Representing successful entrepreneurship in the African business environment: A content analysis of Forbes Africa’s cover stories (October 2011 – December 2019/January 2020)

Sibanda, Alundrah Martina-Ann Dadirai (2021-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2021.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigated Forbes Africa’s representation of successful African entrepreneurship in the African business environment through an analysis of the cover stories that the Pan- African business magazine published from October 2011 to December 2019/January 2020. The background of this study was that reports about the state of Africa’s economic growth trajectory recommended the improvement of Africa’s business environment and entrepreneurship as pivotal factors for the continent’s economic growth, thereby necessitating this study which investigated how Pan-African business media such as Forbes Africa represented successful African entrepreneurship to its audience. The theories chosen were Pan-Africanism, agenda setting and framing. The researcher used an intensive case study as the research design and combined quantitative content analysis and qualitative content analysis as methodology. The findings were that the majority of the entrepreneurs that were featured in the sample of Forbes Africa magazine covers were people of colour; the majority of the entrepreneurs that were featured in the sample were male; and the nine African countries represented in the cover sample, in alphabetical order, were Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe, with Nigeria and South Africa receiving by far the highest coverage. The dominant themes that were identified about Africa’s business environment from these cover stories were governance, opportunity, diversification, finance, internationalisation, partnership, competition, economy, technology, infrastructure, mergers, electricity, race, gender, and instability. The study concluded that Pan-African media reported on the African business environment by striking three balances, namely, the balance between framing themes as the benefits of the African business environment and presenting themes as the challenges of the African business environment while profiling success stories; the balance between telling the story of the entire continent’s business environment with telling unique stories about each African country which was represented; and the final balance, between telling a truly representative Pan-African story that celebrates African entrepreneurship, while reflecting the true situation on the ground in terms of inequality and wealth disparity in Africa’s business environment.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek Forbes Africa se uitbeelding van suksesvolle Afrika- entrepreneurskap in die Afrika-sake-omgewing deur ’n ontleding van die voorbladstories wat die Pan-Afrika-saketydskrif van Oktober 2011 tot Desember 2019/Januarie 2020 gepubliseer het. Die agtergrond van hierdie studie is dat verslae oor die stand van Afrika se ekonomiese groeitrajek die verbetering van Afrika se sakeomgewing en entrepreneurskap as deurslaggewende faktore vir die vasteland se ekonomiese groei aanbeveel. Hierdie studie het dus ondersoek hoe Pan-Afrika-sakemedia soos Forbes Africa suksesvolle Afrika- entrepreneurskap aan sy gehoor uitbeeld. Die teoriee wat gekies is, was Pan-Afrikanisme, agendastelling en raming. Die navorser gebruik ’n intensiewe gevallestudie as die navorsingsontwerp, en kombineer kwantitatiewe inhoudsanalise en kwalitatiewe inhoudsanalise as metodologie. Die bevindinge is dat die meerderheid van die entrepreneurs wat in die steekproef van Forbes Africa verskyn het, mense van kleur was; die meerderheid van die entrepreneurs was manlik; en die nege Afrika-lande verteenwoordig, in alfabetiese volgorde, was Botswana, Ghana, Kenia, Madagaskar, Nigerie, Suid-Afrika, Tanzanie, Uganda en Zimbabwe, met Nigerie en Suid-Afrika wat verreweg die hoogste dekking ontvang het. Die dominante temas wat oor Afrika se sake-omgewing uit hierdie verhale geidentifiseer word, is bestuur, geleentheid, diversifikasie, finansies, internasionalisering, vennootskap, kompetisie, ekonomie, tegnologie, infrastruktuur, samesmeltings, elektrisiteit, ras, geslag en onstabiliteit. Die studie kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat Pan-Afrika-media oor die Afrika-sake-omgewing verslag doen deur drie balanse te tref, naamlik die balans tussen raming-temas as voordeel van die Afrika-sakeomgewing, en die aanbied van temas as uitdaging van die Afrika- sakeomgewing as suksesverhale; die balans tussen die verhaal van die hele vasteland se sake- omgewing met unieke stories oor elke Afrika-land wat verteenwoordig word; en die finale balans, tussen ’n werklik verteenwoordigende Pan-Afrika-storie wat Afrika-entrepreneurskap vier, terwyl die ware situasie op die grond weerspieel word in terme van ongelykheid en die onderskeid in welvaart in Afrika se sake-omgewing.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/123590
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