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Banga Karishma

Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex

Karishma Banga is a Research Fellow in Digital Development at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, Brighton. Her research examines new models of digital-led development, changing nature of Global Value Chains and digital trade negotiations, with a focus on development implications for low and middle-income countries. Previously, she was a Research Fellow at the International Economic Development Group, ODI working on international trade in the digital age with a focus on Africa and Asia, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, Graduate Institute of Geneva. She has led and worked on a range of projects with international organisations and stakeholders, including UNECA, Commonwealth Secretariat, UNCTAD, Afreximbank, African Union, WTO, and Pathways for Prosperity, University of Oxford. Karishma holds a PhD in Global Value Chains from the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester and a MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge
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India’s manufacturing and services value-chains are shifting South – A curse or a blessing?
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Monthly Seminar Series | Global Value Chains and Total Factor Productivity in Indian Manufacturing Firms
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Monthly Seminar Series | Global Value Chains and Total Factor Productivity in Indian Manufacturing Firms
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E-commerce in preferential trade agreements: implications for African firms and the AfCFTA

At continent level, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) negotiations are scheduled to include a protocol on e-commerce under Phase III, presenting a unique opportunity for African countries to collectively establish common positions on e-commerce, harmonise digital economy regulations and leverage the benefits of e-commerce. In this paper, we examine developments in e-commerce negotiations, their implications for African businesses and the role of the AfCFTA. This is done using desk-based research, complemented with primary survey data from 31 African businesses predominantly across Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria, and in-depth semi-structured telephone interviews with 15 firms, the majority of which are small enterprises. A core finding is that e-commerce is now more important than ever, with scope for the AfCFTA to provide a guiding framework for data protection, privacy policies and stronger enforcement. The analysis in this paper shows that facilitating a regional dialogue in Africa to open opportunities to cross-border e-commerce trade is key.

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Digital Technologies and Product Upgrading in Global Value Chains: Empirical Evidence from Indian Manufacturing Firms

This paper provides empirical evidence on the impact of digitalisation on product upgrading in Global Value Chains (GVCs). Analysis is done for a sample of Indian manufacturing GVC firms in the period 2001–2015 from the firm-level database Prowess, using the methodology of System Generalised Method of Moments. Product upgrading is captured by a novel sales-weighted average product sophistication indicator constructed at the firm level. Digitalisation is captured through a digital capability index, constructed using principal component analysis, which draws information on both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ digital assets for firms. Empirical results indicate that an increase in digital capability of an Indian GVC firm has a significant and positive impact on its product sophistication, implying that by investing in digital capabilities, Indian manufacturing firms can produce better and more sophisticated products in GVCs, enabling them to upgrade and climb up the value-chain ladder. Firms that are Digital Leaders produce 4–5% more sophisticated goods than Digital Laggards.

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Disruptive technologies in agricultural value chains: Insights from East Africa

Global food demand is expected to increase by somewhere between 59% and 98% by 2050 as the world population reaches an estimated 9.7 billion. Food production is especially critical in Africa, where over 70% of the population rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Against a backdrop of the rapid dwindling of agricultural productivity, the exclusion of women from the work force and the threat of climate change, an increase in the use of agricultural technologies – AgriTech – could help reduce livelihood loss and support inclusive economic transformation. This working paper explores the implications of the digitalisation of agriculture, with a focus on East Africa. It addresses the following key questions: What is AgriTech? What prevents adoption of AgriTech? What does disruption mean within AgriTech? What are the pathways through which AgriTech may disrupt livelihoods and support transformation?

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Linking Southern Africa into South Africa’s global value chains

This study explores the potential for South Africa to become an engine for intra- regional trade and industrial development by linking other Southern African countries to its global value chains and, in the process, improving its global trade competitiveness. The study identifies ‘lead products’ exported by South Africa, and then uses revealed comparative advantage and unit cost analysis to identify intermediate inputs in which Southern African countries have competitiveness to export that is currently untapped due to a lack of supply capacity or other factors. Such products are potential areas where regional investments could lead to the successful creation of regional value chains. The study also identifies ‘new markets’ for agricultural lead products exported by South Africa, which could open new opportunities for Southern Africa to supply intermediate agricultural inputs.

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