Increased economic growth did not follow trade liberalization in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), for reasons that have not yet been identified. Two factors that may be involved in this failure of economic growth in SSA are foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow and physical infrastructure. The purpose of this qualitative, multiple-case study is to explore the perceptions of university professors of SSA origin with expertise in SSA policy regarding the role of FDI and infrastructure in the economic growth of SSA since 1980 in an environment of trade liberalization. Semistructured interviews were conducted with eight academic researchers involved in teaching in universities in SSA and with seven academic researchers of African origin involved in teaching in U.S. universities. Participants were asked about their perceptions of the role that FDI inflow and physical infrastructure may have played in SSA in impeding economic growth. Participants were also asked to describe ways in which trade-related policies might be modified. A cross-case synthesis was performed to identify themes across participants. Regarding the role of FDI, the following seven themes were identified: (a) unbalanced trade policy, (b) managing natural resources, (c) high investment risk, (d) inadequate FDI in the industrial sector, (e) capital flight, (f) lack of regional integration and global assimilation, (g) and lack of government transparency. Regarding physical infrastructure, the following three themes were identified: (a) inadequate road infrastructure, (b) inadequate railroad infrastructure, and (c) inadequate investment in seaports. Regarding recommendations for future improvement, the following three themes were identified: (a) diversification of export goods, (b) increased trade assimilation, and (c) increased investment in transportation infrastructure. The findings strengthened dependency theory and contributed to modernization theory as well. Further qualitative studies involving interview-based studies with World Bank and IMF officials, policymakers, and SSA business people were recommended. The findings may provide new insights into the potential for building on the strengths of the region and creating a thriving economy that benefits all SSA countries.
|Advisor:||Brizek, Michael G.|
|Commitee:||Bouvin, Dr. David, Smiley, Dr. Garrett|
|Department:||School of Business and Technology Management|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Capital mobility, International business, Resource curse, Structural adjustment program, Sub-Saharan Africa, Trade liberalization|
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