Entrepreneurship in Africa

Entrepreneurship in Africa

A Historical Approach
Edited by Moses E. Ochonu
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 02/05/2018
Format: Paperback 2 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-03438-0
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A tapestry of innovation, ideas, and commerce, Africa and its entrepreneurial hubs are deeply connected to those of the past. Moses E. Ochonu and an international group of contributors explore the lived experiences of African innovators who have created value for themselves and their communities. Profiles of vendors, farmers, craftspeople, healers, spiritual consultants, warriors, musicians, technological innovators, political mobilizers, and laborers featured in this volume show African models of entrepreneurship in action. As a whole, the essays consider the history of entrepreneurship in Africa, illustrating its multiple origins and showing how it differs from the Western capitalist experience. As they establish historical patterns of business creativity, these explorations open new avenues for understanding indigenous enterprise and homegrown commerce and their relationship to social, economic, and political debates in Africa today.

Author Bio

Moses E. Ochonu is Professor of African History at Vanderbilt University. He is author of Africa in Fragments: Essays on Nigeria, Africa, and Global Africanity; Colonialism by Proxy: Hausa Imperial Agents and Middle Belt Consciousness in Nigeria, which was named finalist for the Herskovits Prize; and Colonial Meltdown: Northern Nigeria in the Great Depression.


“An authentic, Africa-centered volume on entrepreneurship and a fresh departure from stale discussions of African economies that have often been carved from Western modes of explanation that trivialize African historical experiences and realities.”
 — Adebayo Oyebade, author of , Hot Spot: Sub-Saharan Africa

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Toward African Entrepreneurship and Business History / Moses E. Ochonu

Part One: Mercantile and Artisanal Networks
1. Globalization and the Making of East Africa’s Asian Entrepreneurship Networks / Chambi Chachage
2. The Wangara Factor in West African Business History / Moses E. Ochonu

Part Two: Female Entrepreneurs and Gendered Innovation
3. Women Entrepreneurs, Gender, Traditions, and the Negotiation of Power Relations in Colonial Nigeria / Gloria Chuku
4. From Artisanal Brew to a Booming Industry: An Economic History of Pito Brewing among Northern Ghanaian Migrant Women in Southern Ghana / Isidore Lobnibe
5. Interconnections between Female Entrepreneurship and Technological Innovation in the Nigerian Context / Gloria Emeagwali

Part Three: Entrepreneurship as Political Initiative
6. Benin Imperialism and Entrepreneurship in North East Yorubaland From the Eighteenth to Early Twentieth Century / Uyilawa Usuanlele
7. Taking Control: Sonatrach and the Algerian Decolonization Process / Marta Musso

Part Four: Unconventional Entrepreneurs
8. Business After Hours: The Entrepreneurial Ventures of Nigerian Working Class Seamen / Lynn Schler
9. Ace Boxing Promoter: "Super Human Power," Boxing, and Sports Entrepreneurship in Colonial Nigeria, 1945–1960 / Michael Gennaro
10. Healing Works: Nana Kofi Donko and the Business of Indigenous Therapeutics / Kwasi Konadu
11. Entrepreneurs or Wage Laborers? The Elusive Homo Economicus / Ralph Callebert

Part Five: African Enterprise in the Shadow of Colonization
12. The Socioeconomic Bases of Growth of Microentrepreneurship in the Igede Area of Central Nigeria in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries / Mike Odey
13. Ethnicity, Colonial Expediency, and the Development of Retail Business in Colonial Turkana, Northwestern Kenya, 1920–1950 / Martin Shanguhyia

Epilogue: African Entrepreneurship, Past and Present / Moses E. Ochonu