East Africa

Date of publication
Enero 2014
Geographical focus

Climate-induced livelihood transitions
in the agricultural systems of Africa are increasingly
likely. A recent study by Jones and Thornton (2009) points
to the possibility of such climate-induced livelihood
transitions in the mixed crop-livestock rainfed
arid-semiarid systems of Africa. These mixed systems cover
over one million square kilometers of farmland in West
Africa, Eastern Africa, and Southeastern Africa. Their
characteristically scant rainfall usually causes crop
failure in one out of every six growing seasons and is thus
already marginal for crop production. Under many projected
climate futures, these systems will become drier and even
more marginal for crop production. This will greatly
increase the risk of cropping and among the several possible
coping and adaptation mechanisms, (e.g. totally abandoning
farming, diversification of income-generating activities
such as migration and off-farm employment, etc.)
agro-pastoralists may alter the relative emphasis that they
currently place on the crop and livestock components of the
farming system in favor of livestock. There has been only
limited analysis on what such climate induced transitions
might look like, but it is clear that the implications could
be profound in relation to social, environmental, economic
and political effects at local and national levels. This
study sought to identify areas in the mixed crop-livestock
systems in arid and semi-arid Africa where climate change
could compel currently sedentary farmers to abandon cropping
and to turn to nomadic pastoralism as a livelihood strategy,
using East Africa as a case study. While the current study
found no direct evidence for the hypothesized
extensification across semiarid areas in East Africa, it is
clear that systems are in transition with associated changes
not necessarily climate driven but linked to broader
socio-economic trends. Not surprisingly, many of the
households in the piloted sites face a wide array of
problems including poverty, food insecurity and inadequate
diets which will be aggravated by the looming risks posed by
climate change.

Date of publication
Julio 2015
Geographical focus

Firms normally keep certain inventories,
including raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished
goods, to operate seamlessly and not to miss possible
business opportunities. But inventory is costly, and the
optimal firm inventory differs depending on various economic
conditions, including trade and transport costs. The paper
examines firm inventory behavior in East Africa, in which
transport connectivity, especially to the ports, is
considered as one of the major business constraints. Using
firm-level data from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and
Uganda, it is shown that transport connectivity
significantly affects firm inventory behavior. In
particular, road density and transport costs to the port are
important to determine the optimal inventory level. With
more roads in a city and/or cheaper access to the port,
firms would hold smaller inventories.

Date of publication
Julio 2015
Geographical focus

Africa is estimated to have great
potential for agricultural production, but there are a
number of constraints inhibiting the development of that
potential. Spatial data are increasingly important in the
realization of potential as well as the associated
constraints. With crop production data generated at 5-minute
spatial resolution, the paper applies the spatial tobit
regression model to estimate the possible impacts of
improvements in transport accessibility in East Africa. It
is found that rural accessibility and access to markets are
important to increase agricultural production. In particular
for export crops, such as coffee, tea, tobacco, and cotton,
access to ports is crucial. The elasticities are estimated
at 0.3–4.6. In addition, the estimation results show that
spatial autocorrelation matters to the estimation results.
While a random shock in a particular locality would likely
affect its neighboring places, the spatial autoregressive
term can be positive or negative, depending on how
fragmented the current production areas are.

Date of publication
Marzo 2016
Geographical focus

On September 15, 2015, the World Bank announced US$600 million of financing for a new initiative in Ethiopia, Enhancing Shared Prosperity through Equitable Services (ESPES). Its purported aim, like its predecessor, the Promoting Basic Services (PBS) program, is expanding access to basic services such as water, education, and healthcare.

The PBS has been associated with human rights abuses and the forced relocation of indigenous communities while paving the way for land grabs. Yet, rather than addressing the concerns raised about the program, the Bank has just launched an almost identical initiative under a new name.

Reports by The Oakland Institute and human rights organizations have demonstrated widespread human rights abuses associated with the PBS program. In 2012, the Anuak people of Gambella, Ethiopia filed a complaint with the World Bank’s Inspection Panel stating that the PBS program was linked with the Ethiopian Government’s villagization program, which was forcibly evicting indigenous communities to make their land available to foreign investors.

In early 2015, the Inspection Panel released a scathing report after examining these allegations. The report concluded that indeed, an “operational interface” between the villagization program (known as the “Commune Development Program” or CDP) and PBS had formed in regions like Gambella where the two programs were concurrently rolled out.

A close examination of the ESPES program, in light of the Inspection Panel findings, raises major concerns.

First, ESPES uses the same block grant system as the PBS program to transfer funds from the Government of Ethiopia (the recipient of World Bank funding) to the woredas, where basic services are provided. The Inspection Panel confirmed several serious issues with this system, including the potential for World Bank funds to be diverted away from the PBS program and used to roll out the villagization program.

The proposed mechanisms to resolve these financial issues in the ESPES are insufficient.

Second, so-called “improved” systems for assessing and mitigating social risks associated with ESPES rely heavily on community engagement and self-reporting by severely marginalized communities. This ignores the fact that the rampant misuse of the country’s laws, such as the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, has created a culture of fear and intimidation in Ethiopia,6 rendering these mechanisms

Third, the agencies tasked with monitoring and evaluating the ESPES program are government agencies, which lack independence, and are thus incapable of providing protection to vulnerable peoples from social harm.

Finally, the above concerns, combined with further findings from the Inspection Panel, fail to address the renewed possibility for World Bank projects to have “operational interfaces” with problematic programs of the Ethiopian Government in the future.

The vote of the US Treasury in favor of the ESPES program also raises serious concerns. In accordance with several pieces of legislation, from the US Appropriations Bills of 2012 through 2016, the US Treasury should not have voted in favor of this program, both on account of forced evictions and inadequate safeguards for indigenous groups.

The new World Bank financing for Ethiopia through ESPES is nothing more than a renaming of PBS, which continues to ignore the grave concerns associated with the program and human rights abuses in the country. In addition, by voting in favor of this program, the US Treasury is in violation of the requirements set out by the US Congress. Despite solid evidence of forced displacements and widespread human
rights abuses, the US Treasury and the World Bank have chosen a business-as-usual approach in Ethiopia, while once again failing truly vulnerable communities in the country.

Date of publication
Marzo 2016
Geographical focus

Follow Rose, and see her impact, as she travels the Rwandan countryside educating communities about women’s rights to land.

Convocatoria de manifestación de interés: hubs nacionales o regionales para compartir datos abiertos y conectados (Linked Open Data) sobre la tierra

On Fri, Nov 20, 2015

La Fundación Land Portal está tratando de encontrar un pequeño número de socios de dimensión nacional o regional que están interesados en desarrollar flujos de informaciones relacionadas con la gobernanza de la tierra, teniendo en cuenta  sus intereses geográficos o temáticos. La fundación Land Portal está particularmente interesada en colaborar con proveedores de informaciones reconocidos o con organizaciones que trabajan con la gobernanza de la tierra y que consideran conveniente mejorar el desarrollo de sus servicios informativos.

Date of publication
Enero 2003
Geographical focus

Over the period mid-October, 1997, through early February, 1998, CARE Tanzania implemented an Urban Livelihood Security Assessment (ULSA) in Dar es Salaam. The goal of the ULSA was to identify needs for urban programming in Dar es Salaam. In addition, the assessment was designed to develop capacities for undertaking urban livelihood security assessments and for understanding programmatic issues related to urban programming using a livelihood security perspective.

Date of publication
Enero 2009
Geographical focus

The theorized impact of land tenure and titling on access to credit has produced mixed results in the empirical literature. Land tenure and titling is hypothesized to increase access to credit because of the enhanced land security provided and the newfound ability to use land as collateral. Using land as collateral and obtaining access to credit are paramount concerns in Uganda and in all of Africa, as greater emphasis is placed on the need to modernize the agricultural system. This paper uses a new approach in evaluating whether land tenure and titling have an impact on access to credit for rural households in Uganda. The new approach includes comparisons across four categories: (1) households who have customary land with versus without a customary certificate, (2) households who have freehold land with versus without a title, (3) households with a title or certificate having freehold versus customary tenure, and (4) households without a title or certificate having freehold versus customary tenure. Each comparison is then evaluated for the impact on access to any form of credit, formal credit, and informal credit. This analysis allows for an in-depth look into which element, tenure or title, is impacting access to credit and to which type of credit, formal or informal. To conduct this analysis, matching techniques are used, including propensity score matching and the Abadie and Imbens matching method. These two methods contain both strengths and weaknesses that allow the results to support to one another. The only significant finding of the matching was a positive impact on access to credit of freehold without title over customary without certificate. Results imply that tenure, not title, impacts credit access for rural households in Uganda.--Authors' Abstract

Date of publication
Enero 2013
Geographical focus

Book chapter


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