Following the Master’s degree graduation ceremonies earlier this week the NWU Potchefstroom Campus awarded PhD degrees today. The School of Economics is proud to have a student in the line-up.
The new Dr Bernard Bongsha worked with his supervisor Dr Henri Bezuidenhout on a thesis about the impact of trade liberalisation on the manufacturing sector in Cameroon. Here is a short abstract of the work:
The manufacturing sector has historically been seen as synonymous to economic growth. Countries with large manufacturing sectors have achieved higher standards of living. In Cameroon an earlier policy of Import Substitution Industrialisation has resulted in the growth of firms that lack economies of scale but survive as a result of protection. Recently, trade liberalization has been embraced to encourage competitiveness and industrial development. It has been expected to lead to greater competition and the development of the manufacturing sector, but the results from Cameroon show otherwise. This article utilises the single equation supply model and the gravity model to determine the impact of trade liberalisation on the manufacturing sector. The results from the models indicate that the manufacturing sector has not strived as expected based on the a priori predictions of theory. The study recommends that an industrial policy, based on the revealed and latent comparative advantage of the Cameroonian economy, should be developed. In addition the government needs to create an enabling environment that supports the development of the manufacturing sector without itself being the producer. Infrastructure, institutions, human capital and a competitive environment need to be developed. These results may also be applicable to the wider Sub-Saharan Africa.
Congratulations to the student and supervisor!