Risk Analysis in Post-Conflict African Countries: Sierra Leone as a Case Study

Storo, Christine (2010-03)

Thesis (MA (Political Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Political risk analysis is considered one of the essential ingredients in decision making processes when investing abroad. The Iranian Revolution and the oil crisis in the 1970s accentuated this need as investors increasingly felt the need for a proper assessment of the risks involved in establishing a business in other countries. Negative images of African countries combined with conventional risk models which are not able to accurately assess the political risk realities of post-conflict African countries, may be one of the reasons for why African countries struggle to attract a substantial amount of FDI. This study suggests that alternative risk models which are more African-orientated may aid in improving this situation. This study has analysed the political risk of Sierra Leone using a conventional risk model, and an African-orientated political risk model. The aim of this study was to assess whether conventional political risk models need to be adjusted to be able to more accurately assess the political risk of post-conflict African countries. The main research question guiding this study was:  Are conventional risk models able to objectively rate the political risk of post-conflict countries in Africa? The conclusion of this research was that African-orientated political risk models are able to more accurately assess the political risk of a post-conflict African country such as Sierra Leone. This is mainly due to the soft variables used in a political risk model and also the relationship between the variables included in the models. The African-orientated political risk model needs to be analysed further, but this research has made clear the need for a reevaluation of existing political risk models to be better equipped when analysing post-conflict African countries. This will not only benefit African post-conflict countries in improving their risk ratings, but also provide foreign investors with a more accurate identification of the potential political risks facing an investment in post-conflict African countries. It was acknowledged in this study that the political risk analyses of Sierra Leone were not conducted by someone who has inside information of the political risk models used which is a limitation iii for the results of this study. It is, however, possible to detect potential weaknesses with each political risk model and possible areas of improvements.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Politieke Risiko Analise word as een van die belangrikste bestandele in die besluitnemingsproses geag wanneer daar oorsee belê word. Die Iranese Rewolusie en die Olie krisis in die 1970’s het hierdie nood beklemtoon, aangesien beleggers toenemend die belang van deurdagte assesering van die risikos in verband met die oprigting en instandhouding van besighede in ander lande erken het. Negatiewe opvattings van Afrika lande, tesame met konventionele risiko modelle wat nie geskik is on akkurate asseserings van politike risiko realiteite op te lewer, is dalk van die redes waarom Afrika lande sukkel om groot Direkte Buitelandse Beleggings te lok. Hierdie studie stel voor dat alternatiewe risiko modelle wat meer Afrika-gesind van aard is die situasie kan help oorbrug. Hierdie studie het die politieke risiko situasie van die Sierra Leone analiseer aangaande‘n konvensionele riskio model en met behulp van’n Afrika-georienteerde politieke risiko model. Die studie het gepoog om te assesseer of die konvensionele modelle van politieke risiko gewysig moet word om in staat te wees om meer akkuraat te oordeel in verband met politieke risiko in post-konflik Afrika lande. Die hoof navorsingsvraag wat die studie gedryf het is die volgende: Is die konvensionele risiko modelle in staat om objektief te werk te gaan om die politieke risiko van post-konflik lande in Afrika te meet? Die gevolgtrekking van hierdie navorsing is dat die Afrika-georienteerde politieke risiko modelle meer gepas is om die politike risiko van post-konflik lande soos Sierra Leone te meet. Dit is hoofsaaklik die geval weens die sagte veranderlikes wat gebruik word in’n politieke risiko model asook die verband tussen die veranderlikes wat in die model ingesluit word. Die Afrika-georienteerde politieke risiko model moet verder uitgebrei word, alhoewel hierdie navorsing dit duidelik maak dat die belang bestaan vir‘n herevaluering van die bestaande politieke risiko modelle om beter toegerus te wees om analise van post-konflik Afrika lande uit te voer. Dit word erken dat hierdie studie van die politieke risiko van Sierra Leone nie uitgevoer was deur iemand wat‘n intieme kennis van politieke risiko modelle het nie. Dit is uiteindelik wel moontlik on potensiele swak plekke in die mondering van elke politieke risiko model uit te sonder, en moontlike areas van verbetering voor te stel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4158
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