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: 2021/2

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.

Africa is home to a population estimated at 1.3bn, an estimated 3,300 ethnic groups speaking over 2,100 different languages.  The continent stretches across six time zones and over an area of 30 million square kilometres, only second to Asia in terms of size.

Furthermore, Africa is also the second fastest urbanising region after Asia. According to an African Union Commission and OECD report, 50% of Africans are expected to reside in urban areas by 2035.

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.


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 us ing 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 – 6:

Understanding and internalising the unique concepts related to Africa

Concept 1: Sustainable development:

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  • 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 de aling 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 comm unities 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 – looking into the future

    An examination of megatrends in Africa and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); and understanding their implications from a strategy formulation perspective.

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

    The module is offered online through RISIS and Blackboard. 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 bu siness people sharing their success stories.

    Contact hours:
      Autumn Spring Summer
    Practicals classes and workshops 15
    Guided independent study:      
        Wider reading (directed) 10
        Advance preparation for classes 60
        Completion of formative assessment tasks 15
    Total hours by term 100 0 0
    Total hours for module 100

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

    Summative assessment- Examinations:

    Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

    Written assignment (80% of final mark)  

    Weekly contributions and participation online (20% of final mark) 

    Submission dates/participation dependent on timing of entry to the module.   

    Formative assessment methods:

    Feedback provided online with contributions weekly.  

    Penalties for late submission:

    Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. 

    Assessment requirements for a pass:


    Reassessment arrangements:

    Reassessment by 100% assignment (capped at 50%); to be submitted within 6 weeks of notification of module failure, date dependent on cohort entry and to be advised by the Programme Administrator. 

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 13 May 2021


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