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Member Spotlight: Copenhagen Business School’s Successful African Firms and Institutional Change (SAFIC) Project

Posted By Nicole Zefran, Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sustained economic advancement and employment are imperative to development and poverty alleviation. Considering the recent advancements in African growth, it becomes important to study the increasingly vital private sector and the conditions for its success. Led by Copenhagen Business School’s Centre for Business Development Studies, the ‘Successful African Firms and Institutional Change (SAFIC) project’ was initiated on January 1, 2012. 

The SAFIC project’s aim is to understand the success of private sector development in Africa, specifically looking at studying the internal nature of local firms in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. Project partners include: Roskilde University, Department of Globalization and Society, University of Dar es Salaam Business School, University of Nairobi, Institute for Development Studies and University of Zambia, Department of Geography and Environmental Science. The SAFIC project gives the opportunity to senior researches and graduating 5 Phd scholars and 21 Master students, at the involved African universities’, to contribute to their capacity building efforts. The aim of the PhDs is to contribute to educating a future generation of academics in the field. 

The project is led by Associate Professor Soren Jeppesen and is based at the Centre for Business and Development Studies and the Department of Intercultural Communication and Management at Copenhagen Business School.

SAFIC Overall Objective: To contribute to enhanced understanding of economic growth and employment through new knowledge on firm development in the African private sector

SAFIC Immediate Objective: To understand the origins of local firms’ success in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia as a mean to inform firm strategies and economic development policies in these countries.

SAFIC Key Research Question: How and why certain local firms in the three countries manage to grow successfully under changing and often volatile market and institutional conditions.

Currently in the “Abductive and Comparative stage,” project participants conduct comparative studies of selected sectors in the three countries. Participants then analyze the findings, looking specifically at local firm’s strategic policies in particular sectors within the three countries, to form analytical generalizations and theories.

Another part of the project is facilitating three joint workshops between the three countries. Two have taken place already; the first was held in Nairobi, Kenya on February 21-23, 2012. (2012 Workshop Presentation Report), and the second workshop was held in Livingstone, Zambia on February 26-28, 2013 (2013 Workshop Presentation Report). The joint workshops are organized at strategic points in the project, and are scheduled to happen 3-4 times in each country as a part of the ongoing planning and implementation of research activities. “These workshops are central to facilitate collaboration and capacity building between project participants.”

The project will produce both academic outputs (publications, workshops and conferences) and policy related outputs (publications, workshops and stakeholder engagement).

The SAFIC project is expected to end on December 31, 2016.

>> Click here for more detailed information on the SAFIC project

Nicole Zefran is the Network Assistant at the Global Business School Network 

Tags:  Africa  Copenhagen Business School  Development  Growth  Kenya  poverty alleviation  private sector development  Research  Tanzania  Zambia 

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