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12.02.2018
Advising on Global and African Studies: Reviews, Evaluations and Academic Activities

Professor Karl Wohlmuth has given advice to the Promotions Committee of the Federal University Of Technology in Akura, Nigeria. The Promotions Committee is responsible for the appointment of Professors and Associate Professors. Professor Wohlmuth was asked to evaluate candidates on the basis of their publications and overall qualifications for the position in question. It is a sophisticated multi-stages system of evaluation for the promotion to the rank of a Professor and an Associate Professor. Karl Wohlmuth was invited for this function by the Vice-President of the University and by the Head (Secretary) of the Promotions Committee. The Federal University of Technology is a leading University in Nigeria.

Also, Professor Wohlmuth has advised the Promotions Committees of the University of Khartoum (Sudan) and of the University of Juba (South Sudan) concerning appointments to Full Professorship. The University of Khartoum is on the way of reorganizing and strengthening its academic profile to regain the leading position which it had after independence among African universities. The University of Juba, as well as other universities in South Sudan, are still suffering because of the civil war in the country and the serious governance problems.

Professor Wohlmuth was also active as a reviewer of manuscripts, book proposals and articles for peer-reviewed journals. The Canadian Journal of  Development Studies asked him to review manuscripts. This journal is now a leading journal on development studies in North America. The UNU-WIDER Institute in Helsinki asked Professor Wohlmuth to review a contribution for an international journal. UNU-WIDER is the globally leading institute for development research. Professor Wohlmuth was also active for the Journal Of International Development, for the journal Comparative Economic Studies,  and for various African journals. Again, Professor Wohlmuth was asked to review proposals for book publications for the Economics Book Editions programme of Routledge Publishers.

Professor Wohlmuth was invited to advise a leading German multinational on issues of  Customer Assessment to Optimize Business Models in Africa. As there are increasing business relations with Africa, the role of different groups of customers (by size, sector, and country) is becoming more and more relevant. It is therefore important to optimize the business models in Africa accordingly. A preparatory group of the German multinational company is involved in writing the first draft of the assessment.

Professor Wohlmuth has given advice and was peer-reviewing a Strategy Document on Revitalizing Sudan which was written by Dr. Murtada Mustafa. The Strategy Document is emphasizing five core pillars (Education, Entrepreneurship, Agriculture, Industry, and Management/Civil Service), which are considered as the basis of a new development strategy for Sudan.  Dr. Murtada Mustafa was the first permanent Undersecretary of Labour in the government of Sudan. He has also had various leading functions in the International Labour Office (in Geneva, Harare, Cairo, and Khartoum). The Strategy Document will also be published in the Sudan Economy Research Group (SERG) Discussion Papers, and it will be circulated to policymakers inside and outside of Sudan. It will be published in English and in Arabic languages.

Professor Wohlmuth is also supporting and advising two Guest Researchers at the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, University of Bremen: The agricultural economist Professor Reuben A. Alabi, Department Of Agricultural Economics, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria is in Bremen for the period 2015-2018, and the international economist Professor Chunji Yun from the Faculty of Economics, Seinan Gakuin University, Fukuoka-City, Japan is in Bremen for the period September 2017 to August 2018. For both researchers this is a further stay for research programmes, in cooperation with Professor Wohlmuth, at the University of Bremen and at IWIM. Both researchers have published in the various IWIM Publications Series. Further publications are expected from this research period.

Professor Alabi is doing researches on waste management and related value chains in Nigeria (comparing such value chains with the ones in Germany) and on aspects of the agricultural transformation in Nigeria. He is also these months working as a research fellow at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D. C. in their African Department to do research and to give advice on the E-wallet fertilizer subsidy scheme which was introduced in Nigeria by Akinwumi Akesina, at that time the Nigerian agriculture minister who is now the President of the African Development Bank in Abidjan. It is the purpose of the assignment to the IMF to look at the possibilities of a wider use of the Nigerian E-wallet fertilizer subsidy scheme in other African countries. Professor Alabi and Professor Wohlmuth cooperate in Bremen on editions of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook concerning aspects of Nigeria’s economic and agricultural transformation. Most recently, Unit 2 of Volume 20  (a Unit is a collection of essays for a specific theme, introduced by the editors of the Unit) was finalized on “Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Agricultural Transformation in Nigeria”. A strategy was outlined on the basis of the  Unit 2 by Professors Alabi and Wohlmuth.

The researches by Professor Chunji Yun centre on the European integration process. He is interested in the fact that the European Union (EU) has 28 (later after Brexit 27) employment regimes and labour policies, so that cross-border investments by firms through global and regional value chains have implications for the national employment regimes and the still national labour markets. He investigates the implications of cross-border investments on nationally organized labour markets for two sectors (automobiles and electronics). He will analyse the different sectoral structures of the value chains which are demanding different types of labour by function at different levels of skills and at different places; these cross-border investments and value chains are then leading to quite different labour market outcomes. He concentrates in his research work on the cross-border investments of German companies in the Visegrad countries to study the repercussions of the changing value chains on the national labour markets and the national labour policies in Germany and in the four Visegrad countries. Because of the fact that Bremen is a centre of production networks, such as for automobiles and automotive parts, there is also the possibility for Professor Yun to visit production sites in Bremen. Professor Wohlmuth and Professor Chun have discussed the first research report in December 2017; the second research report is due in February 2018 for a further intensive discussion and review.

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12.02.2018
Alternative Economy and Social Justice: Workshop at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) in Tunis

Professors Hans-Heinrich Bass, Robert  Kappel and Karl Wohlmuth were invited by the FES Tunis to speak at the workshop “Alternative Economy and Social Justice”, 14-15 September 2017, about the future of labour in the MENA region.  The focus on the first day was on Employment and Alternative Sectors: Green Economy, Digital Economy, as well as Social and Solidarity Economy. It was expected by the organizers that the experts give concrete recommendations and suggestions on the role of the civil society – more precisely the trade unions - in order to preserve labour rights and to warrant the sustainability of jobs within these new sectors of an alternative economy. The second day was reserved for a common meeting with the regional projects “Climate and Energy”, “For Socially Just Development” and the “Regional Trade Union Project”.

It was planned for the first day to have an expert debate on the subject of new opportunities and challenges of the transformation of the labour market in the context of the newly emerging three sectors in the MENA Region. In particular, the labour market implications of the Green Economy, the Digital Economy, and the Social and Solidarity Economy were discussed. The three German economists were invited because of their collaboration with the FES on a study to analyse the starting points for an employment strategy for Tunisia (see the PDF of the study: library.fes.de/pdf-files/iez/13336.pdf, and for a download of the versions in German, Arabic, French and English languages see: https://www.fes.de/t3php/publ_int.php?&f_ABC=tunis&f_RSW=tunesien&logik=or&t_listen=x&sortierung=jab&t3titel=Tunesien). A short report about the meeting summarizes the main points of discussion (see the link: http://www.fes-mena.org/events/e/alternative-economy-and-employment/). The event was part of a larger programme of the FES for the MENA region (see on the programme “Economic Policies for Social Justice”: http://www.fes-mena.org/topics/economic-policies-for-social-justice/, and on the book as a final report with the title “Towards Socially Juist Development in the MENA Region”, to be accessed for download via PDF: library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/tunesien/13871.pdf).

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12.02.2018
Sudan: From an oil-based economy to an agriculture-based and science-based economy?

Prominent Sudanese scientists from universities and research institutions in Sudan and at UNESCO Cairo and Professor Karl Wohlmuth from the University of Bremen are launching a new strategy for a transition of Sudan from an oil-based development path towards an agriculture-based and science-based development model. This is a part (Unit 2) of the forthcoming Volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook on “Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth in Africa. General Issues and Country Cases”. Professor Dr. Samia Satti Osman Mohamed Nour and Professor Karl Wohlmuth contributed an Introductory Essay to the theme under the title: “Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policies for Sudan’s Economic Revitalization - An Introduction”. The Unit 2 in Volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook with the title: “Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policies for Sudan’s Economic Revitalization”  has four additional essays. Professor Samia Satti Nour presents an analysis of the national innovation system (NIS) of Sudan, by focusing on three subsystems, the education institutions subsystem, the science & technology institutions subsystem, and the ICT institutions subsystem; the weaknesses of the NIS are highlighted and an agenda for action is proposed. She also presents in a second essay an analysis about innovative industrial firms in Sudan, focussing on two internationally active Sudanese conglomerates in the food industry, on two large-sized companies (belonging to the chemical and food industries) and on two medium-sized companies (belonging to the metal and textile industries). The purpose is to assess how innovative these companies really are and how they could improve their innovation performance. It is also measured by a new analytical approach how far away these companies are from the innovation frontier, and it is analysed what the government and the private sector can do to stimulate STI in the Sudanese companies.

Migdam E. Abdelgani, from the National Centre for Research (NCR), Environment, Natural Resources and Desertification Research Institute (ENDRI), and Nazar Mohamed Hassan, from the UNESCO Cairo Office, provide an essay on the impact of agricultural research on the agriculture yields in Sudan. ENDRI has recently launched the Environment and Natural Resources International Journal (ENRIJ), with volume 1 and number 1 published in 2016 (link: http://www.sudanknowledge.org/journals/enrij/); ENDRI is a key research institution in Sudan. This essay is analysing the factors which are impeding yield increases in Sudan, but this essay is also using the example of the national crops campaigns in Egypt (such as for rice production increases) as a model of large-scale testing of agricultural research results in the field.

Finally, the Unit 2 on Sudan in Volume 20 presents an analysis by Mohammed Elhaj Mustafa Ali from the University of Kassala and the Sudan International University (SIU) about knowledge spillovers from foreign investors in Sudan to local companies. Although the oil-based growth in Sudan has attracted mainly investment for the oil sector, foreign investment was also incoming to supply the growing Sudanese consumption market and to invest in agriculture and services sectors of Sudan. The essay on knowledge spillovers from foreign direct investors to domestic firms in Sudan gives also an agenda of how to stimulate technology transfers from foreign firms to domestic firms.

In the Introductory Essay by Professor Samia Satti Nour and by Professor Karl Wohlmuth also an Agenda for Reforms aimed at Economic Revitalization through STI Development is presented. The Strategy proposed has short-term to medium-term to long-term implications for reforming institutions and policies. Professor Samia Satti Nour is a prominent researcher on STI development. She recently has obtained a full professorship at Khartoum University (see the PDFs of the Inaugural Lecture/ICT Development in Sudan and the Inaugural Lecture/Academic Profile of and Awards to Professor Samia Satti Nour, as well as the PDF on the Abstract in English and in Arabic of her Springer Book ICT in Sudan). Professor Wohlmuth was invited to attend the inaugural meeting at the University of Khartoum. Professor Samia Satti Nour is adviser to the African Development Perspectives Yearbook programme for Volume 20 and Co-editor of Volume 20. Recently she has presented a Policy Note on the multiple Digital Divides in Africa for The Nordic Africa Institute (see the PDF: NAI Policy Note).

Dr. Hassan Mohamed Nazar is also Co-editor of the Volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. He is Senior Science and Technology Specialist for the Arab States in UNESCO’s Cairo Office since 2009. He has massively contributed to the Introductory Unit 1 for Volume 20 (together with Professor Karl Wohlmuth), and he has participated as a speaker at the Launch Event for volumes 18 and 19 of the Yearbook in Kigali, Rwanda in October 2016 at the invitation of UNECA. In the Unit 2 on Sudan for Volume 20 he contributed with an essay on the role of agricultural research for increasing agricultural yields in Sudan, an essay which was written in cooperation with Migdam E. Abdelgani.  Dr. Hassan Mohamed Nazar has also established the Sudan Knowledge (SK) Platform  to make the intellectual capacities of the Sudanese researchers and other experts and policymakers known more widely and to allow for a broader use of these capacities for development. The SK Platform is a strong network of researchers, policy makers, educators, consultants and employers from all parts of the world to exchange knowledge and experience and to discuss current developments and challenges. This Directory of Capacities of the Sudanese can be used to help find, support and collaborate with experts from the SK network. The Sudan Knowledge Network aims also to bring together researchers and experts from the Diaspora (see the various links: http://www.sudanknowledge.org/network/name/nazar-hassan/, and: http://www.sudanknowledge.org/network/locality/Cairo/, and: http://www.sudanknowledge.org/network/country/Egypt/).

Migdam E. Abdelgani, from the National Centre for Research (NCR), is known for his study (in cooperation with other Sudanese researchers) about “Potential Production and Application of Biofertilizers in Sudan”, published in the Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 9 (9), pp. 926-934, 2010 (link: www.sustech.edu/staff_publications/20100822070957958.pdf). These ideas are relevant for an agricultural transformation strategy which is part of the economic revitalization programme for Sudan.

Dr. Mohamed Elhaj Mustafa Ali, as the author on the essay about knowledge spillovers from foreign investors to domestic firms in Sudan, is lecturer at the University of Kassala and at the Sudan International University (link: http://www.siu-sd.com/). He is expert on foreign direct investment in Sudan and has recently published a Policy Brief on the relevant issues of foreign investment in Sudan in Bremen at the SERG/IWIM platforms (see the PDF: Mustafa Ali -Policy Brief). He has also published a Policy Brief for the Economic Research Forum (ERF) in Cairo on “Measures to Protect Poor Sudanese Households from the Risks of Catastrophic Health Expenditures” (see the PDF: PB28-Mustafa Ali).

There are intentions to continue to cooperate in the future on the most important issues of STI development for Sudan. The Sudan Economy Research Group (SERG) Discussion Paper Series is still open for researchers from Sudan to publish on these most important issues (see the links to the series: http://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/serg_sudan_discussion_papers/, and: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/publikationen/pub-sudan.htm).

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12.02.2018
A New Development Strategy for Sudan: “Sudan in the 21st Century - Seeking Pathways Forward”

The outline of a new development strategy for Sudan was prepared by Dr. Mohamed al Murtada Mustafa. Dr. Murtada was the first permanent Undersecretary for Labour in the Sudan, the Director of the African Regional Labour Administration Centre (ARLAC) for the English-speaking African countries in Harare, Zimbabwe, and then the Director of the International Labour Office in Egypt before retiring to academic and philanthropic endeavours in Khartoum. He was educated at Addis Ababa University, Harvard University, the University of Wisconsin, Northeastern University, and the International Institute for Labour Studies in Geneva. Dr. Murtada was an early collaborator of the Sudan Economy Research Group (SERG) in Bremen. He has supported the research work on Sudan in Bremen tremendously. Now he pays again tribute to his country by presenting to key policymakers the contours of a new development strategy for Sudan which is based on decades of experience as a civil service official and member of the Government of Sudan and as an employee and head of offices of the  ILO with working times in Khartoum, Geneva, Harare, and Cairo. Dr. Murtada has published in IWIM publication series, such as in the SERG Discussion Paper Series, but also in the IWIM Book Series (see the link to the IWIM Homepage, Publications: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/publikationen/index.html).

The frame and the basic ideas for a new development strategy for Sudan are summarised below in the words of Dr.  Murtada (taken from the Strategy Paper, which will be published as the number 43 in the SERG Discussion Paper Series, with the links: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/publikationen/pub-sudan.htm and  http://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/serg_sudan_discussion_papers/):

The earliest studies by the International Labour Office (ILO) in conjunction with the Sudanese Government (Ministry of Labour) and the University of Bremen (SERG) in 1976 up to today repeat almost the same recommendations to enhance and improve the Sudanese economy. The recommendations were, just to mention some key ones: Improve infrastructure; develop industry; link agriculture to manufacturing; increase vocational and technical training; reform taxes to encourage industry and exports; support small industries, the vulnerable people, and remote regions; institute rule of law; ensure contract enforcement and transparency to encourage foreign investment;  and provide for sustainable economic policies via effective institutions and a responsible macroeconomic policy formation. Whether from lack of political will, leadership, economic means, or external financial investment, the neglect of all these recommendations along with conflict, civil war and international sanctions has continued to disintegrate the development options in the Sudan. After decades of conflict and civil war, the government of Sudan now faces the burden of reconstructing the country, the society and its economy, of repatriating internally displaced persons (IDPs) and providing training and jobs for them in urban and rural areas, also to replace redundant cattle-herding livelihoods and to initiate agricultural projects for food security in depleted environments. While the discovery of oil brought revenue before the great country of the Sudan split into two republics, the oil money was not properly used to expand and to develop the economy. The agricultural sector, the industrial sector, the civil service, and the education sector deteriorated from the satisfactory state they were left in by the British at independence. Although the country since independence has presented a lot of plans and programmes, implementation was always weak or non-existent.

This strategy paper by Dr. Murtada outlines changes which are necessary to get the economy back on track in five major sectors stemming from and supporting institutional revisions: education, entrepreneurship, agriculture, industry, and management. While the short-term and the long-term solutions are outlined, the Sudanese people themselves need to pull together, to stop competing for power and land, to produce and support fresh leaders, and to begin to consider the long-term conditions of the country for the good of its own people. The Strategy Paper is structured as follows: After the Introduction (section 1) the section 2 is on Building Capacity, Growth, and Employment through Education, with Recommendations for Education. The section 3 is on Combatting Unemployment, Promoting Growth through Entrepreneurship, with Recommendations for Entrepreneurship. Section. Section 4 is on Improving Growth and Employment through Agriculture, with Recommendations for Agriculture. The section 5 is on. Growth and Employment through Industry, with Recommendations for Industry. The section 6 is on Management, by Improving Civil Service, People, Goods, and Resources, with Recommendations for Management. Section 7  is on. Results of Past Efforts and Lessons Learned. The Section 8 is Towards a New Strategy. And the final section 9 is on Conclusions, followed by References on the history of policymaking in Sudan.             

Professor Karl Wohlmuth from the University of Bremen has given advice to the author during the process of finalizing the Strategy Paper and has peer-reviewed the paper. The research on Sudan and South Sudan is continuing at the University of Bremen (see the links to the websites: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/forschung/forsch-sudan.htm and: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/africa/Sudanforschung.htm).

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12.02.2018
Research Programme by Professor Chunji Yun in Bremen: Transforming the European Social and Economic Model in the Enlarged EU from a Viewpoint of the Production and Employment Regime

Professor Chunji Yun, Professor since 2010 at the Division of International Economics, Department of Economics, Seinan Gakuin University, Fukuoka City, Japan is since September 2017 Guest Researcher at the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, University of Bremen; he will stay until August 2018. He was invited by Professor Karl Wohlmuth and the Dean, Professor Jochen Zimmermann, to do researches on the theme Transforming the European Social and Economic Model in the Enlarged EU from a Viewpoint of the Production and Employment Regime (see the synopsis of the research outline below under Research Purpose,..). This is the second research visit by Professor Yun in Bremen. Ten years ago Professor Yun was research fellow at IWIM for 18 months. He has published in the IWIM book series as number 13 (Link: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/publikationen/pub-jwt.htm) on “Japan and East Asian Integration” and in the White Discussion Paper series as number 33 (Link: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/publikationen/pub-white.htm) on “Production Network Development in Central/Eastern Europe and Its Consequences”. Based on these publications, Professor Yun was invited to international conferences and he was asked to submit papers for international publications. The contact between IWIM, University of Bremen and Professor Yun continued over the years.

Research Purpose, Analytical Standpoints, Previous Studies and Expected Research Results (a short summary of the Research Proposal):
With the deepening of the economic integration, and particularly since the recent Euro Crisis, there are heated debates over the social dimension of integration in Europe. The background of the discussion is if the European Union (EU) aims at an ‘Economic Europe’ or moves towards a reconstruction of a ‘Social Europe’. In this context, the research aims to analyse the transformative dynamics of economic and social models in the enlarged EU, by exploring how nationally organized employment regimes are forced to adapt to the deepening of an ‘Economic Europe’. More specifically, the national employment regimes are affected by changing cross-border production regimes which are characterized by processes of “fragmentation of production”, “global/regional production networks”, and “global value chains (GVC)”. Also, an investigation of the possibilities of reversing the ‘Race-to-the Bottom’ situation of social conditions within the EU is intended as part of the study.

The research will be carried out as mainly being based on two influential analytical perspectives, the “variety of capitalism” approach and the “global value chain” approach. The former approach has analysed various European economic and social models, focusing on the institutional complementarity among industrial relations, including collective bargaining, labour market flexibility or rigidity, the vocational training system, the financial system, and so on. This approach is also giving special attention to the interrelationships among the required skill specificity, the skill formation, employment and social protection systems, and the institutional comparative advantages of each national employment model. On the other hand, the latter approach, as a most influential analytical perspective on global manufacturing and service industries, has elaborated analyses of a cross-border division of labour featured as vertical specialization or vertical integration/disintegration. This latter approach is using a sophisticated methodology and is developing policy arguments for industrial upgrading within the hierarchical structure of the new international division of labour. And, most recently, its focal point is shifting from industrial upgrading to social upgrading/downgrading. The most important feature of the research is to figure out the interactions and/or the causal relations between GVC development within and beyond the enlarged EU and the transformation of economic and social models. 

Research Outcomes by February 2018: First Research Report is available, Second Research Report is forthcoming
Professor Yun has presented a first report on his researches in December 2017. The second research report is forthcoming in February 2018.

In the first research report from December 2017  Professor Yun discusses four themes:
1. Starting Point or Background of Research (first draft)
There is a discussion about two prevailing myths. The Myth 1 is related to the Eurozone Crisis considered as being due to fiscal profligacy and being a sovereign debt crisis right from the start. The Myth 2 refers to  the Eurozone Crisis as a crisis of (Unit Labour) cost competitiveness in combination with fiscal irresponsibility. These two arguments are evaluated.
2. Problematic Causal Chain of (Cost) Competitiveness, Imbalances, and Internal Devaluation (first draft)
There is a discussion of the role of the Unit Labour Cost (ULC), being considered as an a priori argument for labour market reform being inherent in the referred to competitiveness indicators. The drawbacks of the ULC analysis are presented. This is followed by a survey of recent researches on the regional imbalances in the EU.
3. The Germany-centred production network and the regional imbalances in the European Union (still work in progress)
There is a discussion on the contradictory neoclassical views on the German export surplus, then a discussion on the German position within the regional production networks (manifested by the GVCs), and finally a discussion on the changes occurring and the differences becoming visible in regard of Global Value Chain-GVC/ Global Production Network-GPN Structures.
4. Transforming the Employment Regime in terms of GVC/GPN: Germany and Visegrad (still work in progress)
The analysis starts with a discussion on social upgrading/downgrading in GVC-based development patterns, followed by an analysis of the erosion of the German Model interpreted as a Diversified Quality Production (DQP) model. Then the changes of this model are analysed, by looking at two kinds of modularization and the implications for the production networks, referring to the electronics and automotive sectors. Then for these two sectors the implications of the expanding production networks on the employment regimes are considered.

Professor Yun is doing intensively literature researches, but is also attending conferences, lectures and discussions with experts in the field. He is also considering to visit international enterprises which are located in Bremen, as these enterprises are valuable sources for information on global value chains (GVCs) and global production networks (GPNs) between Germany and the Visegrad countries. Professor Karl Wohlmuth is meeting regularly with Professor Yun for discussions of the issues. The study has high relevance also for the strategy of the German trade unions as globalization impacts differently on economic sectors in Germany.

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12.02.2018
Professor Reuben A. Alabi: Visiting Scholar at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to continue researches on the Electronic Fertilizer Subsidy Scheme of Nigeria

Professor Reuben Adeolu Alabi, Guest Researcher at the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, University of Bremen, was invited by the African Department of IMF to do researches over February and March 2018 at the IMF Headquarters on The Pro-Poorness Of The Electronic Fertilizer Subsidy Programme And Its Implications On Food Security In Nigeria. Professor Alabi will continue his researches on the Electronic Fertilizer Subsidy Programme Nigeria (EFSPN) which he started in Bremen during his research stay since 2015. The EFSPN Scheme is considered as innovative and as a model for other African countries. It was introduced by Akinwumi Adesina, since 2015 acting as the President of the African Development Bank, in the time when he served as Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. Until his appointment as Minister in 2010, he was Vice President of Policy and Partnerships for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

The shortcomings associated with the fertilizer subsidy scheme led Nigeria to adopt the Growth Enhancement Subsidy Scheme (GESS) in 2011. In this scheme the private sector plays the role of supplying and distributing fertilizer, while the government is involved in the registration of the beneficiaries and the payment of 50% of the cost of fertilizer and of other agro-inputs received by the farmers. The scheme delivers subsidized agricultural inputs to farmers through an electronic wallet (e-wallet) system. With unique voucher numbers that are delivered to their phones, farmers then redeem their input allocation from accredited agro-dealers. It is expected that this scheme will improve agricultural input distribution and marketing. In addition, it should provide incentives to encourage actors along the fertilizer value chain to work together towards the common purpose of improving agricultural productivity, household food security, and income. The hope is that this would better serve the intended beneficiaries who are farmers and reduce the fiscal burden of a universal fertilizer subsidy from the government thus making it more effective. However, there is need to find out if this new scheme is pro-poor and to test its impact on the fertilizer use and the productivity of the farmers in Nigeria. Professor Alabi will continue his researches about the pro-poorness of the programme in Washington D.C. at the IMF Headquarters, and will advise the IMF staff on the relevance of the system for other African countries. The new fertilizer subsidy scheme of Nigeria is also revolutionizing the finance system in rural areas of Nigeria (see: http://www.cgap.org/blog/bringing-mobile-wallets-nigerian-farmers).

This analysis is part of the programme “Food Security and Agricultural Transformation in Nigeria” which is done by Professor Alabi in Bremen in cooperation with Professor Karl Wohlmuth, who is advising the research programme since 2015. The two professors have now finalized a Unit of Volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook on “Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policies for Agricultural Transformation in Nigeria”. The Unit on Nigeria has an Introduction written by the two professors on the issues, the contributions and the proposed strategy for Nigeria. New tools for agricultural transformation are considered, such as using indigenous agricultural technologies, developing Genetically Modified (GM) crops, and implementing Food Fortification strategies in Nigeria. A critical evaluation of these new tools is presented. Professor Alabi will continue his researches in Bremen until 2020. He has published widely in the IWIM publications series and he is acting as a co-editor of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. Professor Wohlmuth supports the programme since 2015 as a senior adviser.

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12.02.2018
The Growth of the Dual Economy in Advanced Economies. The October 2017 Conference of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) in Edinburgh, Scotland

The programme of the Conference of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) in Edinburgh, 21-23 October, had the overall theme: “Reawakening. From the Origins of Economic Ideas to the Challenges of Our Time”. The Conference was a remarkable event. There were panels, main lectures and presentations, keynote lectures, breakfast, lunch and dinner sessions, on subjects such as the consequences of the financial crisis and the great recession afterwards; the future of the eurozone; the growth of the dual economy in the advanced economies; the causes of popular revolts and of the rise of populism; lessons from democratic collapses and the rise of Nazi Germany; the rise of Trump and the America First Agenda; the emergence of public and private debt traps; the role of fake news and the role of economists; new developments in various contested fields of economics and political economy; but also discussions on developing economies and emerging economies; on Adam Smith and the Scottish Enlightenment; on technology and economic development; on immigration and intergenerational issues; on gains from trade, and so on. Lectures and presentations by four Nobel Prize Economists were of special importance and insights. George Akerlof, James Heckman, Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz gave impressive presentations on methodology used by economists, on specific contested issues of the economics profession, and on the policy implications of the work of the economists in governments and international organizations (see the link to the event: https://www.ineteconomics.org/events/reawakening). See on the overall agenda of INET: https://www.ineteconomics.org/

For development economists the sessions about the growth of the dual economy in the advanced world were a highlight. The discussion about dual economies was for a long time a domain of development economics; the development economists studied the take-off and the catching-up issues. The original purpose of dual economy models was it to show how a modern sector can be developed through surplus labour from a stagnating traditional sector. Now top economists were discussing at the conference in Edinburgh the growth of the dual economy in advanced countries to understand the “high income trap” which is affecting the most advanced economies. At high average per capita income levels severe problems arise for growth, employment and distribution which create political tensions and social problems in many advanced countries (see on the need to analyse the “high income trap” of the OECD countries as deeply as the “middle income trap” of the developing countries the following viewpoint: https://asia.nikkei.com/Viewpoints-archive/Economeister/Time-to-talk-about-the-high-income-trap?page=2). A new class formation is presented which is resulting from the “high income trap”: the “precariat” is increasing, the “rentier class” is growing, but the “middle class” is vanishing. In two sessions of the Edinburgh Conference the reasons for the emergence of the dual economy in the advanced countries and the type of policies to prevent the further advance of the dual economy were discussed. The new class formation is associated with a growing income share of the upper 1% of the income earners, while an increasing part of the capital share is going to the rentier class and an increasing part of the labour share is going to higher level wage earners.

The middle class is described as increasingly vulnerable and vanishing, while the class of precarious income earners is rapidly growing. Figures presented by Lance Taylor at the Edinburgh Conference highlight the new class structure for the USA. The USA have a three-class economy, so that it is better to speak of a “trialism”, not of a “dualism” in the USA (and probably the same situation is in other advanced economies). Lance Taylor writes: “The main income sources of the top 1% of households are from capital gains, proprietors’ incomes, interest, and dividends. Including capital gains they have a 50+ % saving rate, and 40% of total wealth. Households between the 60th and 99th percentiles get 70% of their income from wages, ~10% each from fiscal transfers, finance, and proprietors’ incomes. They save less than 10%, and hold 60% of wealth (mostly housing). The bottom 60% get almost 50% of income from wages, and 45% from government transfers. They have negative reported saving (true for other OECD economies), and a negligible wealth.” The interactions of these three classes (assuming that these trends continue) are important for the overall dynamics or stagnation of the economy. The interactions determine also the crises to be anticipated. Therefore, the Edinburgh Conference discussed which type of policies could prevent the spread of dual or trial economies and the emergence of severe crises in the future (proposed interventions mentioned were: innovative enterprises to achieve sustained prosperity; wealth creation through state entrepreneurship; new policies for redistribution of wealth and income; a guaranteed minimum income plus a commitment of the society to full employment; gender-related policies to combat the dualism and trialism; etc.). Reforms to get out of the “high income trap” are possible, but the “policy paralysis” has to be overcome.

Professor Wohlmuth had the opportunity to participate as a guest observer at the conference in Edinburgh by invitation of INET. The participation at the conference opens new avenues for the work in development economics, but also in regard of international economic policy. The dual/trial economy approach as applied to advanced economies is also helpful to understand the rise of the populists all over the world, the danger of democratic collapses, and the decline of the Social Democratic Movement in Europe. Professor Karl Wohlmuth has written a Note on the reasons for the decline of the Social Democrats in Germany, which is based on the dualism/trialism concept and which is also relevant for an understanding of the decline of Social Democratic Parties in other countries of the Eurozone.

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15.08.2017
“Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth in Africa" – this is the title of two forthcoming volumes of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook

“Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth in Africa" – this is the title of two forthcoming volumes of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook which are prepared now by a group of international experts. The Editorial Committee of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook has decided to split the scheduled volume 20 (for 2018) into two volumes, the volume 20 (for 2018) and the volume 21 (for 2019). This was considered as advisable because of the great number of high quality submissions of manuscripts to the Editors. While Volume 20 will consider Basic Issues of STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) policies in Africa and Country Cases for Sub-Saharan Africa, the Volume 21 will present Issues of Human Resources Development in the Digital Age, Country Cases for North Africa, and Book Reviews and Book Notes.

In Volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook essays on the linkages of inclusive growth, sustainable development and STI policies will be presented in the Introductory Unit. Also successful cases of STI development in Africa and STI systemic issues will be analysed. Focus countries are Sudan and Nigeria. Professor Samia Satti Nour, Khartoum University, Sudan and Professor Reuben A. Alabi, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria and currently Guest Researcher at IWIM/University of Bremen, were nominated as co-editors of the Units on Sudan and Nigeria and as Volume Editors; both have accepted the invitation. UNESCO Regional Science Policy Adviser Hassan Nazar, UNESCO Cairo Office, Egypt will be the co-editor of the Unit on Basic Issues of STI policies in Africa.

For Volume 21 (2019) essays are prepared for a Unit on Human Resources Development in Africa in the Digital Age, based on case studies for Cameroon and Nigeria. Country cases in North Africa are Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria. As usual, a strong Unit on Book Reviews and Book Notes rounds up the Volume 21. Again, UNESCO Regional Science Policy Adviser Hassan Nazar, UNESCO Office Cairo, Egypt will be the co-editor of the Unit on North Africa. Professor Achim Gutowski is again responsible for the Unit with Book Reviews and Book Notes. Professor Tobias Knedlik as the Managing Editor and Professor Karl Wohlmuth as the Scientific Co-ordinator are the other volume editors for the two forthcoming issues.

The African Development Perspectives Yearbook has over the decades - the first volume has appeared in 1989 – become the major English-language publication on Africa in Germany. The response to the  annual International Calls for Papers is huge, with an increasing interest on the side of African experts and experts from international and regional African organisations. UNCTAD/ Geneva, UNESCO/ Cairo, and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)/Nairobi, Kenya are the institutional cooperation partners for these two volumes. UNECA in Kigali, Rwanda has organized the book launch for the volumes 18 and 19 of the African Development  Perspectives Yearbook in October 2016. This was a great event, with TV appearances in 48 African countries. The Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen, which is editing the Yearbook, is also involved in researches, advisory work, and training activities. In 2019 the Research Group will celebrate the “30 years birthday ceremony” of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook.

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15.08.2017
Advising on African and Global Studies: Research Projects, International Guest Researchers, Global Conferences, Evaluations, Publications

Professor Karl Wohlmuth was in recent months active as an adviser to research projects, conferences and publications (see some projects below):

Professor Wohlmuth was invited by the President of the UN Economic and Social Council to participate at the Global ECOSOC Conference in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe as a speaker on “Industrialization based on Agricultural Development”. Global Meetings in Dakar, Victoria Falls and New York City emphasize the role of Sustainable Development Goal Nine (SDG 9) on Sustainable Industrialization, Infrastructure Development and Innovation. This will be an  ongoing task of ECOSOC. ECOSOC has the lead in implementing the 17 SDGs.

Guest researcher Professor Reuben A. Alabi extends his research stay in Bremen for three more years. The new Research Programme for 2018-2020 was recently presented as a Letter of Intentions and discussed with Professor Wohlmuth.  It has three major components, comprising major policy issues of agroindustry development in Nigeria (Crop productivity, Public expenditure for agriculture at state level, and Combatting youth unemployment through agriculture development).

Professor Alabi was appointed in March 2017 as a Full Professor of Agricultural Economics at Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria. The Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies of the  University of Bremen, Professor Jochen Zimmermann, had extended the invitation. Professor Wohlmuth is working as a consultant and senior project adviser in these projects.

Preparations are ongoing for the research visit of Professor Chunji Yun, Faculty of Economics, Seinan Gakuin University, Fukuoka-City, Japan. He will work for a year in Bremen on the research topic of “Production Integration and Labour Market Interdependencies in the European Union.” This is his second research visit at IWIM for a period of one year. The Dean has extended an invitation to him for a year.

Further on, Professor Wohlmuth has advised the research project of Yves Bagna who has constructed a new “Porter Competitiveness Index”, based on Porter’s Diamond Theory. Throughout the research period Professor Wohlmuth was the main adviser to the project. The book is now published by the Research Institute of IWVWW e. V. at Berlin, and further essays on the methodology are forthcoming. Yves Bagna has also compared the new “Porter Competitiveness Index” with the long-established “Global Competitiveness Index” of the Word Economic Forum. Yves Bagna, an engineer and economist from Cameroon, has during his research also visited the Institute of Professor Michael Porter at the Harvard Business School.

Also, Professor Wohlmuth was active to review a chapter for a new UNIDO book about Industrialization in Africa, in his function as the lead author of the chapter. He has also revised and extended a background paper on the issues for UNIDO.

In addition, Professor Wohlmuth has peer-reviewed articles for international and African journals, such as the prestigious journal Comparative Economic Studies. As the number of African refereed journals increases, the demand for evaluations rises. Members of the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen are invited to support such activities.

Work on the volumes 20 and 21 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook is progressing. On Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policies in Sudan, a cooperation is under way with Professor Samia Satti Nour from the University of Khartoum, a leading international expert on STI policies. The Cooperation, which is targeting on issues of “Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Sudan”, is advancing towards a separate Unit (a collection of papers) in Volume 20. A Unit on “STI Frameworks for Africa” is prepared in Cooperation with Patrick N. Osakwe, UNCTAD, Geneva and Nazar Hassan, UNESCO, Cairo. A Unit on STI Policies in Nigeria is done in cooperation with Professor Alabi. Other Units will be prepared on issues of Human Resources Development and STI, on STI Policies in North Africa, and on Publications on STI Policies: Book Reviews and Book Notes.

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) Tunisia has published four language versions (English, French, Arabic, German) of a study on “Elements of an Employment Strategy for Tunisia”. Professor Wohlmuth is one of the three authors, a joint work of three development economists working on Africa since decades.

Various publications were released by Professor Wohlmuth on the middle class in Africa, on deindustrialization and reindustrialization in Tunisia, on transformative regional integration in Africa, and on guidelines for policymakers in Africa to promote global and regional value chains.

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14.08.2017
Global Value Chains in African Development – A Guide for Policymakers

The debate about the role of global value chains (GVCs) in African development is still ongoing. All international and regional development organizations have something to say on these issues, and there are proposals and demands addressed to African policymakers how they could use the integration into GVCs for income growth, productivity growth, employment creation, poverty reduction, and trade diversification. GVCs are now considered as a major tool to reach inclusive growth in Africa. World Bank and OECD refer to inclusive GVCs; the African Economic Outlook for 2014 (by OECD, African Development Bank, and UNDP) links GVCs with successful industrialization in Africa; the World Economic Forum refers to policies which allow for tapping the potential of GVCs for African development; ILO investigates the employment opportunities being associated with a deeper integration into GVCs; OECD, WTO and World Bank analyse the challenges, opportunities, and policy implications of GVCs; OECD addresses those instruments which may help policymakers in developing countries to pursue their GVC agenda; UNCTAD outlines policies to integrate developing countries’ SMEs (small and medium enterprises) into GVCs; WTO addresses the tasks of policymakers to manage GVCs in a changing world economy; UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-ESA) looks at ways to strengthen capacities of policymakers to develop competitive value chains; the African Development Bank considers the options of policymakers for climbing value chains; UNIDO relates GVCs to agroindustry development; and UNECA looks at policy implications for promoting global value chains (GVCs) and regional value chains (RVCs).The list could be continued, as there is a rich collection of guidelines available now for promoting integration of local enterprises into GVCs.

Professor  Karl Wohlmuth has published a report in the journal “Berichte” to synthesize some of these views. The report is done in the form of a Guide for Policymakers enabling them to exploit by coherent policies the opportunities for African Development of integrating local enterprises into GVCs. The report draws on recommendations of international organizations and on lessons from case studies which were written for the volumes 18 and 19 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook.

 

Bibliographic Information:

Wohlmuth, Karl, 2016, Global Value Chains and African Development – Key Issues addressed to Policymakers, pages 4-30, “Berichte”, 2016, Volume 26, Number 210, ISSN 1022-3258, Berlin, IWVWW e. V.

The report has two parts. In part one basic issues of global value chains (GVCs) when interacting with African local economies are discussed. Major questions are: How can Africa develop capabilities and preconditions for a beneficial integration of its producers into global value chains? What do we know about the depth and the forms of Africa’s integration into regional and global value chains? Are the sub-regional and local development impacts of Africa’s participation in regional and global value chains gainful? In order to guide the policymakers on GVCs it is necessary to collect information on these issues first.

In part two some strategic implications of the analysis are presented, with the purpose to formulate the core elements of the guideline. Five priority areas for action emerge and have to be considered by policymakers so that the African country and its enterprises can gain from global value chains (GVCs): First priority is, Developing the Key Capabilities for GVC Participation; second priority is, Identifying the Power Structures within the GVCs; third priority is, Assessing the Relevance of the Various Transmission Channels; fourth priority is, Using more fully the GVC Anchors and GVC Hubs in Africa; and fifth priority is, Making Regional Integration work for deeper GVC Participation. Important is the way how these five elements are bundled together in a comprehensive strategy by the policymakers.

All these five strategic imperatives have high cost in terms of administrative burden, manpower needs, leadership, and visionary power. So, it can be envisaged that for many African countries integration into global value chains (GVCs) will remain a dream, not becoming reality in the next few years. Other countries are developing and exploiting such potentials to integrate their enterprises into GVCs, like some North African and South African countries, and some few West African and East African countries, but this will be a select list of countries. However, even the successful countries in Africa will make progress in regard of GVCs only with regard of some product niches, some tasks, specific sectors and sub-regions, and a select group of enterprises. It will be necessary for all of them to learn from small successes and not to be discouraged.

Volumes 18 and 19 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook with case studies on Global Value Chains:

 

 


The report benefitted from the lessons of several case studies in volumes 18 and 19 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook (see above, and see the link to the Publisher and to the Editor of the Yearbook volumes: http://www.lit-verlag.de/reihe/adpy and http://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/african_development_perspectives_yearbook/). Country cases for Sudan, The Gambia, Ghana, Tunisia, and Botswana highlight the preconditions for a successful integration into GVCs, in terms of macroeconomic policy formation, human resources development, trade and industry policy formation, spatial development policies, and technology and innovation policy formation.

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