MY EXPERIENCES ON SECONDMENT AT GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY, by Theophilus Arthur-Mensah, AGI Ghana
The opportunity to travel to undertake a knowledge-based exchange program at Manchester University is one of my fond memories of 2022. As a Policy and Research officer at the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), this program comes across to me, as a very relevant capacity building program. AGI is a not-for-profit business association, established to contribute substantially to the growth and development of industries in Ghana. It has over 2,000 members and provides policy advocacy and business development services to its constituents. The Association of Ghana Industries is a key stakeholder in the ManaGlobal Project and considers it a great privilege to be part of the program.
For developing countries that depend heavily on developed economies, globalization has become a concept of interest for several reasons. One being the many opportunities to tap into Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) market. Many countries have used specific FDIs, to develop their economies by addressing pertinent issues such as infrastructure needs, unemployment, or forex liquidity risks. Thus, having secondment at Global Development Institute (GDI) in Manchester, an institution that drives new ideas in promoting sustainable development, was most fulfilling. More so, exploring the Triple Helix model and the roles of business associations in developing countries was very relevant for me as a Policy and Research Analyst in one of the largest business Associations in Ghana.
During my secondment at GDI, I researched and reviewed many literatures on Triple Helix (TH) and the quest for sustainable innovation management in Africa, issues and challenges arising from the application of TH culture and enhancing the innovative capacity of small firms through the TH model. This model of innovation in which universities feature as organizational actors interfacing with the Public and the Private sector is a framework for promoting and accelerating economic growth and development in Africa. Even though it has its own challenges, by intensifying the use of the model, AGI has advanced in lots of its advocacy and business development initiatives in recent times.
My research work during the secondment also examined the emergence of business associations and explored regional variations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The literature sought to clarify the economic liberalization and political pluralism of business associations in developing countries. For many economies, the private sector is the engine for growth. Whereas previous development strategies emphasized the importance of powerful Governments, recent trends privilege the role of private sector for economic development.
It was a knowledge-filled thirty days exchange experience with academics and PhD students at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester. My passion for economic development and knowledge exchange activities has increased tremendously. It has been a great opportunity to improve my research experience and multicultural perspective of business development. Thanks to the ManaGlobal project.