GRA 6846 Doing Sustainable Business in Africa

GRA 6846 Doing Sustainable Business in Africa

Course code: 
GRA 6846
Law and Governance
Program of study: 
Master of Science in Business
Course coordinator: 
Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen
Product category: 
MSc in Business - Elective course
2017 Autumn
Active status: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

(Max. 20 students)

While population growth is slowing in many countries, it continues to rise in Africa, where the population is expected to quadruple in the 21st century. Africa is rich in natural resources, but political instability makes it a challenge to use and share these resources in a sustainable way. Due to climate change and inefficient agriculture about 50 million Africans face hunger. To ensure a sustainable development on this continent, it is crucial with knowledge and awareness related to corporate responsibility – from a social and environmental perspective.

Tanzania is one of the most peaceful and stable countries in Africa, and at the same time its economy is growing. Today, the economy is mainly based on agriculture, but sectors like service, industry, mineral and energy are picking up. In 2014 the economic growth in Tanzania was 7 %, representing challenges and opportunities within environmental and social issues.

This course provides knowledge about Tanzania and its economic development from a sustainability point of view. We will look at what has worked and what has failed – and why – from a business and sustainability point of view. Cultural issues and public governance will also be addressed. Sustainable development is a complex and multidisciplinary field, and the course applies an eclectic approach. Different theories will be addressed as well as different teaching tools and approaches.

The course will include a one week study tour to Tanzania. The program will include visits to companies, organizations and academic institutions as well as a fieldtrip. The focus will be on Norwegian companies operating in Tanzania (for example Statoil, Yara, Green Resources, Norplan or Multiconsult) and lectures through academic/research- and non-governmental organizations.

The knowledge acquired through this course in-class, studying and the study tour, will let the students experience and understand key elements of development in the African region. This knowledge is valuable for identifying and addressing sustainability and business development in a more global setting.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • Knowledge about one of Africa’s leading counties, Tanzania, from a business, sustainability and political perspective.
  • Knowledge about business challenges and opportunities in Tanzania
  • Norwegian corporations experience and advice for sustainable business
  • Cultural awareness and differences
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • Ability draft a sustainability business plan for doing business in Tanzania – key issues to take into account
  • Analyze a business proposal for Tanzania from a sustainability point of view
  • Ability to identify opportunities and challenges associated with business development in Tanzania
Learning Outcome - Reflection
  • Reflect on sustainability in an African setting
  • Reflect on cultural differences
Course content
  1. The concept of sustainable development and corporate responsibility (CSR)
  2. This is Tanzania; history, culture, current situation and sustainable development prospects
  3. Tanzania environmental and social challenges and opportunities
  4. Testing different growth and development theories on Tanzania
  5. Visit Tanzania: Meetings with companies, organizations and learning institutions.
  6. Study companies experience in doing business in Tanzania
  7. Cases on business development relative to environmental challenges (waste, emission and or efficiency related).
  8. Follow-up Tanzania visit
Learning process and requirements to students

Prior to the Tanzania tour, there will be four 3-hour lectures, including guest lectures, groupwork, development of course paper, discussion and presentations. After the Tanzania tour there will be two 3-hour gatherings reflecting on the trip as well as work on the course papers.

Costs associated with the trip to Tanzania for the students will be for their own account, and will not be covered by BI Norwegian Business School.

For information about travelling to Tanzania, please see

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on It's learning or text book.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded by using points on a scale from 0-100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the examination code (course). Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam elements will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut off points with reference to the letter grades when the course start.

At resit, all exam components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Class participation
Exam code:
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
20No -Individual
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
80No 1 Semester(s)Group (2 - 2)Course paper
Exam category:Activity
Form of assessment:Class participation
Grouping (size):Individual
Duration: -
Exam code:GRA68461
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Grouping (size):Group (2-2)
Duration: 1 Semester(s)
Comment:Course paper
Exam code:GRA68461
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam organisation: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
Total weight: 
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.