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AFST296 Final Paper - Culture and Its Implications on...

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Culture and Its Implications on Entrepreneurship and Development AFST 296 Sustainable Development in Ghana Professor Cassanelli Final Paper Claire Le Guen January 4, 2011
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African nations have suffered from the unfortunate quandary of being stunted in the realm of progress and development. 1 Infrastructure is lacking, healthcare systems are limited, economic depression is widespread, and bare necessities such as potable water are found to be deficient. There are several weaknesses and faults implicated in this complex crisis. Media have publicized reasons explaining this predicament ranging from political problems of corruption and foreign exploitation, to environmental problems of natural disaster and desertification. However, perhaps less evident, though comparably implicated, are the consequences of culture on development. What is meant by culture is in regards to the values, attitudes, and reactions adhered to by a certain group. In Africa, often times these mores are inspired and rooted in pre-capitalist civilizations, which were only able to operate with their observance. 2 However, in the new framework of capitalism and progress which is being prescribed to these African nations by development entities and foreign investors, these mores are often times found to be incompatible and even retrograde in certain development methods. 3 This has been found to be the case especially with respect to entrepreneurship and business, which are pillars of capitalism. Discourse pertaining to economics in Africa often times criticize poor entrepreneurial and management skill on the part of Africans as a major contributor to the poor economic state and to the failure of development 1 Zhibiao, Li. "Three Obstacles for Africa to Realize Sustainable Development." Bureau of International Development 13 May 2003: n. pag. Web. 3 Jan 2011. <http://bic.cass.cn/english/InfoShow/Arcitle_Show_Conference_Show.asp? ID=30&Title=&strNavigation=Home-%3EForum&BigClassID=4&SmallClassID=11>. 2 Guy, Jeff. "Analysing Pre-Capitalist Societies in Southern Africa." Journal of Southern African Studies 14.1 (1987): n. pag. Web. 4 Jan 2011. <http://www.jstor.org/pss/2636695>. 3 North, Richard. "Globalisation and the Poor." ICEA 06 Mar 2002: n. pag. Web. 4 Jan 2011. < http://www.icea.co.uk/archive/GlobalisationandthepoorRichardNorth.doc.>.
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projects. 4 In the hopes to rectify this deficit, many development organizations pursued initiatives to train, support, and reward creative enterprises. 5 However, despite all the training institutions created and all the programs introduced to stimulate enterprise, there seems to be a cultural impasse which inhibits entrepreneurial success to the degree that development firms would hope to expect. 6 It is also important to note that cultural implications in entrepreneurial success are not restricted to merely the entrepreneur, but also involve local consumers, investors, collaborators, etc.
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