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Who we are



Facing a catastrophe in terms of human lives, resource over-exploitation, poverty, pollution, external domination, cultural emargination, Africa is giving rise to new democracies and self-rules, trying to leverage on its young population to dignity and modernity.




Essay: The Wholesale-Retail Sector and Changes in Consumer Market Response in Rural South Africa


Key concept: Microfinance

Essay: Evaluating Ghana's vulnerability to the Dutch disease (2012)


Essay: Microfinance in Ghana: an overview (2007)

A sound example of vibrant and innovative economy, Ghana offers a great institutional richness of microfinance institutions, as explained in this paper. Outlining the challenges, a Central Bank insider calls for further improvements in the organization of the microfinance sector.


Economic data: Current data on Ghana microfinance

Presentation: A policy channelling remittances to microfinance - the proposal of the Economics Web Institute - contact us for interacting on this topics!

Key concept: Remittances

Essay: Gendernomics: of women, works, and economics

The inaugural lecture of a Dean of a Nigerian Economics Department, quoting a work done at the Economics Web Institute.



Essay: 2004 Peace Nobel Prize - Lecture by Wangari Maathai

"When the environment is destroyed, plundered or mismanaged, we undermine our quality of life and that of future generations. Together, we have planted over 30 million trees that provide fuel, food, shelter, and income to support their children’s education and household needs. The activity also creates employment and improves soils and watersheds. Through their involvement, women gain some degree of power over their lives, especially their social and economic position and relevance in the family. This work continues.

Initially, the work was difficult because historically our people have been persuaded to believe that because they are poor, they lack not only capital, but also knowledge and skills to address their challenges. Instead they are conditioned to believe that solutions to their problems must come from ‘outside’."

Full text

Her organization: The Green Belt Movement (GBM) is a grassroots non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Kenya that focuses on environmental conservation, community development and capacity building.


Essays: Economic Values of Cooperatives towards Member Asset Creation - An example from Ethiopia (2014)

PDF quoting an EWI key concept.

Essays: Ghana E-commerce Experience (2011)

Ghana is a leading African country, implementing bold policies for ecommerce and microfinance, whose connection could lead to Green Microfinance through Internet, Mobile connections and e-banking, supported by public policies, taking the country out of poverty.


Essay: An outlook of African consumers (2012)

Essay: A map of gender activities in Ghana

A survey on the change from Women in Development approach (WID) to Gender and Development (GAD) in practical terms.


Essay: Analysis of total factor productivity among smallholder vegetable farmers in Akwa-Ibom State (Nigeria)


Essay: UN report on Africa

The economic report on Africa development and poverty reduction.

2011 Statistical Yearbook for Africa





UN statistical report on Africa (January 2008)


The Millennium Development Goals: the 2006 report on achievements and failures

Essay on Africa MDG in 2006

The fight against poverty, diseases, lack of education and other key goals declared by the United Nations.

Bilateral import promotion as a key to integration in a hierarchical world

A trade & macroeconomic policy that can increase exports and imports of African countries. This is a first policy to raise integration relations instead of dependence and isolation.



Realising their rights? Self-assessed community needs in 30 settlements in South Africa (2007)

Based on a innovative field survey, the needs in poor rural and urban areas have been assessed leading to specific proposals of improvement. This methodology can be repeated in other contexts.


Climate change in Africa

Africa is seen by experts as particularly vulnerable to climate change. The size of its land mass means that in the middle of the continent, overall rises in temperature will be up to double the global rise, with increased risk of extreme droughts, floods and outbreaks of diseases.



Adoption paid by non-adopters: An innovative techno-economic policy to spread clean technologies and mitigate climate change

Presented at the Copenhagen conference on Climate change: Global risks, Challenges and Decisions.



Essay: Trade at risk - a strategy for South Africa

Precautionary, mitigation and adaptation measures for South Africa to trade collapse risk.



Economic data: External funds to overall African development

Comparative data of different capital flows (FDI, Net official development assistance, private remittances, long-term debt) across time and macro-regions.


Essay: Assessing the employment effect of FDI inflows to Egypt: Does the mode of entry matter? (2008)


Egypt has attempted to attract Foreign Direct Investments since 1974 and has offered generous incentives to achieve this target, motivated by low domestic savings rates accompanied by inefficient financial intermediation and the opportunity to benefit from the direct and indirect effects of FDI on increasing demand for labour. This is especially important given a chronic unemployment problem that the Egyptian economy suffers from. This paper extensively assess empirically the effect of FDI and argue about the importance of studying FDI at the most disaggregated possible level, since they are not homogeneous in their effects.


Earlier published at the Arab Planning Institute as proceedings to the conference "“The Unemployment Crisis in the Arab Countries

Essay: Economic development in Africa: Trade Performance and Commodity Dependence

UNCTAD report on the difficulties for trade to work for the poor.


Economic data: Input-output matrix of African emigration of high skilled workers (53 African countries x 9 receiving countries)

Essay: Productivity analysis of cassava production in an African country

Essay: Nepad action plans: a summary

NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development) is a comprehensive socio-economic renewal programme that is anchored on the three interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars of sustainable development - economic development, social development and environmental protection.

NEPAD’s primary objectives are to accelerate eradication of poverty and to place African countries, both individually and collectively, on a path to high economic growth and sustainable development.

The goals that the African countries seek to achieve through NEPAD are the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals. The NEPAD process deepens ownership by African countries of their development agenda, and also provides a framework for actions at national and regional levels.

An overview of Nepad action plans


Essay: The EU strategy for Africa


Region-specific and country-specific partnership agreements between EU and Africa


Essay: A strategy for Africa and how to fund it

2005 comprehensive report of the UK Commision for Africa.


How to finance African development strategy


Essay: African peer-review mechanism

This mechanism, launched by the Nepad (New Partnership for Africa's Development) aims to foster the adoption of appropriate policies, laws, standards, practices, that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development, sub-regional and continental integration.

Guidelines and questionnaire for countries


Essay: Environment initiative of the Nepad

The New Partnership for Africa's Development presents its action plan on environment protection.


Essay: Nepad Strategy for African agriculture

The Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) has been endorsed by the African Heads of State and Government as a framework for the restoration of agriculture growth, food security, and rural development in Africa. The primary CAADP goal is agriculture-led
development that eliminates hunger, reduces poverty and food insecurity, opening the way for export expansion.



Essay: Emerging from the past: a declaration of 1993 on Africa's future to be

"Towards the 21st Century" - UN Tokyo international conference on African development



Essay: Assessing African integration

The opinion by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.



Economic data: An overall outlook of Africa in the '90s


Essay: Nepad: an annotated critique

For you to gather a wider spectrum of opinions, we republish a critique of Nepad, without any comment by the EWI.



Economic data: Attitudes towards democracy, economic and social issues: microdata from African countries at the Afrobarometer

Micro-data about the attitude towards democracy in South Africa


Economic data: AIDS / HIV in Africa: a time-series


Essay: Evaluating the benefits from liberalization in agriculture: are standard Walrasian models relevant?
Jean-Marc Boussard, Françoise Gérard, Marie Gabrielle Piketty from INRA - CIRAD shows that if (contrary to the strong versions of the "rational expectation hypothesis"), agriculture producers do not take their decisions on the basis of equilibrium prices only but take also risk into account, then the market can generate very harmful seemingly random fluctuations.

Liberalisation, preventing price stabilisation policies, results in more instability, and a decrease in welfare, as it is numerically demonstrated in both a partial equilibrium model of the world sugar industry and a GTAP-style general equilibrium model of the world economy.


For more information about agriculture research and the authors' activities for Africa and other development areas, see the pages from CIRAD and CEPED.


Essay: Theoretical foundations of partnerships for economic development

Robert Axelrod, outstanding scholar of (bounded-rational) game-theory, presents in plain English, some key factors in partnerships for development.



Essay: Foreign direct investment to Africa

An Africa-based think tank review the current FDI policy in Africa, its effects and proposes new approaches.


Economic data: Foreign direct investment in Africa by country and sector

How is Africa considered by foreign investors? Where do they locate their FDI? In which sector?


Economic data: FDI from African investors

This paper pulls together what is known about African outward FDI, distinguishing between intra Africa outward FDI and African outward FDI to outside the region.



Economic data: Long-term macroeconomic data for 136 African and non-African countries

The most user-friendly distribution of the main international database on GDP components (consumption, investment, public expenditure and net exports) for 136 countries and 42 years. Excellent for international comparisons, long-term growth enquiries and business cycle analysis, since it provides real values at constant prices comparable over time and countries.

MS Excel

MS Access


Aging population: the share of over 60 across in Africa and beyond

The diffusion of contraceptive methods in Africa and beyond (160 countries)

MS Excel


Economic data: The presence and employment of Small and Medium Enterprises in Africa


Economic data: Exports, imports, trade balances for 181 African and non-African countries - a time-series

Absolute figures, shares in world trade, rankings.

MS Excel

Economic data: Products exported and imported by African and non-African countries

A huge database of about 1 million records.



Economic data: Origins and destinations in world trade - Trade flows over time

MS Excel


Essay: Oil as a curse? The case of Nigeria

Current levels of misery in the Nigerian population are such that you could not tell Nigeria is been earning so much, thanks to the 2004 high prices of oil. If this third Oil boom leaves any legacy, seems it will be one of struggle to rein in public sector expenditure, which has ballooned in the meanwhile, with consequences of structural distortions that are likely to negatively affect economic growth.



Essay: A solution for the "national resource curse": should we distribute oil revenues to the citizens directly instead that to governments?

Countries with an abundance of natural resources have on average lower economic growth than resource-poor countries. They also have more poverty and are more likely to suffer from violent conflict. These negative outcomes in resource-rich countries are called the ‘curse of natural resources.’ Dr. Martin E. Sandbu proposes a policy of revenue distributions from taxable resources to individuals as a way of addressing the curse. Instead of paying resource rents in to the government treasury, they would be distributed equally to all indviduals, but the government would then be allowed to tax it back.



Debate site: SARDC

Research and information on Southern Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC)


Economic data: 2004 Labour market levels and trends in Africa: employment and unemployment in the general population, the youth, the women

MS Excel [1200 KB]


Economic data: 93 Food products prices in 198 African and non-African countries (1985-2001)

The price of sugar, milk, meat and many more foodstuffs. Ideal to compare price structures over countries and time. By transforming these local-currency data in dollars, you can test the "one price law", according to which any good has the same price worldwide, after taken into account nominal exchange rates. Comparing with world wages, you get the real purchasing power of people in food terms.

MS Excel


Book: Changing Structure of Global Food Consumption and Trade

Shifts in food consumption have led to increased trade and changes in the composition of world agricultural trade. Given different diets, food expenditure and food budget responses to income and price changes vary between developing and developed countries. In developing countries, higher income results in increased demand for meat products, often leading to increased import of live-stock feed.



Economic data: Population forecast for all countries in the world (total, urban, rural, density,...)


Economic data: Households socio-economic survey in Uganda



Economic data: Composition of public expenditure (education, health, defence...) - 69 countries in Africa and other areas (1975-1985)


Economic data: Human development index (162 countries)

A rich report of reflections and data.



Economic data: Health and disease statistics worldwide


Essay: Tax base in developing countries

How to increase the tax revenue in developing countries? By enlarging the tax base the fiscal burden would be better distributed, comprehending the large informal economy which is so present in these countries. Unlike in rich countries where informality is largely a result of the tax burden, the informal economy in developing countries is largely a result of high fixed costs of entry into the formal sector. The tax burden is lower in developing countries and the barriers to entry into the formal economy are higher. Empirical analysis supports the results of this paper by prof. Emmanuelle Auriol and Michael Warlters.



Interview: Ending Africa's Conflicts

Author of "Breaking the Conflict Trap", Professor Paul Collier tries to explain how conflict situations arises in Africa and what can be done to put an end to them.

'Proneness' to civil war can be measured by looking at three specific factors:

- Low per capita income

- Economic decline

- High dependence on natural resources

If a country has just one of these then all is well. If, however, a country has all three of these trends they are, he asserts, "playing a game of Russian roulette".

Professor Collier confidently reaches this conclusion after looking at all civil wars worldwide since 1960. By looking at the social, political, ethnic, religious and economic composition of the affected countries his evidence led him to suggest during the talk that, "as far as I can see…civil wars are as likely to start in democracies as dictatorships". That ethnic and religious composition had only a very mild effect on a country's potential for conflict and, in fact, the more diverse a population is the "less prone" it is to civil war.



Essay: Technological foresight for South Africa

Foresight is a systematic process that seeks to understand the long term. It assumes that there are many possible future scenarios and that the shape of the future we inherit depends on the decisions taken today. An important aspect of foresight is the use of qualitative as well as quantitative methods to set priorities and agree on actions. This process involves widespread consultation among all relevant stakeholders.

In South Africa, the Foresight project is being launched against a reality of declining international competitiveness, relatively low levels of R&D investment and a need to transform the national technological goals so as to assure a high level of innovation.



Essay: Renewable energy: how to remove barriers to diffusion - the Malawi case


Essay: The Digital Development of Labour Organizations in Africa

Essay from the International Labour Office

Essay: Towards continent-wide of integration of energy markets?

Efficient, cleaner energy forms are vital to Africa's development and fight against poverty yet the proportion of people still dependent on inefficient and polluting traditional energy sources is higher than any other continent. The traditional approach of constraining energy planning and development within national borders has exacerbated this problem.

Africa, as a continent, possesses adequate energy resources for her development, but their distribution across the continent is highly uneven. While renewable energy is quite widely disseminated in Africa, this is not true for the mainstay conventional resources. Oil and gas are concentrated in north and west Africa, hydroelectric potential in central and east Africa and coal in southern Africa. It is this pattern of distribution and of energy use that underlies the case for regional, and ultimately continent-wide, integration of energy development.





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