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Inequality and Gender Inclusion: Minimum ICT Policy Thresholds for Promoting Female Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author

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  • Simplice A. Asongu

    (Yaoundé/Cameroon)

  • Nicholas M. Odhiambo

    (Pretoria, South Africa)

Abstract

The study assesses how ICT modulates the effect of inequality on female economic participation in a panel of 42 countries in sub-Saharan Africa over the period 2004-2014. Three inequality indicators are used, namely: the Gini coefficient, the Atkinson index and the Palma ratio. The adopted ICT indicators are mobile phone penetration, internet penetration and fixed broadband subscriptions. Three gender economic inclusion indicators are also used for the analysis, namely: female labour force participation, female unemployment and female employment. The Generalised Method of Moments is employed as empirical strategy. The findings show that enhancing ICT beyond certain thresholds is necessary for ICT to mitigate inequality in order to enhance gender economic participation. First, for female labour force participation, a minimum threshold of 165.714 mobile phone penetration per 100 people is required for the Palma ratio. Second, minimum ICT thresholds for the reduction of female unemployment are: (i) 87.783, 107.486 and 152.500 mobile phone penetration per 100 people for respectively, the Gini coefficient, the Atkinson index and the Palma ratio; (ii) 39.618 internet penetration per 100 people for the Atkinson index and (iii) 4.500 fixed broadband subscriptions for the Palma ratio. Third, the corresponding ICT thresholds for the promotion of female employment are: (i) 120.369 and 85.533 mobile phone penetration per 100 people for respectively, the Gini coefficient and the Atkinson index and (ii) 30.005 internet penetration per 100 people for the Gini coefficient. The established thresholds make economic sense and can be feasibly implemented by policy makers in order to induce favourable effects on gender economic inclusion dynamics.

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  • Simplice A. Asongu & Nicholas M. Odhiambo, 2019. "Inequality and Gender Inclusion: Minimum ICT Policy Thresholds for Promoting Female Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 19/076, European Xtramile Centre of African Studies (EXCAS).
  • Handle: RePEc:exs:wpaper:19/076
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    3. Joseph Ikechukwu Uduji & Elda Nduka Okolo-Obasi & Simplice Asongu, 2020. "Women’s participation in the offshore and inshore fisheries entrepreneurship: The role of CSR in Nigeria’s oil coastal communities," Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 14(2), pages 247-275, April.
    4. Abdulqadir, Idris & Asongu, Simplice, 2021. "The asymmetric effect of internet access on economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa: Insight from a dynamic panel threshold regression," MPRA Paper 109904, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Ofori, Isaac K. & Armah, Mark K. & Taale, Francis & Ofori, Pamela E., 2021. "Addressing the Severity and Intensity of Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa: How Relevant is the ICT and Financial Development Pathway?," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    6. Adeabah, David & Asongu, Simplice & Andoh, Charles, 2021. "Remittances, ICT and pension income coverage: The international evidence," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 173(C).
    7. Tolulope T. Osinubi & Simplice A. Asongu, 2020. "Globalization and Female Economic Participation in MINT and BRICS countries," Working Papers of the African Governance and Development Institute. 20/058, African Governance and Development Institute..
    8. Asongu, Simplice A. & Biekpe, Nicholas & Cassimon, Danny, 2020. "Understanding the greater diffusion of mobile money innovations in Africa," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(8).
    9. Pamela E. Ofori & Simplice A. Asongu & Vanessa S. Tchamyou, 2021. "The Synergy between Governance and Economic Integration in Promoting Female Economic Inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 21/071, European Xtramile Centre of African Studies (EXCAS).
    10. Henri Njangang & Alim Beleck & Sosson Tadadjeu & Brice Kamguia, 2021. "Do ICTs drive wealth inequality? Evidence from a dynamic panel analysis," Working Papers of the African Governance and Development Institute. 21/057, African Governance and Development Institute..
    11. Chenghong Xu & Mingming Han & Toyo Amegnonna Marcel Dossou & Festus Victor Bekun, 2021. "Trade openness, FDI, and income inequality: Evidence from sub‐Saharan Africa," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 33(1), pages 193-203, March.
    12. Joseph I. Uduji & Elda N. Okolo-Obasi & Simplice A. Asongu, 2020. "Women’s Participation in the Offshore and Inshore Fisheries Entrepreneurship: the Role of CSR in Nigeria’s Oil Coastal Communities," Working Papers 20/012, European Xtramile Centre of African Studies (EXCAS).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; ICT; Gender; Inclusive development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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