Transnational telecommunications capital expanding from South Africa into Africa: adapting to African growth and South African transformation demands

SOURCE: African Sociological Review
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2008
TITLE AUTHOR(S): D.Sanchez
KEYWORDS: AFRICA, GROWTH MONITORING PROGRAMME, POST APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA, TRANSFORMATION
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 5708

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Abstract

Drawing on secondary information on empowerment initiatives in Africa, this paper provides background information on the expansion of mobile telephony on the continent. Primary data were also collected from representatives of Ericsson, through semi-structured interviews with fifteen international managers or directors. Six were women, nine were men, ten were Europeans and five were Africans. I interviewed managers based at the Johannesburg head office, as well as those based at the regional hubs and country offices in Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Botswana and Ghana. Managers based in South Africa had a broad regional exposure as they spent at least 50 percent of their time constantly on the move managing their accounts and customers around sub-Saharan Africa. Only two of the interviewees manage only South African business. This information as well as the secondary data on Ericsson illustrates the company's regional expansion and its responses to the BBBEE strategy in South Africa. These interviews focus on the perceptions and experiences of managers and they illuminate the Ericsson story and its relevance to the pivotal role played by foreign multinationals operating out of SouthAfrica.