Phone: +49 170 448 18 12

E-mail: nadine.wenzel(at)

Office: 327

Function: PhD Student 



BRIC+S in Africa? Opportunities and impediments for South African corporations.

The relationship of cooperation and competition between South African businesses and Asian companies has become more complex in the last 20 years. With South Africa joining Brazil, Russia, India and China, what in early 2011 became BRICS, the country represents the African continent with its growing market potential. However, South African medium and large size companies (SA MLCs) seem to perceive and experience the positioning of BRIC businesses in Africa rather as a challenge than an opportunity. For their operations, the African markets were and still remain the focus area. How do SA MLCs engage with the so called Asian Drivers? Relevant studies exist on African macro- and socio-economic impacts of Chinese and Indian economic expansions. A need has been identified for a deeper understanding of the adaptive capacity and practices of South African entrepreneurs, who play a significant role for the economic development of and the urgently needed job creation in South Africa. Considering the minerals industry’s importance in South Africa and BRIC's interest in African mineral resources, a number of private SA MLCs active in the Minerals-Energy Complex were selected. In order to analyze South African entrepreneurial strategies and practices for competing and building new partnerships a focus on companies’ interpretations of perceived dynamics and structural impediments was chosen. This project's first objective is thus to understand how South African medium and large size companies interpret and understand their contemporary field they play or want to play in. The second objective will be to reconstruct companies’ pragmatic engagements for achieving relative stability in increasing competitive markets. The theoretical framework applied for understanding entrepreneurial practices as analytical objects picks up recent debates revolving around the ‘practice turn’.




2016 "South African corporations in BRICS: New waves of entrepreneurial thinking?“ In Justin van der Merwe, Ian Taylor, Alexandra Arkhangelskaya (Eds.): "Emerging Powers in Africa. A New Wave in the Relationship?” International Political Economy Series, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.177-197, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-40736-4_9

2014 "BRICS corporates: in collaboration or in competition in Africa? Case studies from the South African mining industry." South African Journal of International Affairs 21, 3, pp. 431–448 

2013 “Competition and cooperation: Can South African Business create synergies from BRIC+S in Africa?” In African Geographical Review 32, 1, pp. 14–28 (with O. Graefe & B. Freund)

2009 “Die Finanzierung von Eigentumswohnungen in Addis Abeba. Eine diskursanalytische Annäherung an Wohneigentum.” Bayreuth African Studies Online, No. 5



2015 “Neue Märkte machen. Praktiken südafrikanischer Unternehmen im BRICS Kontext.” Presentation at Deutscher Kongress für Geographie (DKG 2015), panel “Märkte in Entwicklung: Technologien, Geographien, Praktiken”, Berlin, 01 October

2014 “BRIC+S in Africa? Opportunities and impediments for South African corporations.” Presentation at the Human Economy Seminar at the University of Pretoria, Human Economy Research Programme, Pretoria, 14 March

2014 “South African corporations making 'BRICS'—New ways of entrepreneurial practices.” Presentation at CSID School of Economics and Business Sciences at WITS University, Johannesburg 07 February

2013. “South African corporations making 'BRICS'—New ways of entrepreneurial practices.” Presented at the 11th Swiss Geoscience Meeting (SGM) 2013, panel "Symposium in Human Geography", Lausanne, 16 November 

2013 “Perspectives from South African corporations on BRIC’s Engagements in Sub-Saharan Africa”, Presented at the 5th ECAS 2013, panel “A new scramble for Africa? The rush for energy resources southwards of the Sahara”, Lisbon, 27 June

2012 “Competition and cooperation. Do South African entrepreneurs profit from a gateway for BRIC+S to Africa?”, Presentation at AAG Annual Meeting, New York, 27 February

2011 “South African Entrepreneurs Looking Global South: Another Bric in the Wall?”, Presentation at 4th European Conference on African Studies, Uppsala, 17 June



Unit of Geography - Chemin du Musée 4 - 1700 Fribourg - Tel +41 26 / 300 90 10 - Fax +41 26 / 300 9746
nicole.equey [at] - Swiss University