Accepted paper:

Pan Africa Rising: The Afro-Entrepreneurs Who Are Promoting New Political Economies in Africa

Authors:

Rita Kiki Edozie (University of Massachusetts Boston)

Paper short abstract:

The paper deploys the notion of Pan Africa Rising to examine a new genre of African entrepreneurs that are representative of a new pan African leadership that is derived from a burgeoning transnational capitalist class, a new middle class, and transformative business sectors in Africa.

Paper long abstract:

The notion of Pan African Rising reconciles Africa Rising and Pan African Renaissance narratives and principles to demonstrate how Africans are engaging and contributing to globalization, and they are developing hybrid economic and business models that draw from distinctive experiences used to shape Africans' self-determined economic agendas. The paper examines the entrepreneurs that embody Pan Africa Rising, Nigeria's Tony Elumelu and South Africa's Reuel Khoza, who are representative of a new pan African leadership derived from the awakening of a burgeoning transnational capitalist class, a new middle class, and transformative business sectors in Africa that are driving new Pan African economics. In leading business models, Africapitalism and Ubuntu Business, Elumelu and Khoza are seen as purveyors of Afro-modern entrepreneurship, a new genre of African leadership that combats Africa's marginalization in the international political economy using a tactic of negotiated dirigisme to achieve more fulsome economic benefits for Africans. Both leaders are presented as exemplars of a bourgeoning African business class who are strategically cultivating discourses of Africonciousness to engage national, regional, and international public-private sector dialogues about African political economies. In this paper it is argued that Elumelu and Khoza's leadership illuminates the paradox that the economic practices of both business leaders paradoxically seem to be at once pro-neoliberal in that they uncritically leverage and thus enable neoliberal Africa Rising narratives. Yet, at the same time, they are also significantly and increasingly Afri-centric, nationalistic, and Pan Africanist presenting alternative approaches to neoliberal Africa Rising policies that offer distinctive alterity for understanding African economic struggles in a global era

panel P008
African capitalisms: Bringing the entrepreneur back in