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African Journal of Business and Economic Research (AJBER), Vol 2&3 Nov 2006
 Editorial CommentSome New Economic and Social Challenges in AfricaJohn KuadaEditor, AJBERContact email: kuada....
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African Journal of Business and Economic Research (AJBER), Vol 2&3 Nov 2006

By:
John Kuada (Editor)
kuada@business.aau.dk

Dr John Kuada, an Associate Professor of Management at Aalborg University, Denmark, is the editor African  of Journal of Business and Economic Research, an international, peer-reviewed academic journal.

 
Editorial Comment
Some New Economic and Social Challenges in Africa
John Kuada
Editor, AJBER
Contact email: kuada@business.aau.dk
 
Africa has been characterized as the world's poorest continent - a continent plagued with diseases, conflicts, corruption, weak governance and debt. More than that, it is the continent worst hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic - a disease that has contributed substantially to the erosion of the already limited wealth of several African nations. Understandably, the sheer scale of the problems creates a socialized hopelessness through out the continent, thereby producing a spiral of negative energy channeled into internal strife of different degrees of magnitude in different parts of the continent. Some economic commentators have observed that most African nations need to grow at an annual rate above 7 percent annually for several decades to reverse the downward poverty spiral. The papers included in this issue of AJBER focus attention on some of theses problems and offer some suggestions for addressing them.
 
The general premise of the studies is that economic growth strategy is the most cost-effective way of dealing with poverty. This statement is true for two fundamental reasons: first, growth lifts many of the poor out of poverty; second, it generates the government revenues necessary for anti-poverty measures (Fafchamps et al, 2001). Where resources are scarce, every entity and individual is expected to contribute to the development process. It is this collective endeavour that would accelerate the tempo of an African nation’s development. Thus, African businesses must be guided by keen awareness of their social responsibilities to all stakeholders in their societies if they are to serve their societies optimally.
 


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 This is an issue taken up in Dan Ofori’s paper with the title: “Business’ Corporate Social Responsibility: Theory, Opinion and Evidence from Ghana”. The paper explores the extent to which Ghanaian businesses have a socially responsible disposition in their business practices. To do so, he compared the views and actions of local Ghanaian companies in various areas of corporate social responsibility with those of foreign owned companies operating in Ghana. The key findings of the study were that, international firms tend to be guided a lot more by strategic and moral considerations about their social responsibilities than local Ghanaian firms. Granting that the results can be generalised for other local firms in Ghana (and, by extension, local African firms in general) Ofori’s study raises important questions with regard to the contributions that these firms make to the attainment of the developmental goals of their nations and policies that could be crafted to guide them to broaden their views on their social responsibilities. It also suggests a need for increased research into this subject not only for purposes of improving academic knowledge, but also to provide useful guidelines for policy and strategy formulation for African nations.
 


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