African Rural Employment Network - Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. [1972 - 1977]

Co-Principal Investigators

Non-AFRE Co-Principle Investigators: AEC/AFRE and Other Department Affiliated Faculty: Dustan Spencer, Assafa Mehretu (Geography)

Project Name:           African Rural Employment Network (Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) *
Donor:                        United States Agency for International Development
Contract No:              AID/csd-3625
Account No:               MSU 71-2007
Location:                    Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone
Duration:                    June 1972 - March 1977
Budget:                       $847,471
Documents:              (Click here to view

Project Goals:           To conduct micro-studies of the economic viability of labor-for-capital substitutions in production and marketing of selected high priority food crops; to identify rural labor supply and characteristics of migration; to evaluate rural employment policies related to national goals in a partial equilibrium framework involving regional demand and supply projections; and to provide necessary empirical evidence for more substantive sector analysis through the systematic application of a simulation approach, alternative input/output or other programming approaches.

Project Plans/Objectives:

  • To develop and refine a conceptual framework and work plan for analyzing the employment problems and policies of developing countries at both the micro and macro economic levels and incorporating the employment component into project, sub-sector, and sector analysis in developing countries, with emphasis on tropical Africa, as represented by Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.
  • To conduct rural employment studies that will include demand for labor in agricultural production systems, demand for labor in off-farm rural activities, and determinants of out-Migration.
  • To evaluate the effects of micro and macro agricultural policies on rural employment and income and develop general policy guidelines for the Ministries of Agriculture and Planning in dealing with the employment problems in tropical Africa.
  • To provide an improved theoretical and quantified basis for incorporating labor into sectoral and macro-planning models.
  • To formulate specific agricultural policy guidelines to deal with employment problems in selected African countries.
  • To stimulate the development of a community of African scholars through a network that will link them with each other and with worldwide scholars engaged in employment research by conducting seminars and workshops, stimulating interchange between scholars, and promoting joint and complementary research efforts.

Cooperating Institutions:      University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; University of Ibadan, Nigeria; University of Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone

Project Summary: This MSU study focused on the comparative analysis of the development process. The research emphasized rural employment and development problems such as demand for labor in alternative production systems and in the rural non-farm sector, the migration process, and the impact of macroeconomic policies on labor absorption in agriculture. The project network established linkages with similar research networks in Latin America and Asia and with organizations such as FAO, the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the World Bank.  Research and outreach undertaken for Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone is slightly different and described in the various documents highlighted below.  (Also click here to view details on the objective of work in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone)

Selected Documents From/About This Project:

* This description is adapted from work by Nancy E. Horn, an MSU alumnus from the Anthropology Department, published in 1985 “A Project History of Michigan State University’s Participation in International Development for the period 1951 – 1985”.  See AFRE Emeritus Faculty - Acknowledgements