Latest Articles

The New EU Global Strategy and What It Means for Morocco

Published: 2016
The EU Global Strategy, is reviewed in this policy brief which highlights its main strengths and weaknesses as well as innovations, starting with the concept of resilience. It argues that the document has many strengths for being a compromise text written at a time of deep uncertainty about the EU's own future. The brief also comments on the future of EU-Morocco relations in the new...

Enhancing Multidimensional Peace Support Operations (PSOs) Capacities in Africa: Any Role for China?

This study joins the debate around two major developments, within the broad rubric of a burgeoning China Africa cooperation in peace and security, and interrogates China’s contribution in enhancing Africa’s multidimensional PSO capabilities as part of its broader efforts of operationalizing the ASF. Most of the current African PSOs are still considered to be heavy on the military side and lacking...

Al Qaeda vs. Daech in the Sahel : What to Expect?

The terrorist landscape in the Sahel is characterized by multiple players that destabilize the countries in the region. Despite the fact that each terrorist group has particular areas of action and zones of influence, nevertheless two main ideological tendencies confront each other in the Sahel. On the one hand, there is Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and on the other, the Islamic State (IS)...

From Rhetoric to Action Delivering for Young Women in Africa

Young African women between the ages of 15 and 35 find themselves in a conundrum, in a world that is highly patriarchal and ageist - frequently facing a double burden brought about by their gender and age, and falling through the cracks of government programmes. While the need to empower young women is often couched in an argument of numbers, this policy brief argues that through enhanced action...

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...

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