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Edited by Léo-Paul Dana and Robert B. Anderson
Chapter 4: Introduction to the Chapters on Africa
Koﬁ Q. Dadzie Current views on Africa’s economic transformation suggest that solutions to the continent’s institutional crises lie not so much with a lack of technical capacity (for example technology, availability of skills, methods) but with inadequate utilisation of existing capacity (Dia, 1999). Such current views understate the need for more research on how to close the function and structural disconnect between formal institution and indigenous institutions (ibid.). While formal institutions will continue to play the leading role in the economic transformation of most African nations, cultural, social and economic conditions will limit their eﬀectiveness in many African societies. The bazaar presents a diﬀerent reality than that addressed by mainstream theories. On the other hand, indigenous institutions, while being touted for their cultural compatibility, also face problems of their own in response to global demands in the market place, such as market place innovation. Thus ﬁnding the optimal functional roles of both institutional types continues to hold the key to solving the institutional management crisis in Africa. The following chapters are about indigenous enterprises in Africa. They provide useful insights into the role of indigenous institutions and how best to link them with the formal institutions. The chapters are carefully selected to span West Africa, Central Africa, East and Southern African regional experiences and experiments. Chapter 5 provides us with an overview of African entrepreneurship and small business research, while Chapter 6, on West Africa, by Osinubi, is on women and development. This work shows how women’s trading...
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