Economic growth and development in Africa has always come up in academic discourse as experts dissect the various aspects of growth or lack of it in African countries. As the so called last frontier and the continent with the most potential for growth in the world, little wonder this topic holds some fascination for lots of scholars.
Research articles about economic growth in Africa can be written from different angles of focus. There is the evaluation and outlook approach that seeks to assess the rate or level of economic growth in the continent or specific African countries over a period of time. Researchers also write about economic growth in Africa from the angle of problems/challenges. There are no limitations to the kind of economic growth research topics one can generate as there are loads of issues to research/write on.
Some Research Done about Economic Growth in Africa
We profile some important research papers/thesis/articles done on Africa’s economic growth across several online databases and repositories.
Here are some important research work done on economic growth in Africa;
(1) Analysis of the Impact of Economic and Political Institutions on Economic Growth in Africa: The importance of economic and political institutions to economic growth has been demonstrated in the literature. However, little is known on how such institutions impact on growth and what determine the quality of economic institutions in Africa. Therefore, this study was aimed at examining the impact of economic and political institutions on growth as well as the impact of political transition on the quality of economic institutions. Full research work
(2) Export Diversification And Economic Growth In Sub-Saharan Africa: Most economies in Sub–Saharan Africa (SSA) have been associated with low and volatile growth performance over the years. Export diversification is identified in the literature as growth–inducing. However, the assessment of the effect of export diversification on economic growth has not received much attention in Sub–Saharan Africa. The study provides evidence on the relationship between export diversification and economic growth using panel data of forty–two (42) Sub–Saharan African (SSA) countries for the period 1995–2010. Full research work
(3) Bank Market Power, Financial Innovation And Economic Growth In Africa: This thesis has four empirical papers. The first paper examines the determinants of bank market power in Africa. The second paper contains analyses of how financial development and financial innovation lead to economic growth convergence between African countries and the world’s technological leader. The second paper also analyzes whether financial innovation lead to economic growth in six sub-regions in Africa. The third paper examines whether bank market with power promote financial innovation that in turn leads economic growth in Africa. The last examines the nexus between bank market power and economic growth using country-level data. View full research work.
(4) Effect Of Government Expenditure On Economic Growth In East Africa – A Disaggregated Model: The goal of this research was to investigate empirically how government expenditure contributes to economic growth in East Africa. Most existing studies on the association between government expenditure and economic growth show conflicting results and mainly focus on developed economies. Hence this study focused on both the functional and composition of public spending of the East African countries over the period from 1980 to 2010, with a particular focus on sectoral expenditures: Education, Agriculture, Defense and Health. Full research work
(5) The Impact of Agriculture on Economic Growth in Nigeria: 1980-2014: The study examines the impact of agriculture on economic growth in Nigeria from 1980 to 2014. Agriculture played a dominant role in the economic growth of the country, providing employment opportunity, raw materials for industries and providing foreign exchange earnings for the country. Though little emphasis was placed on agricultural productivity in the advent of crude oil, the impact of agriculture on economic growth has been significant. The study therefore examines some policy programs designed to improve agricultural productivity at did a contemporary review of agricultural contribution to economic growth. Full research work
(6) Effect Of Government Spending On Economic Growth For Sub-Saharan Africa; Governments’ role in fostering accelerated economic growth is very significant and plays a key role in poverty reduction for most developing economies, for which most Sub-Sahara African countries are dominant. The effect of public spending on economic growth with its attending policy implications has ignited the interest of researchers both theoretically and empirically. The study set out to determine the effect of total government spending on economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. View full research work
(7) Foreign direct investment and economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: A nonlinear analysis: Using the threshold regression model, we examine the effects of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and the mediating role of FDI absorptive capacity, on economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. We find that the threshold level of FDI inflows per person is approximately US$ 44.67 per annum. For FDI to have an appreciable impact on economic growth, countries must have minimum capacity to absorb the growth-enhancing benefits of FDI.
(8) Financial Deepening, Trade Openness and Economic Growth in West Africa: The dilemma concerning the choice between austerity and stimulus packages has reignited the finance-growth debate. This study joins the debate to examine the linkages between financial deepening, trade openness and economic growth in selected West African countries. The study looks at the two monetary zones in West Africa, namely the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) and West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). Using a panel data of twelve (12) countries covering 1992—2009 period, the study finds that financial depth, trade openness and economic growth are nonstationary in both WAMZ and WAEMU.
(9) Exports and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Roles of Intra- and Inter-SSA Exports: Most economies in Sub–Saharan Africa (SSA) have been lagging behind in development due to low growth performance over the years. The destinations of SSA exports have largely remained the same, with Europe commanding the ‘lions’ share of total exports while intra-regional trade remains very low over the years. However, the assessment of the effect of export destinations (intra and inter-SSA exports) on economic growth has not received any significant attention in Sub–Saharan Africa.
(10) Examining Exports’ Contribution To Economic Growth In Southern Africa: A Panel Data Analysis (2005-2016): Despite other contributions made to economic growth by other variables such as real growth in services and population growth, there has been an unending debate between exports’ contribution to economic growth in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The purpose of this study was to examine the contribution of exports to economic growth in Southern African Countries for the period 2005 to 2016. A Random Effects Panel Data Model (REM) was used as the estimation technique and the Pedroni Residual Cointegration Test was used to test for the long-run relationship between exports and economic growth in SADC.
(11) Does Governance Influence Economic Growth in Sub Saharan Africa: Poor governance in Sub-Saharan Africa has been a major hindrance to economic growth of the region compared to other regions in the rest of the world. To examine the influence of governance on economic growth of Sub-Saharan Africa, panel data on growth rate of Gross Domestic Product, governance indicators and other indicators of the three selected Sub-Saharan Africa countries namely Nigeria, South- Africa and Ghana for the period of 1996-2015 were sourced from World Development Indicators of the World Bank and World Governance Indicators.
(12) Impact Of Foreign Direct Investment On Economic Growth In Nigeria: Most countries strive to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) because of its acknowledged advantages as a tool of economic development. Africa – and Nigeria in particular – joined the rest of the world in seeking FDI as evidenced by the formation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), which has the attraction of foreign investment to Africa as a major component. This study investigated the empirical relationship between FDI and and Nigeria’s economic improvement and also the determinants of FDI into the Nigerian economy.
(13) The Effect Of Government Size, Foreign Direct Investment, On Economic Growth In Sub-Saharan Africa: It has long been argued that a country cannot develop without government. However, researchers have diverse opinions with regards to the impact of government size on economic growth. Whiles some researchers (Ahuja, 2013; Zareen & Qayyum, 2014) argue that large government size is most likely to enhance economic growth, other researchers (Armey, 1995; Vedder & Gallaway, 1998) believe that higher government expenditure has a tendency to harm economic growth. The third group of researchers believes that the full presence or total absence of government has its own consequences.
(14) The Effect of External Debt on Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: Many economies in Sub-Saharan Africa have been experiencing high external debt stocks over the past three or so decades, thereby deepening the problem of debt burden in the Region. Growth performance, however, remains relatively moderate over the years. The relationship between economic growth and external debt as espoused in theoretical and empirical literature remains unclear. Whilst a school of thought postulate that external debt supplements savings and investment, and hence promotes economic growth, others claim that external debt serves as a substitute to savings and investment and hence impedes economic growth.
(15) An Assessment on the Impact of Industrialisation on Economic Growth in Nigeria: Most developing nations define industrialization as a central objective of their economic policy they see; industrialization goes with agricultural progress as an integral part of growth and structural change. Some economist and analysts are of the view that industrialization plays a major role in the economic growth and development of any nation.
Thus in this research work, effort is made to assess the impact of industrialization on economic growth of Nigeria. Before colonial rule in Nigeria, there were numerous economic activities undertaken by Nigerians
(16) Relationship Between Construction Expenditure and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: The importance of the construction industry cannot be over emphasized because of its strong linkages with other sectors of the economy. Despite this, the empirical literature on the non-linear (Bon curve) relationship between construction expenditure and economic growth remains unclear and hence, leave much space for further engagements. Therefore, this study seeks to find answers to these questions: Does construction expenditure matter in economic growth, and does the Bon curve hold in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)? Using panel data for 33 countries in SSA spanning from 1990 to 2014, the study analysed relationship between construction expenditure and economic growth.
(17) Effects Of Financial Integration On Economic Growth In Kenya: Kenya has witnessed increased financial integration following capital liberalization in the late 1980s which led to increased foreign private capital flows. Financial integration is considered to complement domestic investment, enhance economic growth and reduce macroeconomic volatility by promoting credit and risk diversification. However, private capital can enhance macroeconomic volatility by exposing domestic market to external volatility. Despite Kenya experiencing increased financial flows, economic growth remains low compared to other economies in Africa experiencing large capital flows.
(18) Economic growth and development in Africa: Understanding trends and prospects: In recent years, Africa has undergone the longest period of sustained economic growth in the continent’s history, drawing the attention of the international media and academics alike. This book analyses the Africa Rising narrative from multidisciplinary perspectives, offering a critical assessment of the explanations given for the poor economic growth and development performance in Africa prior to the millennium and the dramatic shift towards the new Africa. Bringing in perspectives from African intellectuals and scholars, many of whom have previously been overlooked in this debate, the book examines the construction of Africa’s economic growth and development portraits over the years.
(19) Regional Trade And Economic Growth Of East Africa Community States: In light of the regional integration efforts, this study sought to find out the impact of regional trade integration on economic growth of East Africa Community. One of the provisions to increase the EAC intra-trade is Article 75 of the Treaty and the Customs Union (CU) Protocol whose implementation would increase the value and volume of trade within the EAC. GDP growth rate analysis shows a major disconnect between deepening integration and achievement of growth within a common market stage.
(20) Financial Integration And Economic Growth: A Case Study Of Sub-Saharan Africa: The study investigates the relationship between financial integration, proxy by portfolio equity flows, and economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. To achieve the set objective, we first estimate the baseline growth regression using the Generalized Methods of Moment (GMM) dynamic panel estimation framework, while controlling for initial income, human capital and other factors. The results suggest that portfolio equity flows have a significant positive relationship with economic growth in SSA. As a robust check of the system GMM results, the results of the Random effects-GLS (EGLS) model suggest a negative insignificant relationship between portfolio equity flows and economic growth.
(21) The Role Of Health On Economic Growth In Sub-Saharan Africa (1990-2011): This study empirically examines the role of health on economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa using a panel data from 1990 to 2011. The study employed a panel data analysis in which the random effects model was used to examine the relationships among variables. Each of the explanatory variables were tested for multicollinearity using the Variance Inflation Factor (VIF) which was not found among variables, and other tests such as the Hausman test which showed that the random effects model is the most preferred, the heteroskedasticity test which was also conducted using the Modified Wald test and found the presence of heteroskedasticity which was corrected in the model and the random effects test using the Breush-Pagan lagrange multiplier.
(22) The Impact of Digital Technology Usage on Economic Growth in Africa: This study analyses the impact of the use of digital technology on economic growth for 39 African countries from 2012 to 2016. This analysis applies a system GMM estimator to understand the extent to which the usage of digital technology facilitates growth using a measure of digitalisation from the Networked Readiness Index. Unlike previous research, we distinguish between the impact of individual, business, and government ICT usage on growth and show that only individual usage has a positive impact. Furthermore, a disaggregated analysis of the types of usage reveals that two indicators, social media and the importance of ICTs to government vision, are significant for growth.
(23) The Impact of Money Supply on Economic Growth in Nigeria Over the Period 1970 to 2014: In the recent year the relationship between money supply and economic growth has been receiving increasing attention than any subject matter in the field of monetary economics. Economists differ on the impact of money supply on economic growth, while some agreed that variations in the quantity of money is the most important determinant of economic growth and that countries that devote more time to studying the behavior of aggregate money supply experiences much variations in their economic activities (Asogu, 1998), others are skeptical about the role of money on gross national income (Domigo, 2001). In the view of Steve (1997) financial markets start growing as the economy approaches the intermediate stage of the growth process and develop once the economy becomes matured.
(24) The Impact Of Foreign Direct Investment (Fdi) On Economic Growth: A Comparative Study Of East And Central Africa: This study analyzes the impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) on economic growth in East and Central Africa between 2000 and 2015. A sample of 24 countries made up of 16 from East Africa and 8 from Central Africa were considered. Data was obtained from World Bank Development Indicators and World Governing Indicators. I employed the pooled Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression and panel data econometric techniques for the estimations and the findings revealed that FDI positively impacts economic growth in East Africa. Conversely, no impact of FDI on economic growth was found for Central Africa
(25) Urbanization, Economic Growth and Poverty Nexus in Selected Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa: Urbanization is recognized as a key driver of rapid economic growth, structural transformation and poverty reduction. The enormous body of both theoretical and empirical knowledge widely supports the idea of a positive relationship between urbanization and economic growth. However, at the core of the existing debate is the causal direction. The first part of the study investigated the causal relationship between urbanization and economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) from the two dominant viewpoints in the literature namely, urbanization as an engine of economic growth and urbanization as a product of economic growth. The second part investigated the poverty reduction effect of urbanization using the Poverty Headcount ratio and Poverty Gap.
(26) Impact Of Service Sector On Economic Growth In Nigeria: The service sector is a crucial component of every country’s economy, and it has been identified as a sector with the capability to become a significant driver of sustained growth in Africa. This study examines the Impact of Service Sector on Economic Growth in Nigeria from the period 1981 to 2019 using annual time series data sourced from the CBN statistical bulletin. The econometric approach of the paper is based on ordinary least square (OLS), Augmented- Dickey Fuller test, Johannsen Co-integration test and Granger Causality test.
(27) Selected Determinants Of Economic Growth: A Case Of Kenya: The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that influence economic growth in Kenya. This study was guided by such objectives as to determine how inflation, unemployment and population growth influence growth of the economy of Kenya. The study adopted both quantitative and qualitative research approaches to explain the interplay of both endogenous and exogenous variables to bring about an effect on the economic growth of Kenya. The area of study is the whole of Kenya, a country with the fastest growing economy in East Africa. Kenya is a democratic country with stable political situation characterised by a reasonable democratic space and strong opposition.
(28) External Debt and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Role of Country-Level Governance Structures: Sub-Saharan African countries have experienced a decline in its economic growth rate due to delayed and still limited policy adjustments in the region, with a consequent rise in public debt and deteriorating international reserves. External debt and governance have been argued to impact a country’s economic growth. The study assessed the role of country-level governance structures in the relationship between external debt and economic growth using a panel of 38 Sub-Saharan African countries for the period 1996-2016. The study used Arrelano and Bond General Method of Moment dynamic panel estimation technique.
(29) Workers’ Remittances And Economic Growth In Selected, Sub-Saharan African Countries: Remittance flows to Sub-Saharan African (SSA) region has steadily been on the increase in recent history. Unlike capital inflows which generally create obligations for future outflows either in the form of debt servicing or investment income and other payments, remittance inflows do not as they are generally unilateral and unrequited. This thesis investigates the economic growth and developmental role of workers’ remittances in selected Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Specifically, it seeks to determine the contributions of workers’ remittances to output growth in SSA, analyze the importance of workers’ remittances to the level of domestic investment in SSA, and determine the effects of remittances on trade balance in the selected SSA countries.
(30) Effects of Political Institutions and Human Capital on Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Panel Data Analysis: The economic performance in Sub-Saharan Africa has been unimpressive, particularly in comparison with other developing regions like East Asia. Using a panel data for 42 Sub-Saharan African countries for the period 2005-2016, this study investigates the effects of political institutions and human capital on the economic performance in the SSA countries. By using linear dynamic panel data and a fixed effect model, with growth of GDP per capita as the dependent variable, this study is finding that both institutional quality and human capital matters for economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa
(31) Agricultural Trade And Economic Growth In East African Community, 2000 – 2012: Agricultural activities contribute about 33% of the East African Community‟s Gross Domestic Product (World Bank, 2009), 80 per cent of the populace depend on agriculture directly and indirectly for food, employment and income, while about 40 million people in EAC suffer from hunger. Intra-EAC trade is very low, that is, at 9 per cent of the total regional trade, but it is on upward trend. Agricultural trade accounts for over 40 per cent of the intra-EAC trade. This study investigated the causes of intra-EAC agricultural trade, effect of EAC regional trade agreement on the regions agricultural trade by analyzing the degree of trade creation and diversion effects, and examined relationship of the regional agricultural trade with the region‟s economic growth.
(32) Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1885–2008: Evidence from eight countries: Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been absent from recent debates about comparative long-run growth owing to the lack of data on aggregate economic performance before 1950. This paper provides estimates of GDP per capita on an annual basis for eight Anglophone African economies for the period since 1885, raising new questions about previous characterizations of the region’s economic performance.
(33) ICT and economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: Transmission channels and effects: Despite significant progress in the empirical analysis of the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on economic growth, previous studies have not empirically examined the mechanisms by which ICT hinders or expands economic growth. The specific aim of the present study was to identify the transmission channels through which ICT contributes to economic growth. The examined channels included; openness, FDI inflows, education, domestic investment, political institution, and inflation.
(34) International tourism and economic growth in Africa: A post-global financial crisis analysis: Unlike the extant literature, this study revisited the tourism-growth relationship in Africa and accounted for the moderating effects of climatic factors, infrastructural development and political risk on this relationship. The study used the system GMM technique, the panel Granger causality framework, and annual panel data of 41 African countries from 2009 to 2018. Contrary to the tourism-led growth hypothesis, we find that the role of tourism as a driver of economic growth in Africa is predominantly negligible, which in turn suggests that Africa is yet to exploit its tourism potentials to drive growth during the post-Global Financial Crisis period.
(35) Foreign Aid And Economic Development In Sub Saharan Africa: The Role Of Institutions (1996-2010): This Study Examined The Relationship Between Foreign Aid And Economic Development In Sub Saharan Africa. The Study Seeks To Examine The Role Of Institutions In Aid Effectiveness And Economic Development In Sub Saharan Africa. The Study Adopted A Theoretical Framework Similar To The Endogenous Or New Growth Model, As Well As; The System Generalized Method Of Moments (Gmm) Technique Of Estimation Was Adopted In Order To Overcome The Challenge Of Endogeneity Perceived In The Institutions Variables And Aid Growth Argument.
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