Chapter 1: Introduction
This study in essence gears towards unearthing the economic, technological andpolitical impact the belt and road initiative will bring on the maritime transport sector inBenin. This was motivated by the fact that, in recent times, the development of anntegrated multimodal transport system and network coupled with regional connectivity iscritical for the social and economic development of the globalized and interdependentworld. One of such project that seeks to support this narrative is the belt and roadinitiative, which was conceived by the Chinese government in 2013. This initiative isenvisaged to assist in building trade, investment and infrastructure network connectingAsia with Europe and Africa beyond the ancient silk roads. In addition, the mainemphasis of BRI is outward. This means that the Chinese government intends to moveaway from a strategy of only attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to one where do mestic business or companies are encouraged to invest outside the country. Furthermore,this initiative is viewed as a ployby the government ofChina toextend its influence to other
countries specifically Asian countries.Another school of thought suggests that the Silk Road initiative was aimed at dealingwith some of the challenges that Beijing is currently facing. Thus,finding new markets toabsorb china excess production capacity. In addition, to facilitate some improvements interms of access to energy supplies because of the increase in demand become essential.Furthermore, the Chinese government is concerned that the interior and western provincesare lagging behind eastern coastal cities in terms of economic performance. It is alsobelieved that this initiative will allow other provinces to improve economically and catchup with the national average economic performance indicators.
Chapter 2: Theoretical, Empirical Review and ResearchMethodology
2.1 Theoretical Literature
The empirical literature on infrastructure and development in Africa has mainlyfocused on the impact of infrastructure on aggregate growth, firm output and the impact ofinfrastructure on trade.Despitea largebodyoftheoreticalworkontherelationshipbetweeninfrastructure and growth, empirical analyses in Africa have not yet offered a resoundingconsensus. Researchers agree that the relationship is heterogeneous and heavily dependenton the countries, infrastructure types, and periods under study. Measurement of theeconomic impact of infrastructure development is also hindered by the inherentendogeneity of the relationship between economic growth and development, on the onehand, and infrastructure provision on the other.Taking a broad definition of infrastructure development (i.e. including, energy andmaritime transport infrastructure, telecommunications), simulations reported by Fosterand Briceño-Garmendia  suggest that if all African countries were to catch up withMauritius (the regional leader in infrastructure) per capita growth in the region couldincrease by 2.2 percentage points. Estache  and Estache et al.  used an augmentedSolow model to study the effect of infrastructure on GDP per capita. They found thattelecoms, electricity and roads had a significant positive effect on long run growth inAfrica. Boopen  analysed a panel set of 33 African countries for the period 19802002.Results from the analysis highlighted the importance of transport capital as an element ofdevelopment. Transport was confirmed to have a positive significant effect on economic
2.2 Empirical Review
Ports compete against each other to attract users, to handle more cargo and increaserevenue. The main strategy of competition is to provide a good service quality, as requiredby port stakeholders, in less time and for less cost. This can be achieved if a port performsefficiently. Reviewing the literature of port performance provides more insights andunderstandings that help to identifythe related constructs. Therefore, this chapter examinesthe literature on port performance, taking into consideration the performance of seaside,terminal side and landside operations, to identify the most influential factors that influenceport performance.Ports are closely associated with international trade. International trade is one of themain mechanisms for improving economies and eradicating poverty. Both ancient andmodern histories show that trade is the strongest method for increasing income. Theancientcivilizations of Rome,EgyptandCarthagedepended ontrade for theirdevelopment.There are many studies discussing the role of international trade in improving a country’sstatus, all of which agree that international trade is the key element for increasing nationalincome, and consequently reducing poverty.Currently, more than two-thirds of international trade is carried by ships.Previously, maritime general cargo was transferred and transported piece by piece, whichwas inefficient. This increased ships’ operating time and cost, by making sea freightlabourineffective and costly, to reduce transport times and the cost of general maritime cargo,containerization was introduced in the 1960s, and now dominates sea-born trade,. This demand continues to grow. Containerization is the most efficient way to tranship manytypes of cargo. Its effect is to reduce overall transportation costs by shrinking cargo-handling times and increasing the speed of transport, by streamlining handling at alltransfers points between the different transport modes.[51-54]
Chapter 3: Maritime Situation in Benin and the relation with China................ 38
3.1 The maritime sector in Benin ................ 38
3.2 Benin and the new Silk Roads....................... 43
3.3 The challenges faced bythe maritime sector ingeneraland inBenin inparticulal.............. 44
Chapter 4: Analysis of Results and Strategical Design for Benin ....................... 49
4.1 Data Analysis...................... 49
4.2 Quantitative Analysis........... 52
Conclusion ...................... 75
Chapter 4: Analysis of Results and Strategical Design
4.1 Data Analysis
This chapter deals with an analysis of the results and discussion. The results aredivided into two sections; the first has to do with quantitative analysis where regressionmodels are established to show relationships among the variables in the study. The secondanalysis is based on qualitative analysis to further verify and complement the pointshighlighted in the quantitative aspect and also dwell more on how the BRI could serve asa lubricant in enhancing the efficient functioning of the maritime sector in Benin. Hence,the aim of the questions presented in this section was to find out how the belt and roadinitiative could have an impact on the maritime transport sector in Benin.In addition to the questionnaire administered to the top officials, the study also
administered 200 interview guides to other officials at the port and ministry of transport incollecting data with regard to the issues that have to do with the maritime sector in Benin.The questionnaire return rate results are shown in Table 4-1 and figure 4-1 below.Table 4-1 Response RateFrom the study, 47 out of50 target respondents filled in and returned the question nairecontributing to 94%. This high rate of response was made to be achieved after theinvestigator reiterate the visiting of the survey respondents and made individual request to the respondents tofill in the questionnaires as well as educating them on the importance oftheir participation in this research. This praiseworthy rate of response can be accredited tothe procedure of data collection, in which the investigator individually distributedquestionnaires through the use of face-to-face questioning approach and waited forrespondents to fill in the questionnaires within a specified period. The response ratedemonstrates a willingness ofthe respondents toparticipate inthe study. This response ratewas good and representative and conforms to Mugenda and Mugenda (1999) stipulationthat a response rate of 50% is adequate for analysis and reporting; a rate of 60% is goodand a response rate of 70% and over is excellent. The questionnaires that were not filledwere due to reasons like, the respondents were not available to fill them at that time andwith persistence follow ups there were no positive responses from them. However, theoverall response rate demonstrates a willingness of the respondents to participate in thestudy.
4.2 Quantitative Analysis
om the table 4-5 below, R is the correlation coefficient which shows the relationshipbetween the study variables, from the findings shown in the table below there was a strong positive relationship between the study variables as shown by 0.848 at the 1% significancelevel. The Adjusted R squared is the coefficient of determination which tells us thevariation in the dependent variable due to changes in the independent variables, from thefindings inthe tablebelowthe value ofadjustedR squaredwas0.792 whichis an indicationthat there was variation of 79.2% on Benin maritime development due to changes ineconomic factors, technological factors, political policy factors, terminal operationseffectiveness, Seaside operation effectiveness, Efficient Transport Equipment, LandsideOperations effectiveness, , Time and Safety effectiveness and BRI influence at 95%confidence interval. This is an indication that 79% of the changes in Benin maritimedevelopment could be account for by the independent variables.From the regression equation below, it was found that holding all the causative factorsof the maritime effectiveness to a constant zero. Maritime port performance (Port logisticeffectiveness) will be 15.921 percent, a unit increase in the economic impact will lead toincrease in maritime port performance in Benin by 0.84%. A unit increase in thetechnological improvement, (Information system effectiveness) will lead to increase inmaritime port performance in Benin by 0.36%. A unit increase in the political policyreinforcement will lead to increase in maritime port performance in Benin by 0.32% a unitincrease in the Terminal operations effectiveness lead to increase in maritime portperformance in Benin by 0.62%, and a one percentage increase in seaside operation effectiveness would lead to an increase in maritime port performance by 0.15%. a onepercentage increase in efficient transport equipment would lead to 0.19% increase inmaritimeportperformance.Unfortunately,the landside operationseffectiveness is notonlyinsignificant for the study but shows a negative effect on maritime port performance. Hadthis result beenstatisticallysignificant, a one percentage increase inthe landside operationseffectiveness would have contributed to maritime port performance by 0.35%. Aninteresting point found in this research is that; the perception of BRI initiative ininfluencing the Benin maritime sector is statistically significant. A one percent increase inthe perception of BRI initiative would lead to an increase in maritime port performance inBenin by0.33%. Overall, the economic impact had the greatest effect on maritime portperformance in the sample, followed by terminal operations effectiveness, technologicalimpact and political policy impacts.
The main purpose of this study was to explore the economic, technological and politicalimpact of the belt and road initiative on the maritime transport sector in Benin.The studydemonstrated that the economic impact had the greatest and significant effect onmaritime port performance with a high coefficient followed by terminal operationseffectiveness, technological impact, and political policy impacts. However, efficienttransport equipment was not significantly related to maritime port performance. Formacroeconomic performance of Benin, the trade with China contributed largely to theperformance improvement ofBenineconomy and the products export from Benin toChinaare mainly cotton and timber. The qualitative analysis showed that many of Chineseinvestments are not related to the development of the transport sector in Benin. However,the BRI implementation is feasible in Benin, but the inadequate capacity of infrastructureand equipment, speed and cost of goods transportation or topographical factors can be apotential barrier to its implementation in Benin.As in any research. this study has certain limitations. First, the research sample was madeup of 188 staffs working in the maritime sector in Benin including other stakeholders, thusthe sample might not be adequate for generalization. Second, the BRI perceptions of therespondents are sensitive to geographical location and region. This means that survey withthe same sample in different geographical locations or countries may result in differentoutcomes. In this regard, it is suggested that further researchers should take the currentconstraints into consideration and use different measurement scales measuring theconnection between the BRI and maritime transport development.
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