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Dean Contributes to Research on The Role of Private Sector in Africa’s Sustainable Development

  Sep 23, 2016

Dr. George Njenga, Dean – Strathmore Business School assisted by Dr. Moses Ochieng, Senior Consultant – Financial Sector Deepening contributed to a research seeking to explore how African business leaders can pursue the goals of profit and social wealth creation. The study also included an outlook on the roles of business schools in Africa and policymakers; and their view on the role played by the private sector.The yearlong research dubbed, ‘Africapitalism: The Role of Private Sector in the Sustainable Development of Africa’, aims at engaging global academia in disseminating the role of African Capitalism and its management.


The study was undertaken in collaboration with the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Sustainable Business Institute, University of Edinburgh Business School, University of Cape Town, University of Nottingham, University of Sussex and Lagos Business School.


The scope of the study was five African countries; Côte D’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa. A total of 142 participants were interviewed.


Some of the findings highlighted from the study are:


  • Many business leaders in Africa do not yet see themselves and their organisations as solutions to the developmental challenges in the continent.


  • There is a need to re-educate current African business leaders and prepare future leaders to appreciate the spectrum of roles that the private sector can play as instruments of development in Africa.


  • Meeting current African challenges will require collaborative engagement between the state and the private sector, as well as with civil society organisations. This in turn will require ‘uncommon’ and new business skills, practices, and strategies.


  • There was a lack of clarity regarding the meaning and applicability of sustainable development in Africa, although the general consensus was a view that equated sustainable development in Africa with the creation of jobs and a better society, improved living conditions and provision of good quality and reliable infrastructure. In most instances, many business leaders wait for a person or an organisation to champion a cause, before they adopt it. The Africapitalism movement should be at the forefront of championing and adopting causes.


  • There is a need for education that is targeted on skills provision, vocational training and provision of mentorship and internship opportunities.


  • Business leaders and policymakers’ desire a more inclusive and integrated Africa.


Based on the strength, uniqueness and timeliness of the research project, book contracts on Africapitalism have been secured from Cambridge University Press and Routledge Publishers respectively.


This story has been compiled from excerpts of the report. Read the Africapitalism: The role of Private Sector in the Sustainable Development of Africa report here.

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