Why Are So Many African Companies Uncompetitive on the Global Stage? Insights from the Global Airline Industry

  • Joseph Amankwah-Amoah
Part of the AIB Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Series book series (AIBSSA)


This chapter examines the question of why so many African firms are uncompetitive on the global stage. An integrated framework of firm-level and external factors is developed. This chapter focuses primarily on the global airline industry and offers an array of external factors that have historically distorted the nature of competition and hampered the exposure of many airlines to “genuine” or fair competition. The study indicates that internal factors such as limited economies of scale and poor quality of services have affected the ability of some firms to compete. With the notable of exception of airlines such as Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways and Kenya Airways, the preponderance of airlines have struggled to compete. These factors help to account for the fact that African airlines equate to only 20 per cent of all air traffic on inter-African routes. The implications of the findings are examined.


African airlines Global airlines industry Sectoral competitiveness Firm performance Dynamic capabilities Business failures 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Amankwah-Amoah
    • 1
  1. 1.Kent Business SchoolUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

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