The economic impact of MTN's involvement in Cameroon

Chinje, Nathalie Beatrice (2008-03)

Thesis (MBA (Business Management))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The motive for this research was to provide clarity on the increasingly divergent opinions on the role and behaviour of South African companies in the rest of the African continent. The key question that can be asked is: “Are South African investments, saviour or villain of African Development” (Thomas, 2007)? Are they “exporting Apartheid” (Mkhabela, 2007) or are the fears raised against South African companies unfounded? The primary research objective of this study is to assess MTN-C’s contribution to the economic development of Cameroon. The specific research questions addressed in this study are: 1. What are the possible areas of economic impact? 2. How can the effects of MTN-C’s presence in Cameroon be measured—both qualitatively and quantitatively? 3. What recommendations can be made to MTN-C? To answer these questions, the researcher takes a multi-dimensional view of the economic impact across eight areas, viz., inflow of foreign direct capital, interaction with government, training and development of local staff, employment creation, local procurement, spread of local shareholding, the local mobile communications sector and corporate social investment initiatives. She assesses each of the above-mentioned eight elements and then draws some conclusions on what is perceived to be the true effect of MTN-C’s investments in Cameroon. After close to three years of in-depth research, which included several trips to Cameroon, in-depth interviews with key stakeholders, direct observation, group discussions and survey research, it can be concluded that MTN-C has indeed had a positive impact in areas like Corporate Social Investment, training and development of local staff, employment creation and the inflow of foreign capital. However, much still needs to be done. The areas that have been identified as weak include the development of local suppliers, the interaction with government and the spread of local shareholding.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die studie is gemotiveer deur die soeke na groter helderheid met betrekking tot uiteenlopende beoordelings van die rol en optrede van Suid-Afrikaanse ondernemings in die res van die Afrika-kontinent. Die kernvraag is: “Are South African investments saviour or villains of African development?” (Thomas, 2007) Is hulle besig om apartheid “uit te voer” (Mkhabela, 2007) of is dié vrese teenoor Suid-Afrikaanse ondernemings ongegrond? Die primêre navorsingsoogmerk is die beoordeling van MTN Cameroon se bydrae tot die ekonomiese ontwikkeling in Kameroen. Spesifiek drie vrae word aangespreek. 1. Watter dimensies word ingesluit in ‘n studie van die “ekonomiese impak”? 2. Hoe kan die invloed van MTN Cameroon se teenwoordigheid in dié land gemeet word – sowel kwalitatief asook kwantitatief? 3. Watter aanbevelings kan op grond van dié beoordelings aan die maatskappy gemaak word? Om hierdie vrae te beantwoord word ‘n multi-dimensionele benadering gevolg, gebaseer op agt verskillende invloed-gebiede. Hulle sluit in die invloei van buitelandse kaptiaal, interaksie met die regering, opleiding en ontwikkeling van plaaslike werknemers, werkskepping, plaaslike aankope, die verspreiding van plaaslike aandeelhouding, die mobiele kommunikasiebedryf en sosiale investerings-inisiatiewe. Elkeen van dié elemente word ontleed op grond van vraelys-reaksies en ander insigte. Dit lei tot gevolgtrekkings op elkeen van die vlakke, wat tesame die volle omvang van die betrokkenheid weerspieël. Na drie jaar se interaksie van die navorser met Kameroen, diepte-onderhoude met vername rolspelers, direkte waarnemings, groepbesprekings en 40 voltooide vraelyste kom sy tot die gevolgtrekking dat MTN Cameroon wel ‘n positiewe rol speel in gebiede soos korporatiewe sosiale investerings, opleiding, werkskepping en die invloei van kapitaal, maar dat daar nog heelwat ruimte vir verbeterings is, veral wat plaaslike aankope, interaksie met die regering en plaaslike aandeelhouding betref.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/803
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