Africa expertise in Reutlingen

Research conference of the ‘Doing Business in Africa’ research group at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Reutlingen

Photo: IHK Reutlingen

Africa is a market of the future – the researchers of the research group ‘Doing Business in Africa (DBA) at ESB Business School recognise this in the same way as the industry experts at the Reutlingen Chamber of Industry and Commerce do.   This is why the DBA research group organised the conference ‘Doing Business in Africa – Business meets Science’ on 22 April together with the Reutlingen Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy IfW). Over 80 experts from academia and business discussed opportunities and possibilities for the African continent.

‘It was important to us not just to talk about the potential of African markets in abstract terms. The topics of the conference were therefore geared towards specific business activities,’ says Professor Dr Philipp von Carlowitz, head of the DBA research group. The conference modules focused among other matters on topics such as China’s current role in Africa and its impact on German companies, the importance of the African Continental Free Trade Area or strategies for opening up African markets.  In addition to expert input, the networking concept between science and business also played a major role. Professor Dr von Carlowitz draws a positive conclusion: ‘The academic and business worlds usually meet separately on the subject of Africa. Yet we talk about the same topics and can only benefit from exchanging ideas with each other. With the overarching format and the close cooperation with the Reutlingen Chamber of Industry and Commerce, we have a pioneering role’. In addition to guests from Germany, the DBA research group also welcomed a number of visiting professors from African universities.  

Following the conference there was a direct continuation on the academic side: For a workshop at ESB Business School, the DBA research group welcomed visiting professors from Addis Ababa University and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, who came as part of a DAAD mobility programme for which the DBA research group had raised funding. Another Africa researcher had travelled from Linaeus University in Sweden. The academics presented and discussed various scientific papers.  Dr Simon Züfle from ESB Business School, for example, provided insights into the role of tech hubs as drivers of innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa. ‘The exchange with research colleagues and international networking are important factors for our work. Once again, we all took away important scientific impulses from this’, says Dr Züfle.

More insights into the conference ‘Doing Business in Africa – Business meets Science’ and other current activities can be found on the LinkedIn account of the DBA research group.


About the research group ‘Doing Business in Africa’

The ‘Doing Business in Africa’ (DBA) research group at ESB Business School at Reutlingen University examines business activities in the markets of sub-Saharan Africa. The research is based on analysing the African activities of the private sector and their view of the markets in sub-Saharan Africa. The research group maintains a close cooperation with the Kiel Institute of the World Economy (IfW).   

For further information, please visit theDBA website.