Business and Its Managers in Africa

by Peter McLoughlin



A general questioning of the suitability of North American economic and business institutions to the African economic scene, with particular reference to business managers, have attended increasing business of the U.S. interest in African affairs. But the economies and politics surrounding private business organizations in most African nations produce strikingly different business conditions from those of North America or Western Europe. The article outlines some of the more broad characteristics of private commercial and industrial firms in Africa and examines the management function in these private business organizations. Economists studying low-output African nations, however, constantly point out the direct relationship between skilled manpower shortages and less than possible economic growth rates. Low-output African nations attempt to acquire, establish and use constantly better tools and more effective economic institutions because these are necessary to higher output. Their skilled manpower needs are thus functions of the rate and direction of change-the more rapid and complex such movement, the more the demand for trained and competent personnel to operate and manage.

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