GREAT Insights: Fostering More, and Better, Jobs
Unemployment is a global challenge, currently at a world average of 6%. But it particularly affects young people, with youth unemployment at 13.1%. The average unemployment rate in Sub-Saharan Africa is 7.6% (up to 11.9% for the youth). The creation of jobs, and better quality jobs, cannot be viewed as an independent policy, but must be an overarching objective integrated in a comprehensive package of public policy actions, in partnership with private and social actors. But this is easier said than done. This issue of GREAT insights brings together a range of views and expertise to highlight the various dimensions of the challenges of creating more and better jobs. It includes articles, by Roland Michelitsch, International Finance Corporation and Agnes Soucat & Rosemond Offei-Awuku from the African Development Bank.
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Domestic Revenue Mobilisation in fragile states
The share of the world’s poor found in fragile states is set to rise to a half by 2018; of the seven countries that are unlikely to meet a single Millennium Development Goal, six are fragile. Highlighted in the OECD’s latest report on Fragile States, it also shows that Aid has declined by 2.4% in 2011 and will continues its downward trend. Focusing on Domestic Revenue Mobilisation, they ask how donors can use their aid to support fragile states in mobilising more domestic revenue. Fragile states still only collect 14% of their Gross Domestic Product in taxes, yet a mere 0.07% of Official Development Assistance goes to building accountable tax systems.
Lessons from the Maputo Development Corridor and the North-South Corridor
Transport corridors linking landlocked countries to the sea are complex, but essential regional undertakings in Africa. What does a closer look at the economic and political processes of two such transport corridors in Southern Africa tell about the drivers and obstacles of regional integration? Bruce Byiers and Jan Vanheukelom from ECDPM, in partnership with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), look at the Political Economy of Regional Integration in Africa, and find that despite support for this regional agenda, implementation is slow due to numerous complexities and obstacles. Narrowing the focus on transport and on two specific transport corridors in Southern Africa helps unpack these complexities. It contributes to identifying obstacles to reforms and opportunities for reforms. Careful alignment of reform coalitions around cross-border projects such as corridors may contribute to trust and capacity building between countries in support of incremental and functional regional integration.
The political economy of regional integration in Africa
What are the dynamics of regional integration in Southern Africa? How can we enhance EU-South African cooperation? The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and ECDPM partnered to produce a political economy analysis on regional integration in Southern Africa. The partnership’s objective has been to enhance EU-South African cooperation and understanding and to deconstruct the regional integration dynamics in Southern Africa. Where has regional cooperation in Southern Africa has worked well? Where is new thinking underway? Built around three areas, this series of papers looks at the role of private sector in public-private cooperation towards regional cooperation; governance of regional public goods (with cases on energy, water, wildlife and forestry) and the complexities of infrastructure planning as an essential element of fostering intra-regional trade and cooperation.
Imported Nutrition Plans Not Healthy for Africa
African nutritionists have called for homegrown nutrition plans saying imported initiatives are not healthy for the continent. They said the current nutrition agenda in most African countries focuses on treatment and technical solutions like vitamin and mineral supplementation, instead of prevention through community-based interventions. Their sentiments headline a report of the two-year study into sustainable nutrition in Africa, published last week in PLOS Medicine journal. The study was carried out by the Sustainable Nutrition Research for Africa in the Years to come (Sunray), an EU-funded nutrition project in several African countries including Kenya.
Recent Developments and Future Challenges in EU International Cooperation
Bridging the policy to practice divide and not shying away from the political fundamentals that have to be addressed - ECDPM’s latest book ‘European Union's International Cooperation: Recent Developments and Future Challenges’ launched last week is now also available to download as an e-book!
US$70 billion Eastern Europe illicit financial flows revealed as calls for new European transparency standard grow
Global Financial Integrity (GFI) revealed that nearly US$70 billion in illicit financial flows—the proceeds of crime, corruption, and tax evasion—flowed into or out of developing and emerging EU member-states in 2011. They urged members of the European Parliament to support the creation of public registries of corporate ownership information in the upcoming vote on key revisions to the European Union Anti-Money Laundering Directive. A vote on the 13th February to establish such a registry would be a key moment for the future of financial transparency, GFI argues. “David Cameron set a new global standard last fall….It is now time for the full European Union to decide if it will rise to that standard”
SAIIA Launch new African Peer Review Mechanism Toolkit
The APRM Toolkit has been substantially redesigned and is a comprehensive repository of APRM knowledge for continental practitioners, civil society members, academics, students, journalists and donors. Designed to provide a single entry point for access to all of the most important APRM official documents and independent analysis of the process, the Toolkit contains founding documents, country review and progress reports, academic and civil society papers on the mechanism, APRM standards, as well as research and training materials published by SAIIA. It also has relevant audio and video podcasts reflecting on aspects of the APRM.
An EU ‘foreign policy identity’?
Working at the nexus between academic research and an inside look at this new service this latest book from the Department of Political Science at Universität Innsbruck looks at this new service, inviting the best scholars and practitioners in the ﬁeld to contribute. It argues the various departments in and outside of the EEAS dealing with EU external relations need to continuously and steadily network in all areas of the EU’s politico-strategic level. “A number of mid-term challenges remain”, say Andrea Frontini and Paul Ivan in their paper.
More news from The Filter
The African Peer Review Mechanism Gets Back to Business
Governance problems are not being addressed as decisively as hoped, and unrealistic, expensive National Programmes of Action are hampering the implementation of remedial and redress programmes. The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) has succeeded in publishing frank and comprehensive review reports, yet without high level engagement and support, the APRM is currently struggling to make a real impact on governance in the region.
French Institute for International Relations launch new blog
Afrique Décryptages is a new blog by the The Sub-Saharan Africa programme of the French Institute for International Relations (Ifri). Serving as a space for new publications, research, meeting reports and events the blog is also an outlet for opinions on a broad variety of current issues related to Africa. Recent topics include: consumer behavior; political developments; the extractive sector; investing; and renewable energies. Ifri is a think tank focusing on analysis of international relations and global governance.
Making EU aid to Egypt more effective in a turbulent political climate
The EU’s assistance strategy has been unable to handle Egypt’s tumultuous political realities, and If the EU is to offer effective assistance to support Egypt’s democratic progress, it must significantly change its strategy. It is clear that deep-seated political tensions are unlikely to recede swiftly in Egypt and the road to democracy will continue to be long and hard, and donor assistance efforts will have to endure through thick and thin if they are to have any impact.
Tanzania progress as regional trade and investment hub
Private investment in Tanzania has considerably risen since the early 1990s, further progress can be made to improve the business climate and attract more investment in key sectors, such as infrastructure and agriculture. The OECD investment policy review evaluated Tanzania's current policy situation and makes recommendations for enabling the country to attract higher investment so as to exploit its full potential and become a regional trade and investment hub.
Political freedom in decline
The state of freedom, political rights and civil liberties declined across the globe for the eighth consecutive year in 2013, according to Freedom House. Their country-by-country report ‘Freedom in the World’ 2014 raised notable developments including Egypt and other large, politically influential countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Venezuela and Indonesia.
Why Don’t African Firms Create More Jobs?
Are African firms creating fewer jobs than those located in other parts of the world? And, if so, why? Using data from 41,000 firms across 119 countries to examine the drivers of job creation. This latest paper from the Centre for Global Development finds that African firms, at any age, tend to be 20–24 percent smaller than comparable firms in other regions of the world.
Surges and stops in FDI flows to developing countries : does the mode of entry make a difference ?
This paper investigates the factors associated with foreign direct investment sharp increases and decreases in foreign direct investment. Greenfield-led surges and stops are more likely in low-income and resource-rich countries than elsewhere. Global growth, financial openness, and domestic economic and financial instability enable mergers and acquisitions-led surges.
A continental strategy at risk
The 2007 Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) is one of the main frameworks for Africa-European Union (EU) relations. It was intended to end the unbalanced donor-recipient relationship typical of past relations between Africa and the EU, and to be a truly diverse and people-focused initiative, where civil society had a key place alongside institutions and member governments. The upcoming Africa-EU Summit in April 2014 envisages its reform.
China returns to hunt for African mine assets
China is seeking out new copper, iron ore and uranium deposits in a sign that Beijing is still a keen investor in African industry. However, executives and bankers attending the annual Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town have warned that China is unlikely to spend large sums solely to secure a flow of commodities, as it did until 2012. Instead, they said Beijing was more likely to buy smaller assets offering strong financial returns and raw materials.
Open Call for Universities to participate in the African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM) Survey.
The Commission of the African Union has spearheaded the development of the African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM) to establish an African system that will ensure that the performance of higher education institutions can be measured against a set of agreed criteria. Quality assurance in higher education institutions is one core basis for revitalizing higher education in Africa.
UN Global Compact consultations on Food and Agriculture Business Principles
The United Nations Global Compact consultations on Food and Agriculture Business Principles (FABs) will be hosting consultations on 11 February 2014 at the European Parliament, A1G2, from 17.30 to 19.30pm, in Brussels. For further details on this opportunity to participate in the FABs consultation, please contact Ms. Adrienne Gardaz firstname.lastname@example.org or Ms. Jessica Tristano email@example.com.