The Determinants of the Level and Growth of Total Factor Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Yemane Michael


This study finds the determinants of total factor productivity in sub-Saharan Africa during 2001–2015 for 43 countries for which data was available on a host of supposed determinants on the basis of a priori theoretical and previous empirical findings. The study closely looks at past literature to find out what explains sub-Saharan Africa’s growth slumber and conundrum. It uses a linear dynamic panel data model of the system-GMM to estimate the model’s results. The empirical findings show that the lagged value of TFP, gross capital formation and macroeconomic stability positively and significantly affected TFP while FDI and imports affected TFP negatively but insignificantly. Other variables like FDI and imports with varying signs were also incorporated in the model; however, their individual effect on TFP turned out to be insignificant. Much needs to be done to boost TFP growth which is abysmally poor. An improvement in TFP will put SSA on a trajectory of sustained growth.


TFP SSA Economic growth System-GMM 

JEL Classification

C23 C51 O43 O47 O55 



I would like to express my gratitude to my main supervisor, Professor Almas Heshmati of Jonkoping International Business School, Jonkoping University, Sweden for giving me tremendous support while writing this paper. I am also grateful to my co-supervisor Dr Adane Tuffa, Department of Economics, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia for his constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yemane Michael
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsCollege of Business and Economics, Addis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia
  2. 2.University of GondarGondarEthiopia

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