Privatization and Indigenous Ownership: Evidence from Africa

John Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, privatization has become common across Africa, reversing the long–term growth in state ownership of business enterprises. Many have interpreted this as entailing the abandonment of the developmental objectives that state enterprises were established to pursue. Others, however, have suggested that the privatization process can itself provide a new means through which the same objectives may be achieved. This article examines the potential for privatization to be used to promote indigenous ownership. This objective was pursued in newly independent states across Africa and today remains an aim of many of the governments undertaking privatization. The article provides a typology of the range of measures that can be employed to promote indigenous ownership in the context of privatization. It examines those used in the Zambian privatization programme, assessing the degree to which they have been successful and the obstacles they have faced. Finally, it concludes with a comparison of the Zambian case with other African experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-576
JournalAnnals of Public and Cooperative Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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