Recent works on the structural transformation of developing countries usually include only a few countries because of the availability of data. Beyond the resulting lack of representativeness, these works also hit a strong disparity between the labour reallocation patterns of sub-regions. This paper devoted to sub-Saharan Africa, evaluates the performance of sub-Saharan Africa, as a whole, in structural transformation using a more exhaustive database and highlights key disparities that exist between the performances of sub-Saharan African sub-regions.
With a database covering 43 sub-Saharan African countries classified into 4 sub-regions, the paper uses the shift-share method over the period 1991–2012 with sub-periods of 1991–2000 and 2000–2012.
Results show that labour reallocation in sub-Saharan Africa occurred, though weakly, towards more productive activities over the period 1991–2012. Results also show a significant disparity between sub-regions' labour reallocation pattern. While East Africa has experienced a labour reallocation towards more productive activities, West Africa has seen a labour reallocation towards activities experiencing an increase in productivity. Central Africa and Southern Africa experienced a labour reallocation towards less productive activities, and these activities know, moreover, a decrease of productivity.
Findings suggest that any political strategy purposing to coordinate structural transformation in sub-Saharan Africa will result in a failure if countries' peculiarities are not taken into account.
This paper offers a representative picture of sub-Saharan Africa's structural transformation and illustrates disparities between its sub-regions' performances.
We thank the two anonynous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. We are grateful to them.
Amadou, A. and Aronda, T. (2020), "Structural transformation in sub-Saharan Africa: A comparative analysis of sub-regions performances", African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 233-252. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJEMS-06-2019-0236
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