In partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), the World Bank and PEP, Cornell University held the first science and policy conference on the Structural Transformation of African Agriculture and Rural Spaces (STAARS) on December 4-5, 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – following the AERC Biannual Research Workshop. This event brought together top-tier researchers and high-level policymakers from around the world to advance the dialogue on structural transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as to improve the feedback between the researchers, who produce and analyze data, and the policymakers, who rely on timely and high quality research to improve decisions.
The organizers received over 260 submissions from all areas of work related to the micro-foundations of structural transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa, including but not limited to: agricultural productivity and innovation, technology adoption, labor productivity, factor market performance, non-farm labor and labor re-allocation, human capital investment and dynamics, financing and risk management, market access, and related fields of policy-relevant inquiry.
Over the course of 2 days, 24 papers were presented and discussed, including many led by African scholars. PEP has extended support to three young researchers from Benin, Ethiopia and Niger, selected through the competitive process to present the following papers in the conference:
- Non-farm Employment, Agricultural Intensification and Productivity Change: Empirical Findings from Uganda (presented by Mulubrhan Amare from Ethiopia)
- Patterns of labor productivity and income diversification in the rural farm and non-farm sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa (presented by Abdoulaye Djido from Niger)
- Spillovers from Off-farm Self-Employment Opportunities in Rural Niger (presented by Fidele Senakpon Dedehouanou from Benin) - of which the original research was carried out under the ongoing PEP-PAGE initiative.
In addition, PEP Executive Director Dr. Bekele Shiferaw also contributed to the exchange of knowledge and vibrant policy-research dialogue through chairing of sessions and discussing the research papers. The conference concluded with a policy roundtable session focused on distilling core messages for a policy-focused audience. A selected set of papers from the conference will also be considered for publication in the special issues of two peer-reviewed journals: World Development and Agricultural Economics.
The conference also gave an opportunity for all stakeholders of the STAARS consortium to discuss future directions for further development of the project and finalization of the full proposal.
Follow this link to find out more about PEP’s involvement in the STAARS initiative
Follow these links to find out more about the first STAARS conference: