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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

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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: http://sihma.org.za/online_journal/ahmr-vol-3-no1-january-april-2017/)

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

How to contact us

Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Ruhr University Bochum

Room 2.04
Universitaetsstr. 105
D-44789 Bochum

E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone:   +49-(0)234 / 32-22418
or   32-22243
Fax:   +49-(0)234 / 32-14-294

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Latest Publications

Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein, Dr. Elkhan Richard Sadik-Zada & Mattia Ferrari: Privatization and the Role of Sub-National Governments in the Latin American Power Sector: A Plea for less Subsidiarity?, in: International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Volume 8, No. 1, pp. 95-103

Britta Niklas: Impact of Annual Weather Fluctuations on Wine Production in Germany, in: Journal of Wine Economics, Volume 12/2017, No. 4, pp. 436-445
Britta Niklas, Karl Storchmann & Nick Vink: Fairtrade Wine Price Dispersion in the United Kingdom, in: Journal of Wine Economics, Volume 12/2017, No. 4, pp. 446-456

Khafagy, Amr: Regulation, supervision and deposit insurance for financial cooperatives: an empirical investigation. In: Annals of Finance (online first)

More information: "Publications / New Publications"

IEE on Tour

March 11 - 26:
Dr. Gabriele Bäcker
in South Africa and Namibia for evaluation, conference and institutional visit purposes.

March 17 - 24:
Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein and Bettina Löwenstein
in Gordon's Bay and Cape Town/South Africa for the final meeting for the EUSA_ID project

March 17 - 28:
Britta Niklas
in Gordon's Bay and Cape Town/South Africa for the final meeting for the EUSA_ID project as well as a meeting for the DAAD African Excellence Centre UWC

April 04 - 06:
Dr. Elkhan Richard Sadik-Zada
at the University of Orleans, France, presenting at the International Conference "Environmental Economics: a focus on Natural Resources"

IEE on Field Research

Raffael Beier has a research stay at the International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague/The Netherlands from mid-March to mid-May 2018.

Ruth Knoblich spends a research period for her PhD as an EUSA-ID Scholar at the University of Cape Town/South Africa from January 2017 to April 2018.

Anne Siebert is at the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra und University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana, from 25th February to 9th April, 2018, for field research.