Political Risk in the Agricultural Industry in the SADC region: the Cases of Mozambique and Zambia

Matthee, Thurstan Jean Vivian (2017-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Amidst the decline in investment returns of traditional sectors such as the oil and gas industry, investment in the agricultural sector is increasingly proving to be a viable alternative. In the Ernst & Young Africa 2015 Business Attractiveness Survey, respondents indicated that agriculture presented the most assuring growth opportunity in Africa. Being largely under-utilized, the African agricultural sector contains vast potential for further economic and commercial expansion. However the same survey revealed that these investors have perceptions of instability and uncertainty regarding doing business in Africa. Subsequently, the objective of the research was to compile a list of essential political risk factors for the agricultural sector in the SADC region. With the rise in globalization and increased political and economic integration, the nation-state has taken a back seat to regional economic blocks. As such, it becomes increasingly important to approach political risk analysis with the regional unit in mind. Considering the contagion or spill-over effects from one country to another in an increasingly interconnected world, the value of country specific risk analysis is declining. Through historical political analysis and country reports of Mozambique and Zambia as case studies, the research objective was achieved. To determine the salience and vividness of political risk factors for this industry in the region, a contextual analysis of each factor was conducted. The purpose of this analysis was not to produce a risk rating of the likelihood of each risk factor materializing, but to ascertain whether it is a political risk factor worth considering. In answering the main research question, the research not only addressed the dearth of micro-political risk analysis (as most risk analysis is concentrated on the global oil and gas industry with little attention paid to other strategic industries), it also highlighted the disparity between the conceptualisation of political risk from an agricultural-business viewpoint and in international business. Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za iv As investment in the agricultural industry often involves the acquisition of large tracts of land, it is a highly contentious issue in the African context which carries significant socio-cultural and political sensitivity. The study found investment in agriculture to be highly susceptible to political risk. Four salient political risk factors for the SADC region‟s agricultural industry were identified and includes security of land tenure, corruption, civil unrest and political instability. This list of essential regional political risk factors for the SADC region‟s agricultural industry, can serve as a decision-making tool for investors wanting to participate in this area. The outcome of this study can therefore be used as a tool to help decision-makers understand their risk exposure and to provide the basis for the development of appropriate risk management solutions in this regard.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Te midde van ‟n afname van beleggingsopbrengs deur tradisionele sektore soos die olie-en gasbedryf, toon belegging in die landbousektor dat dit in ‟n toenemende mate ‟n lewensvatbare alternatief is. In die Ernst & Young Africa 2015 Attractiveness Survey, het respondente aangetoon dat landbou die mees versekerde geleentheid vir groei in Afrika bied. Hoewel grootliks onderontwikkeld, beskik die landbousektor oor ontsaglike potensiaal vir verdere ekonomiese en kommersiële uitbreiding. Dieselfde opname toon óók dat dié beleggers persepsies van onstabiliteit en onsekerheid het betreffende saketransaksies met Afrika. Gevolglik was die opstel van ‟n lys wesenlike politieke risikofaktore vir die landbousektor in die SADC-streek die doelstelling van dié navorsing. Die toenemende rol wat globalisering en politieke en ekonomiese integrasie deesdae speel het daartoe gelei dat nasiestate op die agtergrond gestoot is in vergelyking met ekonomiese blokke op streeksgebied. In ‟n toenemende mate lê die streekseenheid, vandag, politieke risiko analise ten grondslag. As in gedagte gehou word dat die aansteek- of oorloop- effek van een land na ‟n volgende in ‟n toenemende mate plaasvind in ‟n wêreld wat onderling verbind is, word dit duidelik waarom die waarde van land-spesifieke risiko-analise afneem. Deur historiese politieke analise en onderskeie verslae van Mosambiek en Zambië as gevallestudies, is die navorsingsdoelwit bereik. Om die opvallendheid en duidelikheid van die politieke risikofaktore vir dié nywerheid in die streek te bepaal, is ‟n kontekstuele analise van die moontlikheid van elke faktor gedoen. Die doel van dié analise was nie om ‟n risikosyfer daar te stel vir die moontlikheid van elke risikofaktor se manifestering, maar om te bepaal of dit ‟n politieke risikofaktor is wat die moeite werd is om te oorweeg. Ten einde die vernaamste navorsingsvraag te beantwoord, takel die navorsing nie net die gebrek aan mikro-politieke risiko-analise nie (aangesien die meeste risikoanalise konsentreer op die wêreld se olie-en-gasbedryf en weinig aandag skenk aan ander strategiese nywerhede); dit beklemtoon ook die dispariteit tussen Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za vi die konsepsualisering van politieke risiko uit die oogpunt van ‟n landbou-onderneming en ‟n internasionale sakeonderneming. Aangesien belegging in die landboubedryf dikwels die verkryging van groot stukke grond behels, is dit ‟n hoogs kontensieuse kwessie in die Afrika-konteks wat belangrike sosio-kulturele en politieke sensitiwiteit inhou. Die studie het bevind dat belegging in landbou hoogs vatbaar vir politieke risiko is. Vier opvallende politieke risikofaktore is vir die SADC-streek se landboubedryf geïdentifiseer en sluit in die sekuriteit van grondhuur, korrupsie, burgerlike opstand/onrus en politieke onstabiliteit. Dié lys van wesenlike streeks politieke risikofaktore vir die SADC-strek se landboubedryf kan dien as ‟n besluitnemingsinstrument vir beleggers wat in die gebied wil belê. Die uitkomste van dié studie kan daarom aangewend word as instrument om besluitnemers te help om die mate van blootstelling aan risiko te verstaan en om die basis te verskaf vir die ontwikkeling van gepaste risikobestuuroplossings in dié verband.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102899
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