AfricaGrowth Agenda - latest Issue
Oct / Dec 2016
Source: AfricaGrowth Agenda 2016 (2016)More Less
In the first article, Sandada and Mahoko seek to identify the strategies employed by asset management companies in Zimbabwe in the mist of the ongoing economic crisis. Through a survey of 78 asset managers, the authors employ factor analysis to extract six survival strategies commonly employed in Zimbabwe. These are Human Resource Management and e-business; business re-engineering; brand loyalty; disinvesting in matured products; mergers and acquisitions; and customer retention. The insights for policy from the findings are discussed by the authors.
Analysing the survival strategies used by asset management firms in Zimbabwe's unstable business environmentSource: AfricaGrowth Agenda 2016, pp 4 –7 (2016)More Less
Owing to the persistent instability and hostility that have characterised the Zimbabwe business environment over the years, asset management companies are struggling to survive. For these organisations to survive, they need to craft innovative strategies to survive in Zimbabwe's harsh economic environment. We undertook a descriptive study to identify the underlying strategies that asset management companies employ to survive in Zimbabwe's harsh business environment. 78 asset managers from 15 registered asset management companies were identified. Factor analysis was used in order to extract the main survival strategies that asset management firms are employing. The process extracted six strategies namely Human Resource Management and e-business, business re-engineering, brand loyalty, disinvesting in matured products, mergers and acquisitions, and customer retention. The study provides evidence of the importance of the six above mentioned strategies in ensuring company survival. Understanding the ways companies can survive in a harsh business environment helps to advance our theoretical understanding of firm survival in poorly performing economies. Such knowledge may help to inform asset managers about how they can sustain their firms given hash economic conditions. The study also provides insights to policy makers to formulate policies that help promote the sustainability of the financial services sector.
Source: AfricaGrowth Agenda 2016, pp 8 –12 (2016)More Less
The concept of National Health Insurance (NHI) has been borne out of growing global support for universal health coverage (UHC). The South African government has been flirting with the idea of introducing an NHI scheme in a bid to narrow the yawning gap between the public and private healthcare sectors, and to extend healthcare services to the poor. This paper examines the NHI schemes in four countries - Canada, Taiwan, Ghana and Brazil - with a view to determining whether National Health Insurance (NHI) is a viable option for South Africa. Among the key findings are that an NHI scheme is very costly to implement and manage - which adds to the challenges South Africa faces in bringing about much-needed healthcare reform.
Gender and disability : an intersectionality perspective of micro-enterprise learning among women with disabilities in UgandaSource: AfricaGrowth Agenda 2016, pp 14 –17 (2016)More Less
This study investigates the intersecting identities of gender and disability as perceived barriers of learning for micro-enterprises for Women with Disabilities (WwDs). Micro-enterprises are regarded as important change agents in emerging economies due to their collective contribution to social and economic change. Our contribution is to the literature on micro-enterprise learning most of which tends to focus on one social category group, either disability or gender. Contrary to these studies, our study connects the compounding experiences of belonging to two groups that are socially and economically marginalized. To answer the question of how gender and disability affect the micro-enterprise learning of WwDs, we conducted one-on-one semi-structured interviews with seven key informants in a pilot study conducted in Uganda. We used thematic content analysis to analyze the qualitative data. Our findings suggest that there are two key challenges to micro-enterprise learning for WwDs. Firstly; there is a mismatch between learning programmes and the patterns of learning for WwDs. Secondly; there are negative societal attitudes against WwDs, which impede their learning. We conclude that intersecting the social identities of both gender and disabilities in micro-enterprise learning environments is difficult to manage because of the unique experiences resulting from belonging to a group with a multiple disadvantage: female and disabled.
Innovation in emerging technologies and socio-economic transformation in Africa : fallacy or foresight?Author Ogundiran SoumonniSource: AfricaGrowth Agenda 2016, pp 18 –22 (2016)More Less
This article examines the importance of innovation in general, and of innovation in emerging technologies in particular, in stimulating sustainable economic growth and development in Africa. Despite many of its countries having experienced a period of rapid growth in the 2000s, unemployment, poverty and low levels of human well-being, remain widespread, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is therefore the primary focus of the paper. While there is a growing awareness of the relationship between innovation and development in a number of African states, most of such initiatives remain either at the ideation stage, or in the early developmental phase. More critically, they remain peripheral relative to the traditional sources of revenue, and are generally not envisioned as the anchors of socio-economic transformation. These rather persistent features of the African economic landscape constitute what has been variously characterized by scholars as "growth without development" and "growth without innovation". In this article, we present a conceptual framework that critically defines innovation for socio-economic transformation. Second, we extend the nominally-accepted need for innovation by arguing for emerging technology-based innovation as an important component of this effort. Finally, we conclude with some recommendations for policy, firm strategy, and practice in Africa.