The Round Table Africa project is a multi-year research and capacity building project of Maastricht School of Management which aims to promote sustainable business development in Eastern and Southern Africa region, through a process of sector surveys, structured Policy Dialogue, matchmaking and capacity development. The institutional client is the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under its MFS program, provides the funding. The project started in 2007. At present the final doctoral research students from the project are finalizing their research reports.
The survey that was conducted has covered 5 countries, 3 agricultural/industrial/service sectors per country, where research were conducted to assess sustainable business perspectives and matchmaking between business and MGO actors sectors on regional and international scale.
The surveys were conducted primarily by African researchers, who were assigned as research associate of MSM and ESAMI, working under guidance of senior academic and development consultants from MSM. The research has lead to academic publications and various DBA dissertations.
The DBA candidates supported through the RTA project and who already graduated successfully include:
- Bernard Francois Monnaie : “The Impact of Managed Chains on the Production of their Small-scale Suppliers in a Developing Island Economy”.
- Joseph Gichuru Wang’ombe: “Realizing the Potential of Potato in Kenya: The Role of Upgrading and Governance in the Potato Value Chain”.
- Joseph Walusimbi : “Applicability of the High Performance Partnership Framework on Performance Growth of Producer Firms in Commercial Forestry: A Study of Cluster Dynamics in Tanzania and Uganda”.
- Lucky Yona: “The Impact of Bank Ownership on Bank Competitiveness. The Case of Tanzanian Banks”.
- Michael Munkumba: “Escaping the resource curse through partnerships – the case of Zambia”.
- Sheila Mziray: “Can Regulation Reduce the Resource Curse Risk? The Case Study of Gold Value Chain Actors in Tanzania”.
A number of further doctoral thesis defenses are anticipated in 2017/2018.
Dissemination of the results is through a Roundtable mechanism, where various stakeholders from industry, government, NGO’s and the development community will meet and follow up work in the form of matchmaking activities. In this process, the international corporations and the donor community engaged in funding of business development in Africa is particular involved (in the Netherlands: Cordaid, ICCO and various development banks).
At the same time, the Roundtable mechanism is as platform for further policies supportive to sustainable business development in the region.