Course description

Doing Sustainable Business in Africa


(Max. 25 students)

While population growth is slowing in many countries, it continues to rise in Africa, where the population is expected to quadruple in the 21st century. Africa is rich in natural resources, but political instability makes it a challenge to use and share these resources in a sustainable way. Due to climate change and inefficient agriculture about 50 million Africans face hunger. To ensure a sustainable development on this continent, it is crucial with knowledge and awareness related to corporate responsibility – from a social and environmental perspective.

Tanzania is one of the most peaceful and stable countries in Africa, and at the same time its economy is growing. Today, the economy is mainly based on agriculture, but sectors like service, industry, mineral and energy are picking up. In 2014 the economic growth in Tanzania was 7 %, representing challenges and opportunities within environmental and social issues.

This course provides knowledge about Tanzania and its economic development from a sustainability point of view. We will look at what has worked and what has failed – and why – from a business and sustainability point of view. Cultural issues and public governance will also be addressed. Sustainable development is a complex and multidisciplinary field, and the course applies an eclectic approach. Different theories will be addressed as well as different teaching tools and approaches.

The course will include a one week study tour to Tanzania. The program will include visits to companies, organizations and academic institutions as well as a fieldtrip. The focus will be on Norwegian companies operating in Tanzania (for example Statoil, Yara, Green Resources, Norplan or Multiconsult) and lectures through academic/research- and non-governmental organizations. Students will participate in workshops with local master students and meet local business entrepreneurs.

The knowledge acquired through this course will contribute to a better understanding of key elements of development in the African region - both from a challenge and opportunity perspective. This knowledge is valuable for identifying and addressing sustainability and business development in a more global setting.

Course content

  1. The concept of sustainable development and corporate responsibility (CSR)
  2. This is Tanzania; history, culture, current situation and sustainable development prospects
  3. Tanzania environmental and social challenges and opportunities
  4. Testing different growth and development theories on Tanzania
  5. Visit Tanzania: Meetings with companies, organizations and learning institutions.
  6. Study companies experience in doing business in Tanzania
  7. Cases on business development relative to environmental challenges (waste, emission and or efficiency related).
  8. Follow-up Tanzania visit

Learning outcome knowledge

  • Knowledge about one of Africa’s leading counties, Tanzania, from a business, sustainability and political perspective.
  • Knowledge about business challenges and opportunities in Tanzania
  • Norwegian corporations' experience and advice for sustainable business
  • Cultural awareness and differences

Exam organisation

  • Class participation: 25%
  • Written assignment: 65%
  • Written assignment: 10%