environment and the limited resources at the disposal of most African countries, Africa cannot and should not wait until the business environment becomes healthier before growing a more viable manufacturing sector. The book shows that binding constraints vary by country, by sector, and by firm size. Therefore, countries should identify the constraints in the most promising sectors and adopt policies designed specifically to remove these constraints. The evidence in this book overwhelmingly dispels the false notion of Africa's inability to compete globally in manufacturing goods.
“Dinh, Hinh T.; Clarke, George R.G.. 2012. Performance of Manufacturing Firms in Africa : An Empirical Analysis. Directions in Development;Private Sector Development;. © Washington, DC: World Bank. http://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/11959 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
Other publications in this report series
PublicationA Primer on Policies for Jobs(World Bank, 2012)A primer on policies for jobs is based on materials and input provided during the labor market courses conducted during the past 10 years. Its objective is to provide government policy makers, researchers, and labor market practitioners and other specialists with a practical guide on how to strengthen labor market institutions, especially in light of the global financial crisis. This primer emphasizes six pillars of labor market institutions: global trends, job creation, labor market policies, education, entrepreneurship, and globalization. Chapter one addresses current labor market trends and job creation, particularly in tough conditions. Chapter two examines channels of job creation and ways to strengthen labor market institutions to ensure sustainable job growth, considering factors such as investment climate, job policy, industrial policy, social protection, and other labor market issues. Chapter three focuses on labor market policies in developing countries. Chapter four highlights the impact of education and skills on labor market outcome. Chapter five discusses entrepreneurship along three key dimensions: development and growth, job creation, and female entrepreneurship. Finally, chapter six addresses the relationship between jobs and globalization.
PublicationGovernment Guarantees : Allocating and Valuing Risk in Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2007)Government guarantees can help persuade private investors to finance valuable new infrastructure. But because their costs are hard to estimate and usually do not show up in the government's accounts, governments can be tempted to grant too many guarantees. Drawing on a diverse range of disciplines, including finance, history, economics, and psychology, Government Guarantees : Allocating and Valuing Risk in Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects aims to help governments give guarantees only when they are justified. It reviews the history of government guarantees and identifies the cognitive and political obstacles to good decisions about guarantees. It then develops a framework for judging when governments should bear risk in an infrastructure project (seeking to make precise the oft-invoked principle that risks should be allocated to those best placed to manage them); explains how guarantees can be valued; and discusses how aspects of public-sector management can be modified to improve the likely quality of government decisions about guarantees.
PublicationKnowledge, Productivity, and Innovation in Nigeria : Creating a New Economy(World Bank, 2010)Harnessing knowledge for development is not a new concept. Knowledge has always been central to development and can mean the difference between poverty and wealth. The knowledge economy is not just about establishing high-tech industries and creating an innovative and entrepreneurial culture. Economic literature indicates that simply adopting existing technologies widely available in developed countries can dramatically boost productivity and economic growth. This paper highlights the knowledge economy (KE) issues that confront Nigeria and offers policy prescriptions that will allow the country to take advantage of the opportunities available in moving toward a knowledge-based economy. The Knowledge Assessment Methodology (KAM) developed by the World Bank considers four pillars: a) skills and education, b) business environment, c) information and communications infrastructure, and d) innovation system.
PublicationUnderstanding and Measuring Social Capital : A Multidisciplinary Tool for Practitioners(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002-06)The importance of social capital for sustainable development, is by now well recognized. Anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, and economists have in their own ways, demonstrated the critical role of institutions, networks, and their supporting norms and values, for the success of development interventions. This success often hinges on accurate assessments of social capital in target communities. But the nature, and impact of social capital - the institutions, relationships, attitudes, and values that govern interactions among people - are not easily quantified. "Understanding and Measuring Social Capital" provides a conceptual review, and measurement tools, in a form readily available for development practitioners. The book discusses the respective value of quantitative, and qualitative approaches to the analysis of social capital, illustrating the discussion with examples, and case studies from many countries. It also presents the Social Capital Assessment Tool, which combines quantitative, and qualitative instruments to measure social capital at the level of household, community, and organization, drawing on multidisciplinary, empirical experiences, an application which can provide project managers with valuable baseline, and monitoring information about social capital in its different dimensions.
PublicationBuilding a Sustainable Future : The Africa Region Environment Strategy(Washington, DC, 2002)This environment strategy outlines the current thinking in the World Bank Group Africa Region about priorities and actions for the institution in the environmental arena. The Africa Region Environment Strategy (ARES) outlines the Bank's commitment to help its clients achieve sustainable poverty reduction through better environmental management. It identifies the most urgent issues at the interface of environment and poverty and discusses targeted actions for addressing them. It reviews the lessons from experience to date and proposes new approaches. The strategic context in which the ARES has evolved and will be implemented is defined by the Bank's mission statement and operational policies, the World Bank Environment Strategy (WBES), and by the Bank's broader objectives, priorities, and strategies in the Africa Region. Like the WBES, the ARES approaches environment through a "poverty lens" and targets four main objectives: a) ensuring sustainable livelihoods, b) improving environmental health, c) reducing vulnerability to natural disasters, and d) maintaining local, regional, and global ecosystems and values. Key elements of the ARES include integrating environment into development and poverty reduction strategies; building an enabling environment and the institutional and human capacity for sustainable environmental management; promoting environmentally sustainable and equitable private sector-led economic development; improving governance; and encouraging decentralization.