Contemporary discussions of Africa’s recent growth have largely interpreted such growth in terms of structural transformation, based mainly on national- and sectoral-level data. However, the micro-level processes driving this transformation are still unclear and remain the subject of debate. This collection provides a micro economic foundation for understanding the particular growth processes at work within the region’s rural areas, and in so doing provides important insights for policy action. The book provides valuable household- and farm-level evidence about the drivers of rural labour productivity, improvements in access to markets, investment in food value chains, and indeed the role of rural economic growth in Africa’s ongoing rural transformation processes. Some of the features of Africa’s ongoing rural transformation are similar to those of agricultural transformation as experienced in Asia and elsewhere. However, other features of Africa’s rural transformation are unique, and pose important challenges for development policy and planning. Together, the studies compiled in this volume provide an updated, evidence-based, and policy-relevant understanding of where African countries are in their developmental trajectories and the region’s prospects for achieving inclusive forms of development over the next several decades.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Development Studies.
Introduction: Africa’s Unfolding Economic Transformation T. S. Jayne, Jordan Chamberlin and Rui Benfica
1. Agricultural Transformation, Nutrition Transition and Food Policy in Africa: Preston Curves Reveal New Stylised Facts William A. Masters, Nathaniel Z. Rosenblum and Robel G. Alemu
2. Africa’s Evolving Employment Trends Felix Kwame Yeboah and Thomas S. Jayne
3. Understanding the Role of Rural Non-Farm Enterprises in Africa’s Economic Transformation: Evidence from Tanzania Xinshen Diao, Eduardo Magalhaes and Margaret McMillan
4. Roads and Rural Development in Sub-Saharan Africa Claudia N. Berg, Brian Blankespoor and Harris Selod
5. Youth Migration and Labour Constraints in African Agrarian Households Valerie Mueller, Cheryl Doss and Agnes Quisumbing
6. The Quiet Rise of Large-Scale Trading Firms in East and Southern Africa Nicholas J. Sitko, William J. Burke and T. S. Jayne
7. Micro-Level Welfare Impacts of Agricultural Productivity: Evidence from Rural Malawi Francis Addeah Darko, Amparo Palacios-Lopez, Talip Kilic and Jacob Ricker-Gilbert
8. Changing Patterns of Wealth Distribution: Evidence from Ghana Abena D. Oduro and Cheryl R. Doss