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FEB on the African continent

The Faculty of Economics and Business is active in countries on the African continent. For years, staff members and students have been going there for research projects, to organise summer schools and to go on an exchange, amongst others. These activities have led to a great network of local academics and professionals with whom we can connect, which offers us new opportunities every year to create impact. Topics addressed in this context are e.g. global economic development, new business development and the (re) distribution of natural resources.

Interested in what you can experience? Scroll through this page or get in touch with one of the FEB staff members mentioned below.

Opportunities for students
Opportunities for FEB studens in African countries

There are various opportunities to learn about African countries from/with local professionals and to integrate relevant topics from there in your study programme at FEB. Please check the overview below.

If, however, you have other ideas to combine your study programme with an African topic, feel free to get in touch with one of the FEB staff members who are active in Africa to discuss the possibilities.

Please note that the activities described below are subject to the (local) actual COVID measures.

Study abroad (exchange)

A short stay abroad can be a lifelong advantage. Students can go on an exchange to a partner university or go abroad as a free mover (if the university meets certain requirements).

*Information only accessible to FEB students.

Summer and Winter Schools

The University of Groningen offers a wide range of summer and winter schools and a few of them are taking place in Africa. During a summer school, a group of students with various backgrounds will learn about and work together on a relevant issue. This enables students to learn and use their academic skills in a practical environment, in a short amount of time.

Learning Communities

FEB's learning communities are extracurricular activities that give students the opportunity to dive deeper into a topic that has their personal interest or passion, or to gain more insights and relevant skills. One of these learning communities is about the new business development in Africa.

*Information only accessible to FEB students.

Idego (practical experience and social impact)

Support a high potential local startup in Africa, in which you will gain an exceptional entrepreneurial work experience, and create a long lasting social impact.

*Information only accessible to FEB students.

Opportunities for staff

Africa as a continent offers a huge potential. In terms of social economic development, it is remarkable that there is, compared to the rest of the world, such strong economic growth but at the same time also extreme poverty. The African continent knows an enormous variety of cultures and natural resources. Additionally, on a cultural and economical level the conditions of life are so different from the Netherlands. This makes the continent an attractive research area; what can we learn from this completely different place and from the people who live and work there?

For a long time, staff members and researchers from the Faculty of Economics and Business have been connecting with local experts and academics in counties such as Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda and Tanzania. Together, they have been creating various research and educational activities, which are great ways to exchange knowledge, develop skills and conduct research.

*Information only accessible to FEB staff.

Let's connect
Bartjan Pennink

Assistant Professor Bartjan Pennink's focal point in research is the process of local economic development. Within this field of research he lays the connection with sustainable business models to support local and social development. He has been travelling to Tanzania in order to collect data in regional remote areas. Bartjan is also a visiting lecturer at the Institute of Finance Management in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Also, Bartjan organized a summer school in Tanzania and was involved in setting up various student exchanges.

Contact information Bartjan Pennink

Robert Lensink

Professor Robert Lensink is an expert in Finance and Development and Development Economics and the vice dean of Research at FEB. Many of his research projects run in Africa and deal with societal issues. For this, he also cooperates with colleagues from African universities and people who work for other African institutions. Besides that, he is a professor extraordinary at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, from where he also organized a summer school. Moreover, he is recently appointed by the university board as the UG academic ambassador for Stellenbosch.

Contact information Robert Lensink

Gaaitzen de Vries

Associate Professor Gaaitzen de Vries has been running various projects on macro economic development in Africa. These projects entail the construction of new databases to examine growth and poverty reduction. A recurring theme is studying patterns of structural change, the movement of workers from low to high-productive activities across African countries.

Jutta Bolt

Professor Jutta Bolt works on the economic history of African countries, both with a comparative perspective and a country level approach.Together with Lund University, she is involved in the staff exchange, in which the university invites African staff members to come to our faculty or vice versa. In this framework, Jutta teaches every year at the African School of Economics.

Contact information Jutta Bolt

Niels Hermes

Professor Niels Hermes often uses cases from African countries to confirm theoretical models and relationships. He shows how these theories are confirmed or sometimes work differently in Africa compared to western countries.

Wim Westerman

Assistant Professor Wim Westerman acts as an intermediary for internships in Tanzania and South Africa via UNSA. This is a role in which he is actively involved in addition to researching Africa.

Dr. Nnamdi Oguji

Dr. Nnamdi Oguji research explores IB theories to explain international business activities of foreign firms in Africa, more specifically, their international entry strategies, their market selection and opportunity development in Africa. Furthermore, his research also explores how foreign firms leverage industry 4.0 for sustainable business development. The results show the unique context of Africa and enriches IB theories through contextualization.

Mark Treurniet

Assistant Professor Mark Treurniet is a development economist, and studies the impact of development interventions. He uses administrative and survey data, and applies statistical methods to learn what helps people and what does not. For this, he works with various development organizations, and collaborates with scholars from other disciplines.

Frederick Amon-Armah

Frederick Amon-Armah is an Agricultural Economist at the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana and PhD candidate at the Faculty of Economics and Business. He has about 8 years of experience as socio-economic researcher studying the factors that influence the adoption of best farm practices by smallholder farmers and the supply and value chains of cash crops in Ghana. His recent research interest has been in development economics, studying aspirations of smallholders and impact evaluation of interventions targeted to enhance their adoption practices and economic welfare. For his PhD research, he collaborates with his main supervisor, Professor Robert Lensink, and co-supervisors, Dr. Annika Mueller and Dr. Kristina Czura, to identify the causes and consequences of savings of smallholder farmers, specifically cocoa farmers, in Ghana through experimental and quasi-experimental methods.

Abdeta Gutu Wakoya

Abdeta Gutu Wakoya is a lecturer at Haramaya University, Faculty of Business & Economics (Ethiopia). Currently, he is pursuing his PhD at University of Groningen, Faculty of Economics & Business. He has been working in higher academic institutions for the last 10 years. His research focuses on development interventions in developing countries. Currently, he is conducting his PhD research under the project "Improving Food & Nutrition Security by Enhancing Women's Empowerment: the case of Ethiopia.

Contact information Abdeta Gutu Wakoya

Andrea Kuiken

Assistant Professor Andrea Kuiken her research interest revolves around the internationalization process of small and medium sized firms. Within this field of research, she studies the dynamics of the internationalization process, including international entry and de-internationalization, and how contextual factors influence this. Besides interest in the influence of family ownership and digitalization, a recent project focuses on the interplay between internationalization of SMEs in Tanzania and Rwanda and local development.


Calumn Hamilton is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Economics and Business and affiliate of the Groningen Growth and Development Centre. His research focuses on the macroeconomic impacts of development aid, structural transformation, industrialization, and financial inclusion - all with a focus on Africa. Calumn has visited almost half of the countries on the African continent and taught on a summer school at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. A recent book, written with Charles Adjasi and Robert Lensink - also featured on this page(!) - explored the topic of financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere. Calumn is also involved in the construction and maintenance of various publicly available large-scale macroeconomic databases. His extracurricular interests include learning to make nsima from his Malawian mother-in-law.

News and blogs

Moment to celebrate: the extension of the cooperation between FEB and the IFM, Tanzania - 17-02-2022

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Blog: Towards effective support for small businesses in developing countries - 27-01-2022

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Last modified:08 April 2024 12.27 p.m.