The determinants of economic diversification from a Sub-Saharan African perspective

Masilo, Stanley
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Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is poor even though it has vast natural resources, is a paradox which various scholars have studied from different points of view. Furthermore, this region has a tendency to be highly reliant on narrow natural resource export baskets which are susceptible to external shocks and mineral depletion. Thus, economic diversification is a development path that can propel SSA economies to develop broad export baskets that are not highly dependent on natural resources, in order to mitigate systemic risk that stems from volatile commodity prices and achieve long-term sustainability. The research objectives of this study are twofold. Firstly, it determines the extent of economic diversification of selected SSA economies. Secondly, this study investigates the main determinants of economic diversification. The hypothesis of this study is based on the premise that there is a statistically significant relationship between economic diversification and government quality. Government quality is an important determinant of economic diversification due to its influence on macroeconomic fundamentals, infrastructure development, public goods and services. Furthermore, government formulates national development plans which can create a conducive environment for economic diversification to take place. The main policy recommendations towards achieving economic diversification from a SSA perspective, are encapsulated by the following aspects: structural reform and Group Economics
A dissertation submitted towards the fulfillment of the requirement for a Master of Commerce degree by research in the field of Economics, at the University of the Witwatersrand, March 2017
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Economic diversification, Volatile commodity prices, Government quality, National Development Plans (NDPs), Structural reform, Group Economics
Masilo, Stanley Chake Sipho, (2017) The determinants of economic diversification from a Sub-Saharan African perspective, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg,