AuthorN'Diade, Ahmadou Bocar
Political Science, General.
Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies.
AdvisorPark, Thomas K.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation explores the link between Fulbe ethnicity and Fulbe control of the entrepreneurial sector in Guinea following the liberalization policies that were instituted after April 1984, when the country's socialist regime fell. The study is based on a mixed method approach that used interviews, focus group discussions, questionnaires and archival research. Although an abundant literature deals with ethnic entrepreneurs and their strategies of capital formation and in-group recruiting, insufficient attention has been paid to the impact of macro-level politico-economic factors on the emergence or demise of ethnic entrepreneurs. The rise of ethnic entrepreneurship is sometimes explained by reference to particular group's cultural traits or resources it harnesses in an attempt to further its business interests. Other explanations emphasize the presence of economic opportunities for a given ethnic group or historical processes which allowed that group to acquire the necessary knowledge to maintain a competitive edge over other ethnic groups. Finally, the emergence of ethnic entrepreneurs is often attributed to an ethnic group's control of economic resources especially capital or to its control of the political power which gives access to these resources. The impact of national institutional settings is viewed either as unproblematic or as insignificant in comparison with the factors outlined above. This dissertation attempts to correct this theoretical oversight or lacuna by linking political-economic conditions to socio-cultural conditions in Futa Djallon to show at the national level how the Fulbe (Pullo) established a monopoly over the commercial sector in Guinea against "all odds." A careful and detailed review of the history of the Fulbe, from their establishment on Guinean soil in the eighteenth century until the end of the socialist regime in 1984, reveals their relatively meager endowment with the capital, knowledge and economic opportunities thought to be the key prerequisites for the development of entrepreneurship. Fulbe economic, political and social history during the colonial period (1890s to 1958) and after Guinea proclaimed its independence from France, and their region's natural resources did not foster the achievement of these entrepreneurial prerequisites. Moreover, the Fulbe seriously lagged behind the Malinke in these categories on the eve of the country's independence in 1958. This dissertation analyzes the circumstances that helped the Fulbe close that gap and, eventually, to dominate the Guinean economic sector despite a political and economic environment that was not conducive to their emergence as the country's main economic operators. Although certain Fulbe cultural elements are isolated to illustrate the ethnic group's use of cultural features for entrepreneurial ends, the main thrust of this dissertation is to argue that the Fulbe economic monopoly in Guinea results from the unintended outcomes of national political and economic decisions that were taken during the socialist regime rather than from the Fulbe intrinsic cultural values and their managerial styles.
Degree ProgramGraduate College