Working Paper
Capitalism and African Business Cultures

Scholars and practitioners once commonly linked ‘African culture’ to a distinctive ‘African capitalism’, at odds with genuine capitalism and the demands of modern business. Yet contemporary African business cultures reveal that a capitalist ethos has taken hold within both state and society. The success and visibility of an emergent, and celebrated, class of African big business reveals that business and profit are culturally acceptable. Existing theories of African capitalism are ill-equipped to explain changes in African business cultures, which increasingly are as diverse as any across the globe. Further, at their core is a growing capacity for reproduction, as capitalists.