Information Communication Technology and Bank Profitability: Evidence from Ethiopia

Haftu Girmaye                                        

In recent years banks in Ethiopia are increasingly using ICT goods and services in their day-to-day operations. However, their impact on bank profitability is still unknown. This study examined the impact of ICT expenditure on profitability in Ethiopia for the period of 2011-2015 using system GMM on an unbalanced panel data of 17 banks. Results showed that ICT expenditure has not produced a positive return. This finding seems to confirm Solow’s “Productivity Paradox.”  The insignificant impact may be due to the moderate competition that exists among the banks, underutilization of the technology, and mismatch between organizational structure and banking technology. 

The 2013 Constitutional Reform and the Protection of Women’s Rights in Zimbabwe

Cowen Dziva 

Zimbabwe adopted a new Constitution in 2013 to replace the gender-insensitive Lancaster House Constitution of 1979. This article largely relies on extant literature to analyze the adequacy of the 2013 Constitution in advancing women’s rights and needs. The study shows that the 2013 Constitution contains an elaborated Declaration of Rights that protects women against the major challenges they face in society, including exclusion in public life, vulnerability to abuse, violence and harmful practices. It also speaks to women’s access to quality and affordable health, capital and employment opportunities. Courtesy of the 2013 Constitution, women in Zimbabwe have equal rights and opportunities as men in relation to guardianship of children. Although some gender provisions in the Constitution lack conceptual clarity and the government is showing limited political will for constitutionalism, the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe has been found to be a progressive instrument poised to ensure for the recognition, inclusion, equality and protection of women as equal human beings in society.

The Effect of Mass Media on Women’s Reproductive Health Behavior in Ethiopia

Dula Etana and Eshetu Gurmu

There is inadequate utilization of reproductive health services in Ethiopia due to partly low awareness and attitudinal factors, which can be addressed through mass media. Based on analysis of the 2011 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey data, this study investigates the roles of mass media in positively affecting women’s reproductive health behaviour. Cox, ordinary least square and logistic regression models were used to analyse the survey data. In addition, qualitative data that were collected from media and health personnel were analysed thematically. Results show that exposure to mass media has significant positive effect only on few reproductive health indicators but not on others. The insignificant role of mass media is attributable to constraints associated with reproductive health communication design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. The potential role of mass media in addressing women’s reproductive health problems can be utilized through evidence-based preparation of communication messages tailored to a targeted audience as well as by building the capacities of mass media agencies. 

Political Economy of Urban Housing Poverty and Slum Development in Nigeria

Moruf Alabi

One point that Marx barely touched, but which has been of great     importance in recent attempts to develop political economy perspective, is the role of the state in capitalist society. In Nigeria, a dependent capitalist economy, the distribution of housing resources and units by urban managers has failed to produce and deliver housing in sufficient quantities at costs affordable to low-income segment of the population. This paper examined the ways and means through which urban managers influence housing poverty and slum development in Nigeria using metropolitan Lagos as a case study. Rapid urbanization and the inability of the state to provide affordable formal housing resources and units for the low-income groups are the major reasons why the urban poor have resorted to the building of poor quality houses in slums. Many of the houses in slums had sprung up as planning contravention; only 30 per cent of houses in Lagos had approved building plans, 73% of residents occupy between 1-2 rooms; occupancy rate in some cases was up to eight persons per room and most rooms were not more than 9.3m2. The challenges for urban planning in addressing inequality are particularly difficult, as urban planning alone cannot counter market forces. 

Smallholder Maize Varietal Choice and Implications on Food Grain Supply and Incomes: Evidence from Semi-Arid Areas in Southern-Eastern Zimbabwe

Tinashe Mugadza and Edward Mutandw  

In Sub-Saharan Africa, many seed varieties have been developed only to be rejected by farmers. This study examined the relationship between quantities of seed maize used, maize grain supply and household income in Bikita district, a semi-arid area in Zimbabwe. Primary data was collected using structured questionnaires and analysed using seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) method. Findings showed that Seed-co varieties, SC513 and SC411, were commonly used and were sourced from agro-dealers. Farmers’ perception of yield risk was an important choice factor determining seed quantities (p<0.05). These findings indicate the need for on-farm approaches that promote long-term maize seed use.

Interface between Formal and Informal Systems of Horizontal Accountability in Kenya’s State-Owned Enterprises

Paschal B. Mihyo and Truphena E. Mukuna

Recent studies on horizontal accountability between the executive and legislative bodies in Sub-Sahara African countries indicate that it is still constrained by limited capacity in terms of human resources, infrastructure and weak institutions. It is further compounded by negative cultural practices and hierarchies, restricted loyalty based on ethnic identity, collusive and predatory elite networks and lack of a deep culture of democracy and accountable governance. In Kenya reforms which have been going on for more than three decades have produced a system with strong institutions and formal systems which if used within a new culture of responsible, people driven and accountable system of governance, can increase the effectiveness of parliament and improve citizens’ livelihoods. However, reforms and institutional mechanisms on their own may not bring about the desired changes because in the case of Kenya there is a high level of reliance on informal mechanisms when groups of the elite in both the executive and in parliament, either independently or in alliance, find the use of formal mechanisms an obstacle to the advancement of their individual or collective interests. This has elevated informal over formal mechanisms of accountability thereby minimizing the outcomes of the reforms. This is very evident in the case of state owned enterprises, which by their organizational and governance architecture, are more prone to reliance on informal than formal mechanisms of control and accountability. This article sets out to investigate the reasons for this, using the National Cereals and Produce Board of Kenya as a case study.


OSSREA Strategic Plan 2016 - 2020

The OSSREA 2016 - 2020 Strategic Plan is a blue print that guides the activities of the Secretariat and its National Chapters for the period 2016 to 2020. Download the PDF version and be informed about the planned intervention areas.

OSSREA Annual Reports

OSSREA publishes and freely disseminates the status of all its current activities regarding research, capacity development, publication, dissemination, financial and administration in an annual report form. The annual reports are avialable for download in PDF format.

OSSREA Catalogue

The OSSREA catalogue which is updated yearly contains short information about the publications of OSSREA. The PDF version of the catalogue is freely available for download. Download now the 2013 Catalogue to find out more about the publications of OSSREA.

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