The Sophistication and Diversification of the African Agricultural Sector: A Product Space Approach
AbstractWe use the concept of the product space to analyze the key features of the transformation process in Africa with a focus on the agricultural sector. Between 1962 and 2008, we find that both specialization and diversification occur for the overall economy and across sectors. Our findings also confirm that the transformation of the African economy is driven primarily by the increasing specialization of nonagricultural exports. However, the transformation process is still moving more slowly than that of an emerging economy such as Brazil. The index of specialization of agricultural exports grew at a modest annual rate of 2.1 percent between 1962 and 2008, compared to 5.0 percent for nonagricultural exports and 4.1 percent for the overall economy. Although substantive achievements are observed in terms of product specialization or sophistication, the diversification of agricultural exports is rather insignificant. Compared to Africa, Brazil appears to have experienced a more balanced process in terms of both specialization and diversification of its agriculture. African countries’ specific transformation dynamics are heterogeneous, suggesting that a one-size-fits-all strategy to boost the agricultural sector in Africa is probably not the best option. Therefore, we advocate that the goals and principles of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) be adapted and customized to individual countries and incorporated into their strategies to enhance the transformation process of the African agricultural sector.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington with number 124498.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
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structural transformation; diversification; sophistication; growth; export; Africa; Agricultural and Food Policy; Crop Production/Industries; International Development; International Relations/Trade; Production Economics; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; F19; O14; O33; O40;
Other versions of this item:
- Ulimwengu, John M. & Badibanga, ThaddÃ©e, 2012. "The sophistication and diversification of the African agricultural sector: A product space approach," IFPRI discussion papers 1156, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- F19 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Other
- O14 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- O40 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2012-06-25 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2012-06-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-INT-2012-06-25 (International Trade)
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