Latest Articles

The Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources, Agriculture and Food Security in the Ethiopian Rift Valley: Risk Assessment and Adaptation Strategies for Sustainable Ecosystem Services

The findings from an agricultural survey is addressed in this study. This report focuses mainly on explaining the farmer’s sensitivity to the changing climate and the way they perceive the notable changes in rainfall and temperature conditions and its impacts on crop production. The role of the current adaptation mechanisms and constraints were evaluated across different agro-climatic zones in...

The Mist of Central Bank Balance Sheets

The central banks of large and emerging market economies have recently gone through a period of extraordinary expansion of balance sheets. Currently, they are all now possibly facing a transition to less abnormal times. The fact that one group, however is comprised by global reserve issuers and the other by bystanders receiving impacts of the former’s policies carries substantively different...

Money Talks - A Key Reason Youths Join Boko Haram

The particular observation in this study, that people join Boko Haram because of financial rewards, challenges the popular scholarly proposition that poverty has no direct causal link with terrorism and violent extremism. Although, it is not the only cause, poverty or financial reward, does, however play an important role in people’s decision to join Boko Haram. The despicable poverty in...

A Review of the Kenyan Policy Environment for Off-grid Solar PV

Energy has been identified as one of the foundations and enablers of the socio-economic transformation visualized by Kenya in its Vision 2030 development blueprint. However many Kenyans still do not have access to affordable energy which limits socio-economic opportunities for development. This paper explores the policy environment of solar home systems in Kenya with a view of understanding the...

Boko Haram and Violent Extremism - Perspectives from Peacebuilders

Since 2009, Boko Haram have unleashed atrocities which have affected millions of people in Nigeria and the region as a whole. The results of a field-based study on peace builders’ perspectives of the drivers of violent extremism; and the underlying socio-economic and political factors that influence individuals to join Boko Haram is presented in this policy brief. The study reveals that peace...

Mozambique’s Debt Crisis: Trawling for Answers

Published: 2017
Debt relief was granted to the government of Mozambique, less than two decades ago, and again this government finds itself unable to honour obligations to international creditors. Pending the publication of an audit of US$2 billion of borrowing by Mozambican companies afforded questionable sovereign guarantees, Africa Research Institute and Zitamar News convened a webinar with four expert...

Les Atouts du Maroc dans le Domaine de l'énergie Verte/ Morocco’s Green Energy Opportunity

Published: 2016
The energy landscape in Morocco has been changing rapidly over the past decades. Factors like population growth, industrialization and rising living standards which have been accompanied by rising access rates to electricity as well as high rates of rural-urban migration have all contributed to Morocco’s growing energy needs. Morocco has historically traded agricultural products but imported...

Adapting the Innovation Histories Method for A Workshop on Solar Home Systems Uptake in Kenya

"This briefing reflects on the adaptation of the Innovation Histories method for our research project on the uptake of solar home systems (SHSs) in Kenya. It provides an overview of the method itself, how we adapted it to fit with the aims and theoretical perspectives of our research, and it reflects on our practical experiences of this process, including how we might do it differently in...

Innovation Histories Workshop on the Solar Home System Market in Kenya

"This report presents proceedings of an innovation histories workshop on the Solar Home System (SHS) Market in Kenya. The workshop was held on 3 June 2013 at Silver Springs Hotel in Nairobi Kenya. Stakeholders in the SHS market convened to reflect, draw on, capture and share thoughts and experiences to develop a comprehensive national innovation history, illustrating actions of key actors in...

Low Carbon Energy and Development in Low-income Countries Policy Lessons from a Study of the Off-grid Photovoltaics Sector in Kenya

"Sustainable energy technologies could contribute significantly to human development and economic growth in low-income countries. Public policy has an important role to play in fostering the markets for these technologies. This briefing summarises key policy lessons from historical research explaining the success of the market for off-grid photovoltaics (PV) in Kenya (including solar home...

Cities and Rural Transformation a Spatial Analysis of Rural Youth Livelihoods in Ghana

"Urbanization has had a major impact on livelihoods in Ghana and throughout Africa as a whole. However, much research on urbanization has focused on effects occurring within cities, while there is insufficient understanding of its effects on rural areas. This paper examines the impact of urbanization— through a typology of districts—on rural livelihoods in Ghana. The country’s districts are...

Diet Transformation in Africa: The Case of Ethiopia

"Africa's food systems are changing fast amid rapid economic growth, emerging urbanization, and structural transformation. In this study, we use four rounds of nationally representative data from Ethiopia to examine changes in household food consumption patterns over a period of unprecedented economic growth. We find that while there is a general decline in the share of food in the...

"As a Husband I Will Love, Lead, and Provide" Gendered Access to Land in Ghana

"Improving women’s access to land is high on the agricultural policy agenda of both governmental and non-governmental agencies. Yet, the determinants and rationale of gendered access to land are not well understood. This paper argues that gender relations are more than the outcomes of negotiations within households. It explains the importance of social norms, perceptions, and formal and...

Findings across Agricultural Public Expenditure Reviews in African Countries

"This paper examines whether the consensus reached by the late 2000s among African Union member countries and their external partners on the need to reverse the decades-long decline in spending for essential public goods and services in agriculture has begun to result in improved levels and quality of national expenditure programs for the sector. It synthesizes evidence from 20 Agriculture...

UTAFITI SERA (Policy Research Community) 1st Forum on Wage Employment Creation in Agriculture and Agro-processing in the Context of Inclusive Growth

"Despite high levels of economic growth in many African countries, the continent’s wage employment figures remain low. This pattern of jobless growth makes a dent on the dictum ‘Africa rising’ as growth has not been inclusive. Growth is inclusive if it provides high levels of employment and rising wages to the citizens, and further enables them to have a say on the orientation of the growth...

Beyond Rhetoric Engaging Africa’s Youth in Democratic Governance

The overview presented in this brief, discusses the continental normative framework on youth engagement by the African Union (AU). It argues that there is a disconnect, both in theory and practice, between youth rights and freedoms on the African continent. The important roles of the AU, is highlighted in this brief, as well as the regional economic communities and member states in meaningfully...

Mapping of Studies on Employment Creation of Agriculture and Agro-processing in Kenya Final Report

"Agriculture is the engine of growth in Kenya. The sector contributes 26 percent to the Gross Domestic Product and 60 percent of the formal wage employment in the public and private sectors. Growth in the sector has been modest at an annual average of 2.4 percent in the 2000s. However, the annual growth rate of labour force absorption in the sector is dismal at 2 percent. The purpose of this...

Rapport de Synthèse des Ateliers Paysans sur la Réforme Foncière et les Enjeux de Sécurisation Foncière des Exploitations Familiales au Sénégal / Synthesis Report of the Peasant Workshop on Land Reform and the Challenges of Land Tenure Security for Family Farms in Senegal

As part of the policy of economic liberalization, donors exerted strong pressure on the government of Senegal to reform the land policy. This pressure initially resulted in measures taken by the State to withdraw the SAED from the management of land in the Senegal River Delta, through the transfer of frontier zones to the territories and zones of 1987. The analyses which was carried out by the...

Turkey in Somalia: Shifting Paradigms of Aid

"As the global development landscape continues to evolve, new and emerging actors – countries transitioning from being aid recipients to aid providers – are becoming increasingly visible on the global scene. Although the approaches, interests and resources of emerging donors are far from uniform, their increasing presence in global development – particularly in fragile and conflict-affected...

Décentralisation et Réforme Foncière au Sénégal / Decentralization and Land Reform in Senegal

This Note is organized around the assumption that the completion point of decentralization reform in Senegal must be the establishment and operation of strong sub-national institutions with subsidiary powers. It is expected that such institutions will provide local legal and administrative impetus for the recognition and securing of individual and collective land rights. Each territorial scale of...

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