Shocks, Resilience and Structural Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa
December 9, 2021
A Adelaja, J George, L Fox, K Fuglie, T Jayne
A Adelaja, J George, L Fox, K Fuglie, T Jayne. (2021) Shocks, Resilience and Structural Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sustainability, 13(4), 13620.
Evidence of how resilience factors mitigate the adverse effects of shocks on individuals, households and communities is clearly established. However, such evidence at the macro level is limited, especially on the pace of structural transformation. This paper explores whether the growing incidence of terrorism, armed conflicts and natural disasters in SSA impeded the pace of structural transformation. We conceptualize the notion of macro-resilience and test whether resilience factors mitigate the adverse effects of shocks on two measures of structural transformation: agriculture’s share of GDP and of national employment. We find that structural transformation is impeded by armed conflict and terrorism-related shocks but not natural disasters and that resilience factors enhance the pace of agricultural transformation. This implies that, while agriculture is often destroyed in conflict-affected areas, the broader impacts are even more negative for other sectors of the economy. However, surprisingly, we find negative or insignificant interaction terms between the shock and resilience variables, implying no mitigative role of resilience capacities. This may suggest, in the case of conflicts and terrorism, the presence of major, debilitating effects which limit the mitigative capacity of resilience factors. We further explore the implications for future research and possible strategies to address the growing threats from shocks.