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26.10.2018
African Development Perspectives Yearbook: Volume 20 on “Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policies For Inclusive Growth In Africa – General Issues And Country Cases” just published


In volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook with the title “Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth in Africa - General Issues and Country Cases” major strategic and policy issues are analysed. The guiding issue is how to make Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policies relevant for inclusive growth strategies in Africa so that socio-economic transformation strategies will take off. Although STI polices are considered as indispensable for sustainable growth in Africa, the steps towards such policies and strategies are not yet streamlined enough. Therefore, it is necessary to learn from the successful cases of STI development in Africa and in other emerging countries.


African Development Perspectives Yearbook 2018:
On Science, Technology And Innovation Policies For Inclusive Growth In Africa

In this volume a new approach is envisaged. Based on Africa’s deep-routed structural problems, the STI policies are related to Africa’s economic transformation agenda. In a first part of Volume 20 the general issues of introducing effective STI policies are presented, based on visions, strategic plans and the requirements of functioning national innovation systems. In a second part, country case studies highlight the new approach. Specific case studies, such as for Sudan and Nigeria, are presented, as these two countries have a long history of STI development. Strategies and policies for more coherent STI policies are presented (see the Cover of volume 20: PDF 91042-4 Alabi).

Complementary to this volume is Volume 21 with the title “Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth in Africa - Human Skills Development and Country Cases”. In the first part of Volume 21 the role of human skills development for capacity building in STI systems is discussed. This is based on examples from Cameroon, Nigeria and Mauritania. In the second part the national innovation systems and STI policies of North African countries (Egypt and Tunisia) are evaluated, to assess how they can be directed towards economic transformation and inclusive growth.

With Volume 21 the African Development Perspectives Yearbook project is approaching 30 years of activity as the first volume was published in 1989 under the title “Human Dimensions of Adjustment”. In these 30 years the African Development Perspectives Yearbook has become the major annual publication in English language on Africa in Germany. Guiding principle is the inclusion of authors and editors from Africa, the publication of essays which are also readable by media people, development actors and policymakers, and the presentation of successful policies, projects and programmes which highlight that Africa can succeed in regard of its ambitions and that it can rise in growth and development.

The Research Group on African Development Perspectives has just released the International Call for Papers for Volume 22 (2020) and invites Abstracts and nominations for the position of Guest Editors (see International Call for Papers Volume 22, for the year 2020).

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26.10.2018
International Call for Papers for: Volume 22 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook on “Sustainable Development Goal 9 (Infrastructure, Industrialization, Innovation) and African Development – Challenges and Opportunities”

Invited are contributions for Volume 22 (2020) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook with the title “Sustainable Development Goal 9 (Infrastructure, Industrialization, Innovation) and African Development – Challenges and Opportunities”. See the International Call for Papers for Volume 22 (for the calendar year 2020). The contributions should be evidence-based and policy-oriented. High academic standards are requested and will be checked by referees. Non-technical papers with deep analysis, which are readable by practitioners in development cooperation and by media people, have a high priority in the selection process. The concept of the contribution and the methodological framework of analysis should be outlined in the Abstract which is submitted to the Editors, Professor Karl Wohlmuth (Bremen) and Professor Tobias Knedlik (Fulda).


Source: United Nations
Sustainable Development Goal Nine (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and African Development

Upon acceptance of the paper, the Contributors will receive Editorial Guidelines and a Template. Accepted papers will be grouped into Thematic Units, and the respective Unit Editors will contact the contributors quite regularly during the process of finalization of the paper to discuss the various drafts. The African Development Perspectives Yearbook is published since 1989 (see the link to the website of the Yearbook project: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/africa/africanyearbook.htm). The volumes 20 and 21 (for the years 2018 and 2019) were on the theme “Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth in Africa”. In 2019, the Research Group celebrates the event of 30 years of publishing the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. Each of the volumes 20 and 21 had three Thematic Units. Volume 22 will be related to the year 2020; in case of many high-quality submissions a Volume 23 for the year 2021 can be added. Guest Editors for various Thematic Units are also invited to apply. Editors of Thematic Units are also becoming automatically the status of Volume Editors. Guest Editors are responsible for a Thematic Unit with 3 – 5 contributions and an Introduction. For specific themes see the Main Issues proposed by the Editors for Volume 22 as presented in the International Call for Papers Volume 22 (2020). These proposals for themes are only examples. The Editors are open to further suggestions in the context of SDG 9..

The theme for volume 22 on “Sustainable Development Goal 9 (Infrastructure, Industrialization, Innovation) and African Development – Challenges and Opportunities” is related to the importance of Goal Nine in the context of the SDG Agenda 2030. SDG 9 is comprehensive and is focussing on “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. The targets and indicators related to Sustainable Development Goal Nine focus on:

  1. a) developing quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure;
    b) promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and raising significantly industry’s share of employment;
    c) increasing the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises to financial services, and facilitating their integration into value chains and markets;
    d) upgrading infrastructure and retrofitting industries to make them sustainable in terms of resource-use efficiency and adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies; and
    e) enhancing scientific research, upgrading the technological capabilities of industrial sectors, and encouraging innovation.

Focus in SDG 9 is also on facilitating sustainable and resilient infrastructural development, on supporting domestic technology development, research and innovation, and on increasing access to information and communication technologies.

The contributions will add to the knowledge about the role of SDG 9 for sustainable development and inclusive growth in Africa. Understanding the links to the other 16 SDGs of the Agenda 2030 is of great importance when drafting contributions for volume 22 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. The contributors should consider the links to, the spillovers from and the interactions with the other SDGs.

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26.10.2018
SUDAN ECONOMY RESEARCH GROUP (SERG) DISCUSSION PAPERS Number 43: A Vision and a Strategy for Sudan

A new research and strategy paper on “Sudan in the 21st Century: Seeking Pathways Forward” was published as the number 43 in the SUDAN ECONOMY RESEARCH GROUP (SERG) DISCUSSION PAPERS series at the University of Bremen (see the link to the SERG series: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/publikationen/pub-sudan.htm). Author is  Dr. Mohamed al Murtada Mustafa, Former Undersecretary of Labour, Ministry of Labour, Sudan and Former Director of ILO Offices in Harare and Cairo. The paper argues that for a successful reconstruction of the Sudanese economy five pillars are needed: education, entrepreneurship, agriculture, industry and management. These five pillars represent the main sectors and functional areas which must interact for inclusive growth to occur. Interaction depends on institutional reform and on a developmental role of the civil service. The separation of South Sudan in 2011 has fundamentally changed the situation of Sudan, and it is no longer possible to pursue uncoordinated, short-term and small-scale policy changes. Much more is needed – long-term structural strategies and deep policy changes must be implemented in Sudan. Fundamental reforms are proposed in the study and policy recommendations are presented for these five pillars.


Source: Dr. Mohamed al Murtada Mustafa, Khartoum, Sudan
The Strategic Pillars for Sudan’s Development

The author emphasizes also the fact that the Sudanese government has seen a great number of advisory and consultancy reports on economic strategies since 1956 when the country became independent. All these proposals and suggestions from donors, think tanks and international organisations were well-minded and valuable but were repetitive in content and never were implemented (neither by democratic governments nor by military regimes). Therefore, a new approach is needed by focussing on a developmental civil service and a new leadership for the country which is based on a broader group of policy actors – coming from all regions of the Sudan, from representative political circles and from significant parts of the civil society.  Such an approach is formulated in the new SERG study. Professor Karl Wohlmuth from the University of Bremen has peer-reviewed and re-edited the paper by Dr. Murtada. It will also be circulated in Arabic language by the author.

The new volume of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook – number 20 for the year 2018 – has also a strong strategic focus on Sudan; emphasis is on the strengthening of the National Innovation System (NIS) and the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policies of Sudan (issue one), on developing new policies to support innovative industrial enterprises (issue two), on attracting foreign enterprises and stimulating the technology transfer to domestic firms (issue three), and on increasing the yield in agriculture through R&D and appropriate dissemination of research results to the farming sector (issue four). Over the years the African Development Perspectives Yearbook has published regularly on Sudan and South Sudan and so has participated actively to the discussion on new development strategies for these countries (see the link to the Yearbook editions: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/africa/africanyearbook.htm). The research on Sudan by the SERG is summarized in the report on Sudan Studies in Bremen (see the link to number 38 on “Sudan Studies in Bremen 1979-2011”: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/publikationen/pub-sudan.htm). Most of the papers published by  the SERG have a focus on strategies and policies to advance structural change in Sudan (and in South Sudan).

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26.10.2018
“Aviation in Africa” International Workshop in Bremen, June 2018: The Role of a More Balanced Transport Infrastructure in Africa was emphasized by University of Bremen’s development economist Professor Karl Wohlmuth in his Keynote Lecture



Professor Karl Wohlmuth gave a Keynote Lecture on Transport Infrastructure and Regional Integration in Africa – A Neglected Link at the second “Aviation in Africa” International Workshop which was organized in June 2018 by the Institute for Transport and Development (ITD) of the Hochschule Bremen (City University of Applied Sciences Bremen) on behalf of  the international scientific organization GARS (German Aviation Research Society). Professor Wohlmuth emphasized in his lecture the following themes: Scoping the neglected link of transport infrastructure and regional integration; New Initiatives to link Infrastructure, Continental and Regional Development in Africa; Transformative Regional Integration and Infrastructure Development in Africa; The “Infrastructure State”, Regional Integration and Aviation Development in Africa; and Conclusions –Way Forward in Africa. More than hundred experts on aviation and development participated at the three days meeting in Bremen (see the PDF Programme and the PDF Power Point Presentation).

 
Professor Karl Wohlmuth speaks about “Transport Infrastructure and Regional Integration in Africa”

 

 
Professor Deusdedit Rwehumbiza from the University of Dar es Salaam speaks about “Perspectives of regional integration in East Africa”

 
Participants (left Conference Organizer Professor Hans-Martin Niemeier from the ITD) listen to the lecture of Professor Hans-Heinrich Bass about “Monetary Integration in East Africa”

Professor Wohlmuth argued in his lecture that a new approach towards transformative regional integration is needed for Africa to overcome the bottleneck factors which impede structural change in Africa. Not trade liberalisation is the key priority issue of regional integration, but structural transformation between and within economic sectors. This “transformative regional integration approach” contrasts with the “linear regional integration model” which was inherited in Africa from the European integration process. Also, it was strongly emphasized that transport infrastructure development is biased in Africa as roads construction (within the countries and at cross-border level) is still the key transport sector development business. Other transport modes, like railways, aviation, waterways and rivers, and ocean shipping, are still neglected. But most seriously, the mobility concepts are not clarified in Africa; it is not made clear how the transport modes are really used (by producers and consumers). Huge investment projects are agreed upon in the context of national, regional and continental transport development programmes, but financing, implementation and maintenance levels are weak, and the social, commercial and economic benefits of the projects are not always made clear. The map of PIDA’s Priority Action Plan (see below) shows how neglected other transport modes than roads (along the Corridors and the Trans African Highways routes) are and will be until 2040.

 

From: Export-Import Bank of India, Connecting Africa: Role of Transport Infrastructure, March 2018, p.42

Note: PIDA/Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa

Aviation has huge developmental advantages for Africa, but this transport sub-sector is still neglected in all decision-making processes, at national, regional and continental African political and governance levels. The observed progress of Africa in terms of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) development indicators gives hope and will facilitate the build-up of an aviation infrastructure. Aviation has huge effects in Africa on employment, industrialization, technological development, skills and human resources development, regional development, export development, mobility of people, goods and ideas, and especially on the opening of economies for trade, investment, technological innovation and skilled migration. The proposed publication project for volume 22 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook on “Sustainable Development Goal 9 (Infrastructure, Industrialization and Innovation) and African Development – Challenges and Opportunities” will consider the issues of a more balanced transport infrastructure in Africa as a base for a broad industrialization advance and the speeding-up of innovation processes in African firms (see PDF International Call for Papers for Volume 22, 2020). Members of GARS and other experts on aviation in Africa are invited to submit their Abstracts to the Editors of the African Development  Perspectives Yearbook (see the link to the Yearbook programme: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/africa/about.htm).

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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 A. Adesina, 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
Weiterbildungsseminar für eine hochrangige Delegation von Hochschulexperten aus der Provinz Sichuan, Volksrepublik China: Vortrag von Professor Karl Wohlmuth über Innovationsstrategien in Deutschland und im Land Bremen

Professor Karl Wohlmuth hielt einen Vortrag zum Thema: Kooperative Innovationsstrategien in Deutschland und im Land Bremen. Die Rolle der verschiedenen Akteure. Der Vortrag fand am Montag, 28. 8. 2017, im International Graduate Center (IGC) der Hochschule Bremen statt. Professoren und Dozenten von Hochschulinstituten der Provinz Sichuan, insbesondere vom Sichuan Administration Institute (SAI) unter der  Leitung von Frau Deng Ying, Vize-Präsidentin, informierten sich über den Wirtschaftsstandort Deutschland und über neue Innovationsstrategien der Politik und der Unternehmen. Auch die „One Belt, One Road“-Initiative der chinesischen Regierung wurde aus deutscher Sicht bewertet. Die Rolle der Denkfabriken in Deutschland bei der Entscheidungsfindung über Großprojekte, internationale Projekte und Innovationsprojekte war auch ein Themenkomplex des Seminars.

Professor Wohlmuth ging in seinem Vortrag zunächst detailliert auf die Rolle Deutschlands im globalen Innovationswettbewerb ein, um dann die Struktur der Nationalen und Regionalen Innovationssysteme und die Rolle der verschiedenen Akteure zu erläutern. In einem weiteren Teil des Vortrages wurde die Zusammenarbeit von Universitäten, außeruniversitären Forschungsinstituten und Unternehmen in Bremen erläutert; an Beispielen wurde verdeutlicht, wie  Unternehmen, Forschungsinstitute und Behörden bei Innovationsprojekten kooperieren. Von besonderem Interesse war für die chinesischen Teilnehmer des Seminars die Art der Einbindung der bremischen Innovationspolitik und Innovationsförderung in den Rahmen der Innovationsstrategie der Bundespolitik. Auch die Beziehungen der Akteure der Innovationspolitik in Deutschland und in Bremen mit dem Ausland interessierten die Teilnehmer.

Die lebhafte Diskussion ging auch um die Entscheidungsprozesse bei der Vergabe von Fördermitteln für Innovationsprojekte; die Rolle der europäischen und bundespolitischen Akteure bei der Finanzierung von Projekten wurde hinterfragt. Auch der Spielraum der einzelnen Forscher bei der Entscheidung über die Wahl von Forschungsthemen und bei der Mitteleinwerbung interessierte die Teilnehmer aus der Provinz Sichuan. Großen Raum im Vortrag und bei der Diskussion nahmen die Neue Hightech Strategie der Bundesrepublik und die neue Hightech Strategie von China, die Strategie „Made in China 2025“, ein; eine vergleichende Analyse wurde präsentiert. Die dargestellten Bewertungen der deutschen Innovationstätigkeit durch die EU (im European Innovation Scoreboard 2017 und im Research and Innovation Observatory (RIO)-Länderbericht 2016: Deutschland) zeigten den Teilnehmern die Stärken und die Schwächen der deutschen Innovationslandschaft in vergleichender europäischer Perspektive auf. Am Beispiel von bremischen Innovationsprojekten wurde dann noch gezeigt, wie die diversen Akteure (Unternehmen, Forschungsinstitute, Finanzinstitute, Behörden, Consultingbüros, etc.) in Clustern kooperieren und wie Absprachen zwischen Unternehmen, Forschungseinrichtungen und Behörden zustande kommen.

Die Präsentation zu dem Vortrag ist als PDF verfügbar (vgl. PDF Wohlmuth, Sichuan Province, Kooperative Innovationsstrategien). Eine Ausarbeitung auf der Basis des Vortrages ist vorgesehen.

Professor Karl Wohlmuth war auch eingeladen, einen Vortrag bei einem Weiterbildungsseminar vom 4. 7. bis 11. 7. 2016 für Teilnehmer aus der Provinz Tianjin, Volksrepublik China zum Thema „Innovation und industrielle Entwicklung in Deutschland“ zu halten. Die PDFs zu anderen Vorträgen von Professor Karl Wohlmuth in diesem Programm für chinesische Experten sind über die beiden Homepages (IWIM und Karl Wohlmuth) abrufbar.

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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
Blog: Der Verfall demokratischer Parteien und der Aufstieg populistischer Strömungen in der Eurozone. Ein Fallbeispiel
Der Bremer Wirtschaftsprofessor Karl Wohlmuth geht in seinem Blog auf den Verfall der SPD und auf die Lage der Sozialdemokratie in Europa ein. Die Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD) verliert an Zustimmung, obwohl die soziale Lage der prekären Einkommensbezieher sich nicht verbessert, ja teilweise sogar verschlechtert. Nicht nur in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, auch in anderen Ländern der Eurozone, verlieren sozialdemokratische Parteien schnell und stark an Gewicht, obwohl die Lage der Haushalte in den prekären Sektoren sich eher verschlechtert, ein Verfall der Position der Mittelklassen erkennbar wird, und die Rentierklassen (der reichsten 1% der Haushalte) große Einkommensgewinne erzielen. Vgl. den Blog von Karl Wohlmuth: Die Zukunft der SPD. Der Blog profitierte stark von den Debatten über die Dualökonomie in den OECD-Ländern bei der Edinburgh-Konferenz des Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) im Oktober 2017. Das Institut wurde im Oktober 2009 in New York gegründet, um nach der Finanzkrise neue Denkansätze in der Volkswirtschaftslehre zu verankern.
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