To read this content please select one of the options below:

In-depth and feedback analysis of the relationship between human activities, the environment and economic growth in Africa

Sisay Demissew Beyene (Department of Economics, Arsi University, Asella, Ethiopia)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 10 August 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023




The literature argues that human activities are responsible for environmental pollution and world climate change. Africa is the second-largest continent by population and its socio-economic conditions are adversely affected by climate change due to environmental pollution. Therefore, this study investigates the relationship between human activities, the environment and the economic growth of 38 African countries from 2000 to 2018.


This study employs a simultaneous equations model called Seemingly unrelated regression.


Human capital development (HDI) and environmental health (EH) have a positive and non-linear relationship, while HDI and ecosystem vitality (EV) are negative and non-linear. The relationship between gross domestic product per capita (GDPPC) and EH is negative and non-linear. However, the GDPPC-EV link is insignificant. Trade openness (TO) and EV have a negative and non-linear relationship, but trade significantly improves EH. Urbanisation-EV relationship is positive and non-linear. However, urbanisation significantly reduces EH. Technology has a positive and non-linear relationship with EH and EV. The study also found that EH and EV positively affects the economy.


This is the first study to analyse the most concerned countries in-depth. Thus, it provides appropriate and sound policies that consider the unique characteristics of the nations. Moreover, it uses a robust estimation technique that overcomes the endogeneity problem and offers insight into the relationship between the variables, including the feedback effect of the environment on growth.



The author sincerely thanks the Editor, the three anonymous reviewers, and Balázs Kotosz (Adjunct Professor) for their comments and advice.

Declaration of potential conflict of interest: The author declared no potential conflicts of interest.


Beyene, S.D. (2023), "In-depth and feedback analysis of the relationship between human activities, the environment and economic growth in Africa", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 50 No. 1, pp. 34-57.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles