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The Design of Micro-Projects and Macro-Policies: Examples From Three Appropriate Technology Proj ects in Africa

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This paper presents three case studies on the connection between macro-policies and micro-projects in Africa. The first example, palm oil extraction in Cameroon, shows how trade restrictions and a domestic price floor have allowed inefficient large-scale production by parastatals to persist along with lower cost artisanal production. An improvement in the technology used by artisanal producers offers good prospects for increasing rural incomes and employment as well as consumer benefits. The second example, improved charcoal stoves in Kenya, illustrates how public sector R&D to upgrade small-scale technology combined with a benevolent government attitude toward the informal sector can lead to rapid production and marketing of the technology. The third example, ferrocement fishing boats in Malawi, was unsuccessful because the scale of technology was not well matched to the level of investment and entrepreneurial capacity in the sector and because government controls on the landed price of fish reduced incentives.

Affiliations: 1: Appropriate Technology International, 1331 H Street, NW, Suite 1200, Washington, D.C. 20005, USA


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