MNM3AR-Africa Rising

Module Provider: International Business and Strategy
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Adri Drotskie


Type of module:

Elective module

Summary module description:

The purpose of this elective is to break down the complexities and uncertainties associated with doing business in Africa and create some mutual understanding of the continent, its regions and its people. A World Bank Report (2014) stated that 8 African countries are amongst the 10 most difficult countries to do business in globally. The upside is that Africa is home to 6 of the top 10 fastest growing countries in the world and the USA exports to Sub-Saharan Africa now top $21 billion a year (ITA: 2015). 

The topics that will be covered in the elective are: sustainable development, the current state of Africa, regionalisation, funding and governance, culture and ethics, humanitarianism, democratic reform and doing business in Africa. 

Other teaching staff will be: Paul Runge, Dr Martyn Davis and alumni members sharing their stories / case studies.


This module will provide programme members the knowledge and understanding of Africa as continent and an emerging market and how to initiate and conduct business in this growing market. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • An understanding of the complexity and integrated nature of the African continent through systemic thinking

  • The ability to do an assessment on a macro and micro level of a country in Africa, taking into account all the important concepts related to the continent

  • Managing complex projects using creative problem solving

Additional outcomes:

Students’ views should shift from (incoming):

  • A light curiosity on Africa as a continent

  • A view of Africa shaped by popular press / media

  • Seeking a business opportunity

  • Drive for learning & motivation to learn online

  • Excited and curious

  • Existing networks

  • Armchair view

To (outgoing):

  • An informed opinion on the viability of doing business in a specific region or country in Africa

  • A specific / in-depth viewpoint shaped by experts and those living and doing business in Africa

  • Qualifying a business opportunity

  • Excited and well informed

  • Systems thinker

  • New networks

  • A viewpoint informed by experts and boots on the ground

Outline content:


Virtual orientation and delegate engagement via online platforms through:

- pre-reading, 

- posting pictures that epitomise Africa for you, 

- information on visiting Africa before, when and where, 

- what do you want to learn from the module. 


Session 1:

Managing complex projects using creative problem solving

Purpose: assist in framing the programme assignment challenge upfront

Outcome: Students’s start an ideation process on qualifying a business opportunity in a region or country in Africa


Session 2 – 9:

Understanding and internalising the unique concepts related to Africa


Concept 1: Sustainable development: 

- Growth, demography, urbanisation, partnerships, stability, competitive advantage

One of the biggest challenges that the African continent faces is how to obtain and maintain sustainable development. Most of the countries on the African continent are developing countries, striving towards sustainable development. 


Concept 2: The current state of Africa: 

The current reality of Africa includes dealing with the colonial past, new recolonisation and the role of China in Africa, trade blocks in Africa and shifts in economic power. When doing business in Africa it is very important to understand the current state of the relevant country as well as understanding the dynamics of the continent. 


Concept 3: Regionalisation:

A very distinct differentiation exists between Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Africa. Regional economic communities play on integral role in the growth and sustainability of Africa. BRICS and other external role players also impact on regions within Africa. 



Concept 4: Funding and governance 

Funding and the role of donors play an integral part in Africa. Disintegration and restoration of authority is key to growth in Africa. Other important focuses: donor agencies, commercial development financial institutions, new funding agencies and new forms of commercial projects. 


Concept 5: Culture and ethics 

When doing business in Africa, an organisation needs to understand the culture and the ethics of the country they are dealing with deeply. Successful businesses dealing in Africa all say that “culture and ethics” is the key to success on the continent. 


Concept 6: Humanitarianism: 

Humanitarianism is defined as “A moral of kindness, benevolence and sympathy extended to all human beings”. On the African continent this concept is integral to culture and existence, but also misused by many role players.


Concept 7: Democratic reform:  

The political ideology that many African countries strive towards is democracy. Totalitarianism, autocracy and even anarchy is still present in a number of countries. It is important to understand the political economy of a country and region you are doing business with. Issues of democratic reform are critical in enhancing development particularly in the developing world. 


Concept 8: Doing business in Africa – look into the future 

Looking into forecasts and the future of Africa.&nbs

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is offered online through RISIS and Canvas. Reading material and video material will be placed online and the learner will work through it as self-study. 

The ideation approach will be utilised to do the assignment as assessment. Video talks will be provided to describe the approach. Gamification will form the basis of the programme design. 

The concepts will be taught through case studies, lecturers giving the theoretical background and business people sharing their success stories. 


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Total hours by term
Total hours for module

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 80
Set exercise 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

  • One 3,000 word written assignment 80% of the weighted module assessment

  • Online participation (details in the Study Guide) 20% of the weighted module assessment

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

These are in accordance with the mode of study arrangements laid out in the Programme Specifications.

Assessment requirements for a pass:


Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment by 100% assignment (capped at 50%); deadline to be advised by the Examinations Manager following the relevant Programme Examiners’ Meeting.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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