The impact of effective management of natural disasters for Africa’s development

Emmanuel Innocents Edoun, Roland Azibo Balgah, Charles Mbohwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The escalation of natural disasters in the last two decades or so and their devastating effects on developing countries in general and Africa in particular, has been frequently mentioned in the topical literature. Devastating impacts in African and other developing countries have often been attributed to the failure of formal (state and market) institutions for risk management, frequent in these countries. While the predominance of informal response mechanisms has been acknowledged in these countries, they are presumed to disintegrate in the face of covariate shocks. This article argues that an overly ambitious emphasis on states and markets and a negligence of the role of informal, socially embedded institutions in the effective management of natural disasters is grossly responsible for the negative effects of natural disasters and their perverse implications on Africa’s development. A multi-sector framework that can be used for modelling natural disaster management in Africa which has the potential of reducing the negative consequences of disasters is suggested. This is based on the premise that natural shocks must be perceived as social phenomena that are best managed with the participation of those involved. Empirical evidence is included, and the implications of a multi-stakeholder approach to managing disasters to enhance development in Africa are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)924-938
Number of pages15
JournalEconomic Research-Ekonomska Istrazivanja
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • African development
  • Formal and informal responses
  • Multi-sector framework
  • Natural disasters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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