This book constitutes the proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Intelligent Human Computer Interaction, IHCI 2016, held in Pilani, India, in December 2016. The 22 regular papers and 3 abstracts of invited talks included in this volume were carefully reviewed and selected from 115 initial submissions. They deal with intelligent interfaces; brain machine interaction; HCI applications and technology; and interface and systems.
An analysis of data for 39 sub-Saharan African countries during 1985–96 indicates that the variations in tax revenue-GDP ratios within this group are influenced by economic policies and the level of corruption. Namely, these ratios rise with declining inflation, implementation of structural reforms, rising human capital (a proxy for the provision of public services by the government), and declining corruption. The paper confirms that the tax revenue ratio rises with income, and that elements of a country’s tax base (such as the share of agriculture in GDP and the degree of openness) influence tax revenue.
This paper investigates the linkages between oil and growth in Congo, where there appears to be no evidence of direct spillover effects. The empirical results suggest however that political instability has a negative effect on non-oil growth, and that the presence of oil could have fueled political instability by being associated with weakening institutions. The results also show that fiscal discipline is beneficial for growth. In addition, there are strong linkages between world oil prices and the real effective exchange rate, with movements in the latter having important indirect repercussions for growth.
Analysis of 1960-2002 data shows that average real GDP growth in sub-Saharan Africa was low and decelerated continuously before starting to recover in the second part of the 1990s. Growth was driven primarily by factor accumulation with little role for total factor productivity (TFP) growth. The recent pickup in economic growth was accompanied by an increase in TFP growth, namely in the group of countries whose IMF-supported programs were judged to be on track. Average annual growth in the region, at 3½ percent during 1997-2002, is less than half of the estimated growth needed to halve the fraction of population living below $1 per day between 1990 and 2015, one of the Millennium Development Goals.
During the 1980s and early 1990s many Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries undertook reforms to promote financial sector deepening. Nevertheless, financial sectors in SSA countries remain among the shallowest in the world and, within Sub-Saharan Africa, financial depth in the CFA franc zone is even more limited. This paper sets out to investigate empirically factors that may explain why financial depth in the CFA franc zone is shallower than in the rest of SSA using panel data for a sample of 40 countries for 1992-2006. The results indicate that the gap in financial development between the CFA franc zone countries and the rest of SSA can be explained by differences in institutional quality (e.g., availability of credit information, and strength and enforcement of property rights), variables that policy makers can influence.
Based on the experience of selected countries, this paper offers a critical presentation of the development of the microfinance sector in Africa. The paper supports the view that microfinance institutions, especially those engaged in full financial intermediation, complement effectively the banking sector in extending financial services and successfully draw on the rich experience of community-based development and preexisting informal methods of financial intermediation in Africa. Growing linkages between microfinance institutions and the banking system and the dissemination of good practices by nongovernment organizations contribute to the sound development of the sector, supported by regulation and supervision by local authorities.
This paper provides empirical evidence that the propensity for political instability in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) has been increased by low tax revenues and deteriorations in the terms of trade. The direct effect of political instability on economic growth is not statistically significant, once account is taken of domestic investment, and economic growth in neighboring countries. The policy implications are: (i) mobilization of domestic revenues to pay public employees'' salaries and provide basic social services would lower the probability of coups; (ii) economic diversification would reduce the propensity for adverse terms of trade shocks to fuel coups; and (iii) neighboring countries'' efforts to resolve conflicts and achieve sustained growth would be beneficial for the C.A.R.''s economic performance.
Cotton production in West and Central Africa (WCA) has contributed to growth and poverty reduction. Recently, the objective of poverty alleviation has been adversely impacted by the downward pressures on world prices (exacerbated by subsidies by major cotton producers outside Africa). Several countries in WCA are undergoing reforms in the cotton sector to stimulate greater market competition and raise the share of the international price going to farmers. While these efforts would help to improve rural income irrespective of the world market situation, they would be more powerful in combination with a reduction in other countries’ subsidies in this sector.
The paper investigates the existence of "super pro-poor" policies-that is, policies that directly influence the income of the poor after accounting for the effect of growth. It uses a dynamic panel estimator to capture both across- and within-country effects, and a Bayesian-type robustness check to account for model uncertainty. The findings confirm that growth raises the income of the poor, although this relationship is less than one-to-one. The analysis also identifies four super pro-poor conditions that are influenced by policy: inflation, government size, educational achievement, and financial development.
This paper reviews the experiences of a few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that have succeeded in attracting fairly large amounts of foreign investment. The review indicates that sustained efforts to promote political and macroeconomic stability and implement essential structural reforms have been the key elements contributing to the success that certain countries in Africa have achieved in attracting a substantial volume of FDI. Strong leadership, which has helped promote democracy and overcome social and political strife, and a firm commitment to economic reform have been important determinants. The adoption of sound fiscal and monetary policies, supported by an appropriate exchange rate policy, and a proactive approach to removing structural impediments to private sector activity have had a positive bearing on investor sentiment. The analysis underscores the importance of relying on stability and a broad-based reform effort to encourage foreign investment in Africa.
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