By Cristina-Elena Pestrea, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy.
The thesis “From Crisis to Sustainability: The UCN approach to doing business in Africa” was presented by Anne Lassen Hanan in May 2012 at the Power of Africa Conference organised by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin.
The Power of Africa conference focused on the possibilities and barriers that the African countries are facing in terms of economic and political bargaining power as well as the prospect of speaking with one voice on the international stage.
The conference addressed the expectations and opinions that the outside world holds of African development and how this often diverges with what might be more realistic and customized solutions on the ground. One aim of the conference was thus to debate whether alternative forms of institutional rule and economic models can be deemed more effective in Africa than the established forms of Western governance. The conference looked at global as well as local perceptions of African leadership and development, and the bilateral trade relationships that Africa has with China and India. Furthermore it explored the role of the African Union as well as civil societies in enhancing interregional relations within Africa and what prospects this holds for its future international image and bargaining power.
The thesis “From Crisis to Sustainability” was a highlight on the UCN’s approach to doing business in Africa. This approach, as the author states it “offers a specialization for social entrepreneurship and also helps to create new forms of partnership between Danish businesses and local companies in the focus countries (Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda). The approach operates in line with international principles and guidelines for responsible business operations in a sustainable development perspective in Africa. The cardinal focus of the approach seeks to assist Danish businesses/researchers with some of the important considerations as to how investment strategies could fit into the focus countries in African working environments. Some of which include corporate governance, anti-corruption, bureaucracies of the law, the appropriate CSR/CSI methods, project/professional management, and cultural integration, gender, workers and disability rights”
A full version of the thesis is available here