News & Highlights

  • JANUARY 2020

Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program Anniversary

The Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program (HSAFP) celebrated its 40th Anniversary on January 24th, 2020 at the Centre for African Studies offices in Johannesburg. The celebration was an opportunity to bring together the HSAFP alumni community, hear about their experiences in a panel discussion, and explore how HSAFP can align itself to the changing narrative of South Africa - recognizing how the country has changed in the past 40 years. The lively panel discussion and input from the audience emphasized the notable alumni network in South Africa. Nelson Makamo, guest artist, provided his insights on the changing narratives of creative professionals who are influenced by African identity, heritage and culture.
  • DECEMBER 2019

Alumni Changing the World: Esther Hsu Wang

Esther Hsu Wang, MBA 2009, Founding Partner of IDinsight, is on a mission to change the way the world supports those in need. Based in Lusaka, Zambia and serving organizations across Africa and Asia, IDinsight uses data and measurement to help leaders in the development sector combat poverty and improve lives.
  • OCTOBER 2019

How Will the City of the Future Be Impacted by Water?

This October as part of the Worldwide Week at Harvard, John Macomber, Senior Lecturer of Finance and Faculty Chair for the Africa Research Center, and James Matheson, Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, joined a panel of thought leaders to discuss the impact of water on world cities for decades to come. The future of cities is impacted by water in two main manifestations: too much water (notably flooding and sea rise) or not enough water (leading to drought, extreme heat and increased fire risk). They discussed several cities around the globe including Lagos, Nigeria.
  • OCTOBER 2019

Book Launch Session: Sangu Delle

In October, The Center for African Studies (CAS) and Africa Research Center (ARC) hosted a session with Sangu Delle, Managing Director of Africa Health Holdings, to hear about his new book, Making Futures: Young entrepreneurs in a dynamic Africa. The book profiles 17 of the most inspirational, courageous and hard-working young entrepreneurs in Africa. Delle has acquired vast knowledge of business environments across Africa, with a particular focus on start-ups and entrepreneurship. In his writing he responds to questions, drawing on examples taken from the 600 young people he interviewed in the course of his research.

New Research on the Region

  • June 2020
  • Teaching Material

Global Brand Management of Anheuser Busch InBev's Budweiser

Brian Perkins, chief architect of the $6 billion Budweiser brand, was excited about 2018, in which the company would launch Budweiser into several new markets in Africa and Latin America. He was feeling the pressure to finalize a global brand strategy that would define Budweiser’s value proposition and guide its development and execution around the world. The problem was that Budweiser actually had two distinct brand realities that differed across geographies and that often interfered with each other. He worried whether the company could keep selling a premium brand proposition abroad as the brand’s less premium reputation faced challenges at home in the U.S., and whether he needed to force a monolithic global brand strategy everywhere or allow for local market customization. Could Budweiser simultaneously accommodate two or more brand realities?

  • Forthcoming
  • Article
  • International Studies Quarterly

Community-Level Postmaterialism and Anti-Migrant Attitudes:: An Original Survey on Opposition to Sub-Saharan African Migrants in the Middle East

By: Matt Buehler, Kristin Fabbe and Kyung Joon Han

Why do native citizens of the Middle East and North Africa express greater opposition to certain types of migrants, refugees, and displaced persons? Why, particularly, do they express greater opposition to sub-Saharan African migrants? This article investigates these questions, leveraging results from an original, nationally representative survey of 2,700 native Moroccan citizens. We find support for traditional theories, mostly developed from studies of Western Europe, that hypothesize that the perceived cultural, economic, and security threats migrants pose provoke citizen opposition to certain migrant subtypes. Diverging from past research, however, we argue that the importance of these threats waxes and wanes dramatically at the subnational level due to variation in community-level postmaterialism. In areas where economic development is high, and many citizens live in European-style conditions, postmaterialism—preoccupation with cultural, identity, and security-based concerns—helps to predict greater citizen opposition to sub-Saharan African migrants. However, in areas where economic development is low, and many citizens do not live like Europeans, this greater opposition to African migrants derives from economic concerns, notably job competition. While postmaterialism is considered an individual-level phenomenon, our work highlights its importance at the community level: the personal circumstances of citizens and the circumstances of the community in which they live interact to condition which perceived threats become more (or less) important to explaining anti-migrant attitudes.

  • May 2020
  • Case

Trust Merchant Bank

By: Ramon Casadesus-Masanell, Pippa Tubman Armerding, Dilyana Karadzhova Botha and Salim Dewji

Trust Merchant Bank, a leading bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo, needs to decide whether to enter the soon-to-be-liberalized insurance industry. Since its founding in 2004, TMB has played a pivotal role in reshaping the DRC banking landscape. In TMB’s early years, existing banks in the DRC were almost exclusively focused on corporate clients in the major cities. In contrast, TMB targeted underserved towns and focused on retail clients across all income levels, offering them no fees for deposits or withdrawals. These services distinguished TMB from competitors and enabled its rapid growth to become one of the largest banks in the DRC. More recently, TMB’s launch of the mobile banking platform Pepele Mobile, the first of its kind in the country, strengthened TMB’s mission of inclusive finance by providing access to a broader population. In 2018, the Congolese government decided to open up the insurance industry, formerly a monopoly of the state-owned and acutely mismanaged Société National d’Assurances (SONAS). TMB is considering applying for the newly available insurance licenses as the bank is well-positioned to capitalize on its existing banking infrastructure to begin selling insurance. On the one hand, if TMB enters insurance, there is no guarantee that the Congolese people will react favorably to the bank’s new offering. Furthermore, TMB will need significant resources and internal capabilities to successfully navigate this uncharted territory. On the other hand, perhaps growth potential for TMB in banking will become increasingly limited as its competitors also focus on financial inclusion. In this new context, perhaps it is time to try something new. The benefits of TMB’s focus on customer service and financial inclusion could carry over to the insurance sector.

See more research

Johannesburg Staff

Pippa Tubman Armerding
Executive Director
Dilyana Botha
Senior Researcher
Tafadzwa Choruma
Administrative, Research and Program Assistant

Lagos Staff

Wale Lawal
Senior Researcher