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2 JAD POLICY ON COPYING and DISTRIBUTION of ARTICLES Because a major goal of JAD is to disseminate the research efforts of our authors and to make their work as widely available as possible to policy makers, professors, and students, JAD hereby grants blanket permission to photocopy the material it publishes if that material is to be used for nonprofit purposes. This permission covers tables, figures, charts and fulllength articles, as well as multiple copies of articles. All copies must indicate the Volume and issue of JAD from which they were copied, plus the cover page and this policy. Persons intending to photocopy JAD material for non-profit use are not required to give notice or remit copying fees. However, please note that permission is still necessary (and fees are usually charged) for JAD material that is to be published elsewhere or used for profit oriented activities by individuals or organizations. The Journal of African Development ( JAD) is an official publication of the African Finance and Economics Association in cooperation with New York University. The African Finance and Economics Association and New York University do not assume responsibility for the views expressed in this or subsequent issues of the Journal of African Development. JAD Editorial Policy and Guidelines for the preparation of manuscripts may be found at

3 JAD Journal of African Development Spring 2012 Volume 14 #1 TABLE OF CONTENTS From the Editor 9 The Effect of Trade Liberalization on Food Security: The Experience of Selected African Countries 13 Mesfin Bezuneh and Zelealem Yiheyis Women s Access to Microcredit and Children s Food Security in Rural Malawi 27 Gautam Hazarika and Basudeb Guh-Khasnobis A Co-Integration Analysis of Growth in Government Expenditure in Ghana 47 Grace Ofori-Abebrese The Perceived Success Factors and Problems of Small Business Owners in Africa 63 Cynthia Benzing and Hung M. Chu Research Note Aid and Liberty in West Africa, Cameron M. Weber Policy Perspectives Making Economic Policy Research Influential: The Case of African Research 109 Mesfin Bezuneh and Carl Mabbs-Zeno What Role for Africa After 50 Years of Independence: Provider of Natural Resources or a New Global Leader? 127 Frannie A. Léautier Book Reviews The Darfur Conflict: Geography or Institutions? by Osman Suliman 153 Ola Olsson The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa by Calestous Juma 157 William A. Amponsah 3

4 JAD: Book Reviews Journal of African Development Spring 2012 Volume 14 # 1 The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa by Calestous Juma (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) WILLIAM A. AMPONSAH 1 In September 2000, members of the United Nations adopted eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that committed the members to making substantial progress toward the eradication of poverty and achieving other human development goals by To date, progress in achieving those goals have been slow enough that projections are that the targets may not be realized by Achieving the first target of halving poverty (the number of people living on less than $1 a day) and the proportion of people who suffer from hunger appear to be the touchstones for the MDGs as a whole. More than 3.1 billion people lived in rural areas in developing countries in 2010, a quarter of them in extreme poverty. Despite some recent progress, nearly 2 billion of these skim off meager existence in agricultural pursuits. In Sub-Saharan Africa, about 65% of the total population lives in rural areas and are dependent mainly on subsistence agriculture. About 34% of the region s GDP and 40% of its exports earnings originate from agriculture (World Bank, 2008). Traditionally, agriculture was assumed to play a passive and supportive role in economic development. Agriculture s primary purpose was to provide sufficient low-priced food and excess labor to feed into a burgeoning industrial sector. Today, however, most development economists share the consensus that far from playing a passive supportive role in economic development, the 1 School of Economic Development, College of Business Administration, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA Tel: See, for example, the 2006 and 2009 reports by the United Nations at and the World Bank s Global Monitoring Report 2010: The MDGs after the Crisis, January 1, 2010, at 157

5 agricultural sector must play a critical role in the overall economic growth strategy, especially for the low-income developing countries. Yet, decades following the Asian agricultural Green Revolution, African agriculture lags behind all other developing countries when weighed by indicators of agricultural productivity (total factor productivity has only risen from -2% from the 1960s to 1.7% by the mid-2000s), access to agricultural technology (irrigated area is only about 3.7%), the use of modern inputs (fertilizer consumption is 12 kg/hectare of arable land) and low human capacity to adopt innovations. Following intensive discussions, the New Partnership for Africa s Development (NEPAD) proposed action steps in a Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), aimed to achieve at least 6 percent agricultural growth per year by the year Established by the African Union (AU) Assembly in 2003, CAADP aims to: (i) increase food supply, reduce hunger, and improve responses to food emergency crises; (ii) improve agriculture research, technology dissemination and adoption; (iii) extend the area under sustainable land management and reliable water control systems; and (iv) to improve rural infrastructure and trade related capacities for market access. African countries agreed to allocate at least 10% of their public expenditure to agriculture. However, by 2010, only 8 African countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Zimbabwe) had achieved that target with many hardly reaching 4% of GDP; leaving African agriculture at the mercy of dwindling official development assistance. The target remains unmet because of the very limited base of agriculture performance and the declining trends prior to Therefore, African agriculture is at crossroads. Calestous Juma s book endorses the vision of transforming and modernizing African agriculture as a major catalyst in achieving rapid economic growth. The book is written around three themes: (i) advances in science, technology, and engineering worldwide offer Africa new tools needed to promote sustainable agriculture; (ii) efforts to create regional markets will provide new incentives for agricultural production and trade; and (iii) a new generation of African entrepreneurial leaders must help the continent to focus on long-term economic transformation. The book is guided by the view that innovation is the engine of social and economic development in general and agriculture in particular. Therefore, the policy-relevant challenge is how to align progress in science, technology, and engineering to achieve Africa s agricultural development goals. This implies that agriculture must be viewed as a 158

6 knowledge-based entrepreneurial activity. According to the author, keys to boosting agricultural sector growth in Africa include recognizing the importance of offering incentives to induce agricultural research so as to promote innovation, invest in enabling infrastructure, build human capacity, stimulate entrepreneurship and improve the governance of innovation. Furthermore, the book suggests that such efforts must be pursued through the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in congruence with the AU s recent initiatives to achieve regional integration. The emergence of Africa s RECs provides a unique opportunity to promote innovation in agriculture in a more systematic and coordinated regional approach by enabling the free movement of people, implementing intra-and inter-regional infrastructure programs (such as seamless broadband infrastructure networks and harmonized policies and regulatory frameworks to govern information and communication technologies), transport, energy and investment master plans, common currencies, and developing institutional protocols to promote cooperation among RECs. If successful, these approaches would likely influence the technological trajectories to be pursued by respective African countries and regions. Furthermore, the book outlines the policies and institutional changes needed to promote agricultural innovation in light of changing climatic, ecological, economic, and political circumstances facing Africa and explores the role of rapid technological innovation in fostering sustainable agriculture. The book also articulates the importance of adopting recent advances in information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology to stimulate African agricultural productivity and value-added entrepreneurial activities. Additionally, it makes the prima facie case that strengthening rural innovation systems, developing effective industrial clusters to add value to unprocessed raw materials, and promoting investment in agribusiness value chains (such as horticulture, food processing and packaging, food storage and transportation, food safety, distribution systems, and exports) would be critical in transforming African agriculture from subsistence to profitable commercial ventures. Chapter 1 of the book examines the critical linkages between agriculture and economic growth by exploring how the confluence of recent global economic crisis, rising food prices, and the threat to climate change have reinforced the urgency to find lasting solutions to Africa s agricultural sector 159

7 challenges. It explains how the low human capital base of the agriculture profession, poor government investment, and undercapitalization have resulted in poor yielding crops far below average yields in other parts of the developing world. Chapter 2 reviews the implications of global advances in science and technology for Africa s agriculture. It emphasizes the role played by the Green Revolution in helping overcome chronic food shortages in Asia in the 1960s, and admonishes African countries to review the existing advances in science, technology, and engineering along with local innovations and indigenous knowledge so as to identify their potential utilization in African agriculture. Chapter 3 offers a conceptual framework for defining agricultural innovation in a systemic context. It claims that to be successful in utilizing emerging technology and indigenous knowledge to promote sustainable agriculture, existing African institutions (such as universities and research institutes) must be reformed by closely integrating key functions such as research, teaching, extension and commercialization into their programs. It also provides various African cases of university-industry linkages in scientific and technological innovation, and illustrates lessons learned from reforms initiated by countries such as Slovenia and China to stimulate business innovation. Chapter 4 outlines the critical linkages between infrastructure investment and agricultural innovation. Infrastructure is defined as facilities, structures, associated equipment, services, and institutional arrangements that facilitate the flow of agricultural goods, services, and ideas. Key enabling infrastructure includes irrigation, public utilities (such as energy), public works, transportation and telecommunications, and research facilities. The role of education and human capacity building in fostering agricultural innovation is the subject of chapter 5. Two major constraints for African agriculture are how to identify access to research support for universities, and enhancing competence throughout the agricultural value chain. The chapter explores a variety of models that brings innovation outside the classroom in delivering experiential and extension services to farmers. It also emphasizes the need to expand such services to women who constitute nearly 80% of African farm workers and who serve as custodians of the environment. Chapter 6 discusses the importance of entrepreneurship in agricultural innovation and in stimulating rural development. Outlined incentives to support agricultural enterprises include direct financing, matching grants, taxation policies, government or public procurement policies, and rewards to recognize their 160

8 creativity and innovation. The final chapter outlines regional approaches for fostering agricultural innovation. Despite the presence of RECS in Africa, regional cooperation in agriculture is at the nascent stage with many potential challenges. Therefore, the author encourages African countries to intensify efforts to use the RECS as agents of agricultural innovation and in promoting common regulatory standards. Furthermore, the author suggests that any new economic vision for Africa s agricultural transformation should be guided by new conceptual frameworks that define the continent as a learning society. Consequently, policy emphasis must be placed on emerging opportunities such as renewing infrastructure, building human capabilities, stimulating agribusiness development and increasing participation in the global economy, while mitigating the potential risks of climate change. It must be noted that African leaders have in recent years been placing increasing emphasis on the role of science and innovation in economic transformation. For example, the Eighth AU Summit of January 2007, adopted decisions aimed at, inter alia, encouraging more African youth in taking up studies in science, technology, and engineering education; promoting and supporting research and innovation activities and the related human and institutional capacities; ensuring scrupulous application of scientific ethics; promoting and enhancing regional as well as south-south and north-south cooperation in science and technology; increasing funding for national, regional, and continental programs for science and technology; and supporting the establishment of national and regional centers of excellence in science and technology. However, Africa faces the onerous challenge of undertaking effective institutional and market reforms that would make science, technology, and innovation relevant to development. The book is well written, and it benefits from substantial research analysis on the importance of emerging innovation and entrepreneurship in African agriculture. It provides credible approaches to increase total output and productivity in African agriculture that will benefit the average small farmer as well as the large agribusiness enterprise while providing a pathway to reaping potential sufficient food surplus to ensure food security and support the urban, industrial sector. Generally, as countries develop they tend to move toward commercialized agriculture, though with various trajectories and differing 161

9 economic, social, and technical problems to solve. Collier (2011) observes that although Africa is not immune to global risks, its continued growth is likely to rest on the potential for further resource discoveries and for commercial cultivation of its vast, underused agricultural land. He argues that new transportation infrastructure is vital to harness these two potential sources of growth. The economic motivations in arguing for the transformation and modernization of African agriculture are well articulated. What the book fails to comprehensively discuss are the implications arising from African agricultural innovation and modernization on the social, institutional, and structural fabrics of the subsistence and small-farm dominated rural sector. REFERENCES Collier, Paul, 2011, Building an African Infrastructure, Finance and Development, (December), pp World Bank, 2008, World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development. Washington, DC, USA. 162

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