Themba Nyasulu

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PhD Student

Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Ruhr-University Bochum
Universitätsstr. 105, Room 2.23 / 2.24 / 2.27 / 2.32
44789 Bochum

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Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-26163

Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294

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PhD Project

Foreign direct investment and inclusive growth: comparative evidence from Zambia and Malawi

Inclusive growth which basically refers to an increase in national output which among other things; raises per capita income levels; expands size of the economy and reduces income inequalities in society, is an important policy goal for many developing countries. In particular, the ability of inclusive growth to accelerate the pace of income expansion, create employment opportunities for large sections of the labour force and as well as improve income distribution; has been its main attraction points. One of the important pathways to achieving the above economic transformation that has so far been advanced in developing regions such as Southern Africa is the promotion of foreign direct investment (FDI). This investment equity made into a country by companies and/or business entities from another country, is now increasingly viewed as one of the  tangible means for translating output expansion into a broad-based welfare enhancing and equity improving mechanism. In line with the above assertions, Malawi and Zambia have since attaining independence from Britain in 1964 placed FDI attraction as one of the focal points of their economic development policies. However, no known empirical study has so far been carried out to investigate the effect that inward FDI has had on pace and distribution of economic growth in the aforementioned countries during the post-colonial era. Using data covering the period 1970-2014, this research therefore employs economic and econometric tools in order to comparatively analyse the impact of FDI on inclusive growth in the two countries. More specifically, by empirically assessing the FDI effect on per capita income growth, employment creation and income inequality the study will help to determine whether or not Zambia and Malawi should continue putting foreign investment promotion as one of the fulcrums of their national development agenda.

Supervisors: Prof. em. Dr. Dieter Bender and Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein

Research interests

  • Development economics
  • Foreign capital flows analysis
  • Growth and poverty analysis
  • Energy economics
  • International migration


2015:    Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE), Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
Ph.D Student in International Development
2013 - 2014:    University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
Master in Economics (Development)
2004 - 2008:    University of Malawi: BSoc (Economics)


2015:    DAAD-GSSP Merit Scholarship for Ph.D in International Development at Ruhr-University Bochum
2013:    DAAD/SA-GCDR Merit Scholarship for Masters in Economics (Development) at University of Western Cape, South Africa


Themba Nyasulu (2017) "Harnessing Economic Impacts of Migrant Remittances for Development: A Critical Review of the Literature", African Human Mobility Review (AHMR) Vol. 3(1) 1 January-April, pp.645-670 (full text available at:

Themba Nyasulu and Mulugeta Dinbabo (2015): "Macroeconomic Determinants: an analysis of 'pull' factors of international migration in South Africa". African Human Mobility Review (AHMR) 1(1); 27-52.

Major work experience

2010 - 2015:    Economist (Energy planning, research and policy), Department of Energy Affairs, Lilongwe, Malawi
2012:    Operations Officer (Government of Malawi secondment), National Oil Company of Malawi, Lilongwe, Malawi
2009:    Economist Intern, Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, Lilongwe, Malawi