Manufactured Exports in Sub-Saharan African Economies: Econometric Tests for the Learning by Exporting Hypothesis
Uzochukwu Amakom

Low growth of manufacturing exports has been identified as a major factor for poor economic performance in many Sub-Saharan African economies. Exports improvement in the manufacturing sector especially through the learning process is a necessary condition for growth and real development of less developed and developing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The study sought to establish empirical support in the SSA context for the “learning by exporting hypothesis” by employing Cobb-Douglas type of production functions and firm-level survey data from a sample of ten African countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Africa, Cameroon, Botswana, Mauritius, and Zimbabwe). Furthermore, employing Ordinary Least Squares (OLS), Clerides, Lach and Tybout (CLT) and Non-parametric Maximum Likelihood (NPML) estimation techniques, the study found support for the learning by exporting hypothesis in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study recommended further investment in human resources and physical infrastructures as well as Research and Development (R&D) to boost Total Factor Productivity (TFP), which will ultimately increase efficiency and hence exports.

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