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Research

VAA is interested in engaging in varied research studies – subject to funding – with students, NGOs, academic and business partners. We do not have a research fund, but we are open to collaboration, and availing of appropriate opportunities when they arise. The one certainty is our focus is always on African producers and African produced goods. 

VAA’s strategic interest is the growth of value added business in Africa to generate incomes and reduce the cycle of poverty and dependency.

Key areas: Business in and with Africa (Management, Strategy, Marketing, Supply Chain, Entrepreneurship and Innovation), as well as Brand Africa and Sustainable Development.

Related studies: Economics, Finance and International Relations. 

See Outline Research Topics and publications for more details.  The topics listed are indicative – we welcome discussions with anyone interested in engaging in mutually beneficial research in cooperation with us.

VAA research:

Africa Making It: A Business Perspective (2015) 

 

This research explores how rapid growth in many African countries will impact supply chains of UK retailers and brands. UK leading businesses see the case for sourcing products from Africa is based both on the commercials and on the opportunities for increased sustainability. 

The research included interviews with top retailers and brands, and a seminar hosted at the House of Lords by Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey. Among the leading companies participating in the process were Marks and Spencer, Arcadia Group, The Co-operative Group, Puma, Finlays, TK Maxx, The Body Shop, Mondelez and Taylors of Harrogate.

 

Evidence and Opportunity Report I (2011)

VAA's report 'Evidence and Opportunity: Ireland's Trade with its Six Partner Countries' (2011) was groundbreaking in its examination of Ireland's trade relationship with its six longstanding African programme countries in the sixteen year period 1995-2010: Ethiopia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.  The report found a decline in imports as well as a significant imbalance in the trading relationship, with Ireland's exports outstripping imports by an aggregate ration of 15:1 over the sixteen years.

Evidence and Opportunity Report II (2012)

In 2012, VAA published the second Evidence & Opportunity report: “Ireland’s Trade with Sierra Leone & Liberia", which continues the critical examination of Ireland’s trade relationship with the African countries with which it has an official development engagement. 

Knowledge and Attitudes to Business' Role in Development in Africa (2013)

The 'Knowledge and Attitudes to Business' Role in Development in Africa: A baseline survey of 3rd level business students in Ireland' report set out to measure business students’ knowledge, understanding and attitudes to doing business with Africa and business’ role in creating social change. It established a baseline against which student’s attitudes can be measured to identify changes resulting from education programmes.

Evidence and Opportunity 2.0 (2016)

This report is an update on the original 2011 report on Ireland's trade with its 6 long standing key partner countries in Africa: Ethiopia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zamiba.  The report, covering 2011-'14 finds that since the original report the trade flows have become even more unbalanced in Ireland's favour.