The Sudan Research Group (SRG) has now released its conference report on the first conference held in Khartoum, Sudan which took place some months after the Sudanese Revolution and the instalment of the Transitional Government. The title of the report is “Towards Sustainable Inclusive Development in Sudan“. The participants were divided into eight clusters to discuss 31 papers around the Conference’s main themes: 1- Macroeconomic Management for Inclusive Development; 2- Bringing the Productive Sectors back in Sudan; 3- Governance and Institutions; 4- Management of Natural Resources; 5- Sustainable Infra-Structure; 6- Social Policy and Public Service Delivery; 7- The Role of the Private Sector; and 8- Gender. The Report was published in 2020 and contains Recommendations on Macroeconomic Issues, Reviving the Productive Sectors, Governance and Institutions, The Management of Natural Resources, Sustainable Infrastructure, Social Policy and Public Service Delivery, and the Private Sector. There are specific recommendations to the Transitional Government, to the Ministry of Finance and to other competent ministries, to International Donors, and to Civil Society Organizations. The full report contains information about all the clusters of the conference.
The Sudan Research Group (SRG) writes about its mandate: “The Sudan Research Group is a UK-based voluntary organization. It was formed in 2003 by a group of academics and researchers who felt a pressing need for a specialized network that brings together multidisciplinary academics, researchers, activists and policy makers in a forum devoted to in-depth discussions of the key and pressing issues that face the country. Dedicated to impact, it aims to produce and promote research and scholarship that may inform home-grown policies to address the country’s urgent economic, political, and social needs.” And the SRG reports about the conferences: “The main conferences and events organized by the Group so far include “Economic Challenges in Post-conflict Sudan” (2004), “Institutional and Governance Requirements for the Future Development of Sudan” ( 2005 ), “Education and Capacity Building” (2006), “Assessing the Peace-building in Darfur”, (2008), “General Education Crisis in Sudan” (with an Open Themes Group), (2016), Training in Communication for Sudanese NGOs” (2019), and a series of Webinars.” Then, “Towards Sustainable Inclusive Development in Sudan” (2019) was the first conference that SRG was able to convene in Sudan after the Sudanese Revolution which started in December 2018. It was convened for June 2019, but was then postponed to November 2019 (SRG 5TH Meeting Tentative Agenda).
About the Report on the SRG Conference November 2019 in Khartoum, Sudan: “The Sudan Research Group (SRG) is pleased to introduce a summary of the proceedings of its Fifth Conference, with the title “Towards Sustainable Inclusive Development in Sudan”. Held only three months after the formation of the Transitional Government that followed the end of three decades of dictatorship, the conference sought to provide a neutral space for open discussions that help in shaping the agenda for change. More than 160 researchers, policy makers, private sector and civil society participants engaged in three days of constructive - and sometimes heated debate - about immediate reform programs and long -term development policies. This report provides a brief summary of the discussions on the key themes of the conference and its substantive findings. It should be noted that the messages and ideas summarized are not intended to indicate a consensus and they do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the SRG”. The report is available for download as a PDF under: Final SRG 5th Conf. 2019. Professor Karl Wohlmuth had the privilege to be invited to the conference as a speaker for the cluster Infrastructure. Professor Wohlmuth follows the studies and projects of the SRG carefully.
Dr. Gamal Al-Tayib from UNECA in Addis Ababa is one of the founders of the SRG.
Another important development about Sudan as two thinktanks are cooperating: SRG is joined by SWEA in development work
In the new Sudan independent NGOs can be founded and have space for action. SWEA (see below) is now ready to mobilise the women economists. There are links between SRG and SWEA. SERG in Bremen is cooperating with these groups.
Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA): Empowering the Women in the Peripheries through Capacity Building Projects
Women economists work together for a peaceful and prospering Sudan. Sawsan Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil from the Ministry of Finance in Khartoum, Sudan is a co-founder of the Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA). SWEA was founded in June 2020. SWEA is collaborating with the Sudan Research Group (SRG) in a capacity building project. The first (and so far the only) project was an online training on a research proposal writing for the students of Nayala, El Fahser, Gedaref and Kassala, but much more is in the pipeline. Sawsan Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil from the Ministry of Finance in Khartoum, Sudan is working now with the Aid Coordination Unit of the Ministry to restructure their strategy. We cooperate from the SERG in Bremen with SRG and SWEA to learn more about the reforms ongoing in Sudan and to support the process of change in the country. It is intended to cooperate on the new Yearbook project of the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen (see the International Call for Papers Volume 23).
The Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA) is becoming an important partner for democratic development, inclusive growth, and economic change in Sudan.
Source: Website SWEA
About the Mandate of SWEA:
“The Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA) was founded in June 2020, on the ground of redeeming the prevalent gap of women economists participation in the policy and academic spheres in Sudan. Fuelled by the enthusiasm of its founders and members, SWEA aims at building capacities, encouraging and amplifying the contribution of women economists, and of young women pursuing degrees in economics. SWEA strives to achieve this by providing a platform to convene Sudanese women economists, offering networking opportunities and enriching the economic research space by the contributions from its members.”
The Vision of SWEA:
“SWEA’s vision is to advance Sudanese women economists’ participation in academic and public policy spheres in Sudan. Our aim is to promote solidarity between Sudanese women economists across generations, as a key step to build capacity of young women in economics and to amplify the voices of Sudanese women in economic research and practice.”
The website of SWEA is: https://sweasd.org.
Source: Website SWEA
Professor Samia Nour from the University of Khartoum, Sudan has published (in cooperation with Dr. Eltayeb Mohamedain) a working paper and two policy briefs on Food Security and Agricultural Development in Kassala State, Sudan. These are publications of the CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute). The CMI Sudan Working paper Number 1 (21 July 2020) and the two CMI Policy Briefs (21 July 2020) are of interest as the focus is on research done by regional universities and for advice to policymakers in peripheral regions in Sudan. The two policy briefs are based on the findings in the CMI Sudan working paper number 1 (21 July 2020) that analyses agricultural development and food security with the use of survey data from Kassala State. This research is conducted as part of the Agriculture and Food Security cluster in the Assisting Regional Universities in Sudan (ARUS) programme. The ARUS programme is a collaboration between CMI, the University of Khartoum, Ahfad University for Women, the University of Bergen, and several regional universities in Sudan. The programme is funded by the Norwegian Embassy in Khartoum. The importance of these studies is that regional universities in Sudan are participating, and that key issues of peripheral areas like food security and agricultural development are more deeply researched.
Professor Samia Nour is now also Book Reviews/Book Notes Editor of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. She has advised the editors of volumes 20 (2018) and 21 (2019) and is Unit editor and Volume Editor for volume 22 (2020/21). She is also collaborating with various international research organisations. She has recently published in the SERG discussion papers of IWIM on Sudan’s revolution (see Number 44 of the SERG discussion papers with the title: “Overview of the Sudan Uprising”: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/sudan_economy_research_group/).
Access to these three CMI publications (see links below) which are co-authored by Professor Samia Nour:
CMI Sudan Working Paper Number 1: “Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State”, CMI Sudan Working Paper Number 1, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway, 21 July 2020, pp. 1-113. Link: Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State
See the Abstract (shortened) below.
Sudan CMI Policy Brief Number 3: “Food Insecurity in Sudan as seen from Kassala State ”, Sudan CMI Policy Brief Number 3, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway, 21 July 2020, pp. 1-4. Link: Food Insecurity in Sudan as seen from Kassala State
“This policy brief discusses the incidence of food insecurity, explores families’ survival strategies, and recommends measures that may combat food insecurity.”
Sudan CMI Policy Brief 4: “Agricultural development and food Security in Sudan as seen from Kassala State”, Sudan CMI Policy Brief Number 4, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway, 21 July 2020, pp. 1-4. Link: Agricultural development and food Security in Sudan as seen from Kassala State
“This policy brief uses data from Kassala State to assess the close link between agricultural development and food security, and investigates factors and policies that can strengthen agricultural development, thereby increasing food security in Sudan.”
Abstract (shortened) of Sudan Working Paper 1, 21 July 2020
Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State,
by Prof. Dr. Samia Mohamed Nour and Dr. Eltayeb Mohamedain, Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (Sudan Working Paper 2020:1)This research discusses the relationship between agricultural development and food security, the determinants of the supply of food and of the demand for food, and the determinants of food insecurity in Kassala State. In so doing, it provides a significant contribution to the current literature. Used are new primary data from a Food Security Household Survey which was conducted in Kassala State (2019). It was found that the majority of households are food insecure (77%), out of which 32.9% of the households are severely food insecure, while fewer households are fully food secure (23%). There is a large variation in households' food insecurity between localities, with rural Kassala having most of the food insecure households. This may be explained by the variation in monthly income between localities.
Three hypotheses are examined. A first hypothesis is verified that the most significant determinants of production of food are the size of agricultural land, the available livestock, and the irrigation systems. There is support for the second hypothesis that the family's own production of food and the household income have positive effects on food consumption. It is found that the significant determinants of the production of sorghum (the main staple food) are the size of agricultural land and the available livestock, and that the significant determinants of consumption of sorghum are the family's own production of sorghum, the household income, and the family size. For small farmers, their own consumption of sorghum is to a larger extent determined by their own production of sorghum. Therefore, enhancing production of sorghum among smallholders would contribute to enhancing consumption of sorghum and hence supporting food security. The third hypothesis is verified that better working conditions of the farmers are crucial for family own production of food and are then supporting food security; the probabilities of households being food secure increase with better working conditions for higher family own production .
Investigating the gender gap related to food production and food security has led to the results that male-headed households produce more food and are more food secure than female-headed households. Some reasons for this observation are analyzed. Also, it was found out that agricultural production is impeded by the lack of agricultural land, the cultivation of only few crops, an insufficient irrigation system, and shortages of agricultural services, which are mainly related to the provision of agricultural technology. Therefore, the major policy implication is that measures aimed at increasing household incomes and enhancing family own production of food are important for eliminating food insecurity. Recommended are therefore policies that may increase household incomes and may enhance smallholders' own production of food. Relevant policy instruments may be increases of agricultural land ownership, increases of the size of cultivated land for smallholders, more diversification of agricultural food crops, an improvement of irrigation systems, measures for enhancing female participation in agricultural activities and food security, steps towards improvement of agricultural services, mainly related to the adoption of technology, improving access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation systems, and, in general terms, improved infrastructure which may help in access to food, to inputs, and to production requirements.
The African Development Perspectives Yearbook, Volume 22(2020/2021) with the title “Sustainable Development Goal Nine and African Development – Challenges and Opportunities” is now finalized by the publisher. The Volume 22 (2020/2021) focusses on the relevance of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 (“Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation") for Africa’s development. In three Units key issues in the context of SDG 9 and its eight targets and twelve indicators are analysed at the continental level and in country case studies.
Unit 1 presents in four essays the African continental perspectives and achievements - on developing productive capacities towards sustainable industrialization, supporting frugal innovations for bottom-of-the pyramid households, reorganising commodity-based industrialization through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, and making foreign direct investment work for inclusive growth and sustainable industrialisation.
Unit 2 presents six essays which are focussing on aspects of the eight targets of SDG 9. Two essays discuss perspectives of agro-industrial development and of financial innovations for Sudan and Nigeria; two essays consider the future of renewable energy projects in urban and rural areas of Nigeria and Cameroon; and two further essays analyse the importance of the roads system in Sudan for structural transformation and the role of sustainable mining activities in support of social infrastructure for Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Unit 3 presents book reviews and book notes in the context of SDG 9, classified around 11 categories. Reviewed are publications on SDG 9 and interlinkages with other SDGs, global and regional reports of relevance for Africa and/or coming from Africa, and new books on African Studies.
Volume 22 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook is the first comprehensive publication on the relevance of SDG 9 for African development. See the focus on SDG 9 in the United Nations system: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/envision2030-goal9.html, by UNDP: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals/goal-9-industry-innovation-and-infrastructure.html, by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs: https://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/space4sdgs/sdg9.html, and by The Global Goals initiative: https://www.globalgoals.org/9-industry-innovation-and-infrastructure. Also in and for Africa SDG 9 is intensively researched now by UNIDO: https://www.unido.org/who-we-are/unido-and-sdgs/africa-and-sdg-9; by UNDP: https://www.africa.undp.org/content/rba/en/home/sustainable-development-goals/goal-9-industry-innovation-and-infrastructure.html; by the SDG Philanthropy Platform: https://www.sdgphilanthropy.org/SDG-9-in-Africa-by-2030; and by the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network: https://s3.amazonaws.com/sustainabledevelopment.report/2020/2020_africa_index_and_dashboards.pdf. The new study by the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen is presenting in Volume 22 (2020/2021) a collection of analytic essays and country case studies.
In the meantime, a Festschrift was published at the occasion of the 30 years anniversary of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook (1989-2019). A second edition was just released (see: Wohlmuth-Festschrift Thirty Years). It contains information about the formative years of the project, a description of the volumes over the thirty years by themes, messages and highlights, and comments and statements by contributors, supporters, and editors. Also, the new International Call for Papers for volume 23 (2022) was released some weeks ago (see: International Call for Papers Volume 23). Over the years, the African Development Perspectives Yearbook became the leading annual English-language publication on Africa in Germany.
This study examined the impacts of the E-wallet Fertilizer Subsidy Scheme on the quantity of fertilizer use, on crop output, and on yield in Nigeria. The study made use of the Nigeria General Household Survey (GHS)-Panel Datasets of 2010/2011 and 2012/2013 which contain 5,000 farming households in each of the panel. The study has applied relevant evaluation techniques to analyse the data. The results of the impact analysis demonstrate that the scheme has generally increased the yield, the crop output, and the quantity of fertilizer purchase of the participating farmers by 38%, 47%, and 16%, respectively. The study concludes that increased productivity, which the scheme engenders, can help to reduce food insecurity in Nigeria. Provision of rural infrastructure, such as a good road network, and accessibility to mobile phones, radio, etc. will increase the readiness of the small-scale farmers to accept the scheme or any other similar agricultural schemes in Nigeria. The new fertiliser subsidy scheme goes back to the initiative of Nigerian Agriculture Minister Akinwumi A. Adesina, now President of the African Development Bank in Abidjan. He was awarded the Sunhak Peace Prize for Good Governance and Agriculture Innovations in Africa (see on his life and the award: http://sunhakprize.blogspot.com/2018/11/main-achievements-of-akinwumi-adesina.html).
The Achievements of Akinwumi A. Adesina
The E-wallet Fertilizer Subsidy Scheme had an estimated yield impact of 66% on the side of the participating small-scale poor farmers; this is much higher when compared with the estimated yield impact of 38% on the side of the the average farmers who are participating in the scheme. This suggests that the overall impact of the scheme could be higher if the scheme is well targeted at the small-scale poor farmers. Increased productivity through fertiliser use will reduce food insecurity in Nigeria. Provision of rural infrastructure will increase accessibility of the small-scale farmers to the scheme, so that measures by the government in this direction are important.
The new study is part of the research programme by Professor Alabi on Nigerian agricultural sector initiatives which is undertaken at the invitation of the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies of the University of Bremen, based on a guest researcher agreement in cooperation with Professor Karl Wohlmuth. Professor Karl Wohlmuth from the Research Group on African Development Perspectives is cooperating with the Nigerian Professor since many years, and supervises also this particular research programme. Professor Alabi has just finalized his essay for the next volume of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook 2020/21 on “Financial inclusion, Innovation and Agricultural Development in Nigeria”. The Nigerian Professor works for the Yearbook Project now for more than 10 years as a co-editor and as an author. Professor Alabi has successfully applied various times for grants from the AERC/African Economic Research Consortium, Nairobi, Kenya, the leading African economic science Think Tank; also this study was financed by the AERC. He was also a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at IWIM, University of Bremen for a period of around 2 years (see: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/environment_and_development_management_nigeria_germany/).
The record of fertilizer subsidies in Africa is weak. Therefore it is important to study the Nigerian E-wallet approach which seems to contrast the Africa-wide negative assessments of fertiliser subsidies.
The Economist wrote on July 1st, 2017 a famous article: “Why fertiliser subsidies in Africa have not worked/Good intentions, poor results”
The Impact of the E-Wallet Fertilizer Subsidy Scheme and its Implications on Food Security in Nigeria,
by Reuben Adeolu Alabi, Professor at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria, and currently staying as Visiting Guest Researcher at the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies of the University of Bremen; the study is co-authored by Oshobugie Ojor Adams, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria; it was published as Research Paper 390, January 2020, 42 pages, and it was released by AERC/African Economic Research Consortium, Nairobi, Kenya.
For a Download of the Study: https://aercafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Research-Paper-390.pdf
Remarks about the status of the research grant by AERC: This Research Study was supported by a grant from the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). The findings, opinions and recommendations are those of the authors, however, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Consortium, its individual members or the AERC Secretariat.
Published by: The African Economic Research Consortium
P.O. Box 62882 - City Square
Nairobi 00200, Kenya
© 2020, African Economic Research Consortium.
In einer öffentlichen Diskussionsveranstaltung berichtete der Bremer Entwicklungsökonom Professor Karl Wohlmuth über seine Forschungen zum Thema des Zusammenhangs von Wirtschaftswachstum und Armutsbeseitigung im Entwicklungsprozess – dies mit besonderem Bezug zu Afrika. Im Rahmen seines Impulsreferates ging der Professor zunächst auf die aktuelle Diskussion über „Africa Rising“ ein, kontrastierte diesen populären wie hoffnungsvollen Befund aber mit dem sehr hohen Anteil der „extremen Armut“ an der Bevölkerung in Afrika. Nach dieser Einführung wurde auf den statistischen Zusammenhang von Wachstums- und Armutsraten eingegangen; Befunde zu Korrelationen und Kausalitäten wurden erläutert. Schließlich wurden zwei zentrale Konzepte in dieser Debatte kontrastiert: erstens, Wachstumsstimulierung mit Fokus auf Armutsreduzierung (Pro-Poor Growth) und zweitens, Armutsbekämpfung mit Fokus auf Wachstumsimpulsen (Pro-Growth Poverty Reduction).
An Länderbeispielen wurde gezeigt, dass beide Konzepte (Pro-Poor Growth und Pro-Growth Poverty Reduction) durchaus gleichzeitig angewendet werden können. Es wurde vom Referenten auch betont, dass die Nachhaltigkeitsziele Eins („Keine Armut“) und Acht („Menschenwürdige Arbeit und Wirtschaftswachstum“) durch diese Kombination von Entwicklungsinterventionen in afrikanischen Ländern am ehesten verwirklicht werden können. Voraussetzung ist allerdings, dass in den afrikanischen Ländern die Reformpolitik im Rahmen eines langfristigen Entwicklungsprogramms erfolgt. Das Beispiel Äthiopien zeigt, dass beide Konzepte zur Förderung von Wachstum und Armutsreduzierung relevant sind und beide Ziele der Agenda 2030 so am ehesten erreicht werden können. Der Fokus auf landwirtschaftliche und agro-industrielle Entwicklung kann durch Beschäftigungsschaffung zur Armutsreduzierung beitragen, während ausgewählte soziale Sicherungsprogramme so gestaltet werden können, dass sich Wachstumsimpulse ergeben, etwa durch Infrastrukturentwicklung und Kaufkraftschaffung.
Quelle: Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ); Link: https://www.bmz.de/de/ministerium/ziele/2030_agenda/17_ziele/index.html
Die Präsentation des Referenten kann hier nachgelesen werden (Wohlmuth-Wachstum-Armut 2019). Professor Wohlmuth hat in mehreren Publikationen diese Fragestellungen näher untersucht (vgl. die Auflistung der Publikationen in: https://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/publikationen/ und: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/publikationen/index.html). In mehreren Bänden des African Development Perspectives Yearbook wurde diese Thematik beleuchtet. Der neue Band 22 (2020) des Jahrbuchs wird sich intensiv mit den Nachhaltigkeitszielen beschäftigen (vgl. die Links dazu: https://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/african_development_perspectives_yearbook/ und: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/africa/africanyearbook.htm).
Ein kurzer Bericht zu dieser Veranstaltung wurde vom biz (Bremer Informationszentrum für Menschenrechte und Entwicklung) veröffentlicht; Link: https://www.bizme.de/Veranstaltungen-Rueckblick-2019.html. An der Veranstaltung mitgewirkt haben auch die folgenden entwicklungspolitischen Organisationen im Bremer Raum: BeN (Bremer entwicklungspolitisches Netzwerk e.V); Aktionsbündnis Wachstumswende Bremen; Afrika Netzwerk; „Konsum mit Köpfchen“.
Since 2015 Professor Alabi is researching in Bremen at the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies of the University of Bremen. This is part of the activities of the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen, directed by Professor Wohlmuth. Professor Wohlmuth is supervising the research activities and is advising this particular research programme. For the years 2019 and 2020 Professor Alabi has proposed four new research projects, after having finalized four others in recent years (see the detailed Research Report of Professor Alabi). Among the finalized research projects are: Cassava Production, Processing, Fortification and Acceptability in Nigeria (for the Volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook, Volume 20); The Pro-poorness of the Fertilizer Subsidy and its Implication on Food Security in Nigeria (for the Africa Research Department of IMF); The Case of Sustainable Management of Waste in Germany and Practical Lessons for Nigeria (in joint authorship with Professor Wohlmuth and addressed to waste management authorities in Nigeria); and The Causes and Economic Consequences of Political Conflicts in Nigeria (for the Community of Students from Nigeria in Germany).
Among the new research projects are: Impact of State Government Public Expenditure on Yam Productivity and Its Implications for Food Security in Nigeria (for AERC, Nairobi); Addressing Youth Unemployment in Nigeria Using Agricultural and Business Technologies (in cooperation with staff from World Bank and IFPRI); Impact of the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund on the Productivity of Food Crops and Its Implications on Food Security in Nigeria (in cooperation with agencies of Nigerian States and the Nigerian Federation); and Financial Inclusion, Innovation and Agricultural Development in Africa (in cooperation with the editors of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook).
To pursue these research programmes, Professor Alabi is cooperating with international organizations (IMF, World Bank) and with international and regional African research organizations (IFPRI, AERC). The research commitment at the IMF Headquarters in Washington D. C. was an excellent opportunity to present his research findings on innovative agricultural policies of Nigeria (see the picture from the event below). A short report on the project is presented here (Alabi IMF Activity – E-Wallet-Fertilizer Subsidy).
Lecture at IMF Headquarters in Washington D. C. by Professor Alabi (third person from right) about:
THE PRO-POORNESS OF The FERTILIZER SUBSIDY AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR FOOD SECURITY IN NIGERIA
Source: Seminar at IMF Headquarters in Washington D. C./Presentation by Professor Alabi
Professor Alabi has recently launched a global research and publication initiative (see the link to the project: https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/10096/labor-requirements-of-alternative-land-use-systems-and-the-impacts-on-livelihoods). The research programme - in cooperation with staff from World Bank and IFPRI - is titled “Labour Requirements of Alternative Land Use Systems, and the Impacts on Livelihoods”. It has the following research interest (taken from the overview): “Projections indicate that food production may need to increase by 60% by 2050 to meet the food requirements of a growing global population. However, conventional forms of agriculture are often unsustainable and global croplands are increasingly impacted by soil erosion, reduced fertility, and/or overgrazing. As populations grow and food demand increases, pressure on land resources is expected to rise and make lands more vulnerable to degradation. Namely, further increases in the use of fertilizers and pesticides for expanding food production may cause excessive nutrient loading in soils, leading to eutrophication and declining soil fertility.” As the programme is of great relevance for Africa, submission of original research from African research teams are expected.
Applications to support researches and to publish original research are invited from the three partners of the project which form the core editorial team.
Labour Requirements of Alternative Land Use Systems, and the Impacts on Livelihoods
About Frontiers Research Topics (as requested from the editors): “With their unique mixes of varied contributions from Original Research to Review Articles, Research Topics unify the most influential researchers, the latest key findings and historical advances in a hot research area! Find out more on how to host your own Frontiers Research Topic or contribute to one as an author.”
Professor Alabi was invited to participate at the June 2019 meeting of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) at Cape Town, South Africa. He will give a presentation about the research programme “Impact of public expenditure on yam productivity and its implications on food security in Nigeria”. This is a follow-up to a high-level meeting of AERC in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2018. The research programme has a great importance for the agricultural transformation policy in Nigeria (see the Abstract of the research programme for AERC by Professor Alabi - Yam Productivity in Nigeria). Professor Alabi cooperates intensively since years with AERC; he has participated at various high-level meetings and has received valuable research grants from the institution. Research output from these research programmes are published in issues of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. Professor Alabi is one of the co-editors of the Yearbook.
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: https://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/serg_sudan_discussion_papers/, and: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/publikationen/pub-sudan.htm).
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 https://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).
Professor Karl Wohlmuth is invited as a speaker to the Victoria Falls Global Conference of ECOSOC in preparation of the 2017 Special Meeting to be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. ECOSOC is intensively working now on the global implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As SDG 9 has great relevance for poverty eradication, the complex issues are discussed in various Global Conferences. Professor Karl Wohlmuth is one of the speakers at the Global Conference in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
The 2017 Special Meeting of ECOSOC on “Innovations in Infrastructure Development and Promoting Sustainable Industrialization” will highlight the following issues (see the link: https://www.un.org/ecosoc/en/events/2017/2017-special-meeting-ecosoc-%E2%80%9Cinnovations-infrastructure-development-and-promoting):
WHAT? The 2017 Special Meeting of ECOSOC will address the theme “Innovations in Infrastructure Development and Promoting Sustainable Industrialization”, putting the spotlight on the relevance of Sustainable Development Goal 9 (SDG-9) and its inter-linkages with other Goals and targets. Two preparatory events – in Dakar, Senegal (26 March) and in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe (24-26 April) – were organised in the lead-up to the Special Meeting.
WHEN? The 2017 Special Meeting will be held on 31 May 2017, in the ECOSOC Chamber at UN Headquarters, New York.
WHY? Resilient infrastructure and sustainable industrialization are key enablers of poverty eradication and can promote inclusion, connectivity and equality within societies. However, these sectors can be complex and expensive to develop, especially in countries in Africa and countries in special situations. The Special Meeting will aim to bring the challenges involved to the attention of national, regional and international actors, and to forge solutions to bridge the gaps in infrastructure, industrialization and innovation across countries.
WHO? The 2017 Special Meeting will bring together high-level representatives of Member States, representatives of the United Nations system, international organizations, civil society and other non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector. The overall initiative is supported by a range of UN entities including FAO, OHRLLS (UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States), OSAA (Office of the Special Adviser on Africa), UNCTAD, UNDP, UNECA, UNHABITAT, UNIDO and WIPO, and engaging other organizations such as the African Development Bank, the African Union, NEPAD and representatives from academia, civil society and the private sector.
Invitation: Professor Karl Wohlmuth was invited by His Excellency, Mr. Frederick Musiwa Makamure Shava, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to speak at the „Global Expert Meeting on Agriculture and Agro-industries Development towards Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems“ in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe about “Strategies towards Industrialization based on Agricultural Development - Lessons learned from the 3ADI model and moving beyond 3ADI”. The Conference is held on 24-26 April 2017, arranged by ECOSOC, FAO, UNIDO, and other UN organizations.
See the Programme of the Victoria Falls Global Conference of ECOSOC: PDF ECOSOC-Draft Programme
See the Press Release of IWIM at the occasion of this Event: PDF Press Release of IWIM on ECOSOC
See the Link to the ECOSOC working programme on SDG 9 with meetings in Dakar, Victoria Falls and New York City (United Nations Headquarters): https://www.un.org/ecosoc/en/events/2017/2017-special-meeting-ecosoc-%E2%80%9Cinnovations-infrastructure-development-and-promoting
See the Link to the Special Meeting of ECOSOC on “Innovations in Infrastructure Development and Promoting Sustainable Industrialization” at: https://www.un.org/ecosoc/en/events/2017/2017-special-meeting-ecosoc-%E2%80%9Cinnovations-infrastructure-development-and-promoting
Im Europäischen Parlament wird jetzt sowohl im Handelsausschuss als auch im Entwicklungsausschuss über die vereinbarten Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) diskutiert (vgl. die Passagen zu den Rechtsgrundlagen einer Befassung des Europäischen Parlaments in den Europaverträgen: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/atyourservice/en/displayFtu.html?ftuId=FTU_6.2.3.html ). Diese Abkommen sollen das Verhältnis zwischen der EU und den AKP-Staaten neu bestimmen. Bereits seit dem Jahr 2000 (Cotonou-Abkommen) wird über diese neue Form der Wirtschaftsbeziehungen und der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit verhandelt. Aber auch im Jahr 2015 ist dieser Prozess noch nicht abgeschlossen. Einige Abkommen sind zwar seit dem Jahr 2014 ausverhandelt, aber noch nicht ratifiziert geschweige denn implementiert. Viele Fragen sind noch offen, sowohl auf afrikanischer Seite als auch auf europäischer Seite. Bis zuletzt versuchten die AKP-Länder, Alternativen zu den EPAs durchzusetzen, doch ohne Erfolg (vgl. dazu die Position der AKP-Länder vom April 2014: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/etudes/join/2014/433843/EXPO-DEVE_ET%282014%29433843_EN.pdf ). Zu diesem Thema wird nach wie überaus kontrovers diskutiert, auch in Bremen.
Professor Karl Wohlmuth bei seinem Vortrag über die Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) mit Afrika
Am 11. Juni 2015 fand im EuropaPunktBremen eine interessante und kontroverse Diskussion über Chancen und Risiken der „Economic Partnership Agreements“ (EPA) statt. Der Entwicklungsökonom Prof. Dr. Karl Wohlmuth (IWIM, Universität Bremen) stellte den historischen Hintergrund und den aktuellen Stand der Verhandlungen zwischen der Europäischen Union und fünf regionalen Wirtschaftsgemeinschaften in Afrika dar (vgl. die PDF von Prof. Karl Wohlmuth). Es handelt sich um die westafrikanische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft ECOWAS, die Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft SADC im südlichen Afrika, die Ostafrikanische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft EAC, die zentralafrikanische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft und den Gemeinsamen Markt für das östliche und südliche Afrika ESA. Aber nur in zwei Abkommen der EU mit regionalen Wirtschaftsgemeinschaften sind alle afrikanischen Mitgliedsländer vertreten (ECOWAS und EAC). Daher kann nur in diesen beiden regionalen Wirtschaftsgemeinschaften die regionale Integration durch die EPAs unterstützt werden. Es ist den beiden afrikanischen Wirtschaftsgemeinschaften in den letzten Verhandlungsrunden aber gelungen, die vorgeschlagenen EPA-Vertragstexte deutlich zu verbessern (durch Ausnahmen von der geforderten Handelsliberalisierung, Schutzklauseln, Regionalfonds, Dialogforen, etc.). Professor Wohlmuth ging daher besonders auf die Beispiele des ECOWAS-EPA und des EAC-EPA ein, da diese Abkommen doch einige interessante innovative Elemente enthalten und wesentliche Kritikpunkte ausräumen, die zurecht moniert worden sind (vgl. als Beispiel den aktuellen Vertragstext des ECOWAS-EPA: http://twnafrica.org/ECOWAS%20WA%20&%20EU%20EPA%20draft%20text%20as%20at%20Feb%202014.pdf ). Aus einem reinen Freihandelsabkommen ist dadurch ein Handels- und Entwicklungsabkommen geworden.
Der Abgeordnete für Bremen im Europäischen Parlament, Dr. Joachim Schuster (SPD), ergänzte diese Darstellung um die Berichterstattung aus dem Handelsausschuss des Parlaments, dessen Mitglied er ist. Ein Schwerpunkt der Diskussion in Bremen war die Frage, wie es gelingen kann, die angestrebte Handelsliberalisierung (sofortige vollständige Liberalisierung auf Seiten der EU und mittel- bis langfristige Liberalisierung auf Seiten der afrikanischen Wirtschaftsregionen) an die Bedingungen der Einführung sozialer, humanitärer sowie demokratiestärkender Maßnahmen in den afrikanischen Ländern zu knüpfen. In der Diskussion verdeutlichte sich, dass schon diese Verhandlungsposition der EU bei der Ausgestaltung von Handels- und Entwicklungsabkommen mit Afrika alles andere als einfach ist. Hinzu kommt der globale Konkurrenzdruck von Ländern anderer Regionen, wie Indien oder China, die mitunter mit sehr attraktiven Angeboten anstreben, in den afrikanischen Markt zu drängen und die Länder in neue wirtschaftliche Abhängigkeiten zu bringen. Auch die Rolle der USA in Afrika wird gerade neu bestimmt. Auch darauf muss die EU eine Antwort finden. Die EPAs bieten nach Ansicht von Prof. Wohlmuth daher eine Chance, die Wirtschaftsbeziehungen mit Afrika grundlegend neu - und zudem vertraglich mit Bindungswirkung für beide Seiten - zu bestimmen. Dr. Joachim Schuster betonte besonders den erwarteten Beitrag zur nachhaltigen, demokratischen, friedensstiftenden und sozialen Entwicklung in Afrika.
In der Beurteilung von Chancen und Risiken der Bestimmungen der WTO als Basis für solche Abkommen zeigte sich dennoch eine unterschiedliche Einschätzung zwischen den Diskutanten. Während Professor Wohlmuth den Aspekt des Schutzes von Mindestnormen durch WTO-Bedingungen betonte, zeigte sich Dr. Joachim Schuster hier skeptischer und fordert eindeutige soziale und demokratische Verpflichtungen aller Verhandlungspartner, beispielsweise durch Einbindung auch zivilgesellschaftlicher Gruppen aus den beteiligten Ländern in die Verhandlungen. Dies wird auch und insbesondere in der Phase der Implementierung der EPAs wichtig werden. Die Veranstaltung war gut besucht und zeichnete sich durch eine lebhafte Diskussion aus (vgl. zu den Berichten über Inhalte und Ablauf der Diskussion die folgenden Mitteilungen der veranstaltenden Institutionen: http://www.europa.bremen.de/detail.php?gsid=bremen97.c.12254.de&asl=bremen97.c.3173.de und http://aia-bremen.de/ und http://joachim-schuster.eu/veranstaltung-zu-freihandelsabkommen-der-eu-mit-den-afrikanischen-staaten/#more-1724 ).
Professor Karl Wohlmuth in der Diskussion mit dem Publikum über die Folgen der EPAs
Von der Forschungsgruppe Afrikanische Entwicklungsperspektiven, die Professor Karl Wohlmuth am IWIM leitet, wird zu dem Thema demnächst der Band 18 des African Development Perspectives Yearbook herausgegeben, in dem es um die EPAs und um neue transformative Strategien der regionalen Integration in Afrika geht. Die Mitherausgeberin des Bandes 18 des Jahrbuchs, Isabelle Ramdoo vom European Centre for Development Policy Management/ECDPM in Maastricht, Niederlande, und ihr Kollege Dr. San Bilal haben kürzlich zum Verhandlungsstand bei den EPAs und zu den Perspektiven der EU-AKP-Kooperation eine informative Studie herausgegeben (vgl. dazu: http://ecdpm.org/wp-content/uploads/Great_Insights_Vol3_Issue9_Oct-Nov_2014.pdf ). Der Dialog über die EPAs soll in Bremen fortgesetzt werden.