Professor Simon Roberts

Nominated Fellow

Professor Simon Roberts, University of Johannesburg    

Nominated Fellow, January - April and July - September 2018    


Research project: Market power, competition and industrial development in Africa

The visits to IASH are to embark on a new collaboration with researchers at the Centre for African Studies to analyse the exercise of market power by large internationalised business and how it impacts on industrial development in Africa. The collaborative research will focus on selected sectors including fertilizer and seeds, agro-processing, food production and metal products, and apply the analytical tools from competition economics to observed market outcomes. It will critically examine the role of the state in monitoring and disciplining large businesses, including the development of competition authorities in different African countries and the way their mandates are, or are not, linked to industrial policies.

The rapid growth in African economies since the turn of the century has been coupled with increasing and uneven international integration and the growing significance of large transnational corporations across markets, locally and internationally. Know-how, technologies and market access depend, in many sectors, on international production networks and value chains governed by transnational corporations. In concentrated markets, the returns to local economies depends on the market power exercised by firms and the linkages they do or do not form with local businesses.