it’s about that time again

Time to make the trek across the globe that is. Entebbe-San Francisco, via Addis and Dubai. I’m getting back just in time for classes to begin on Monday, and looking forward to TAing for a new crop of students in Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, taught by Larry Diamond and Kathryn Stoner-Weiss.

In other news?

  • Opposition leader Michael Sata wins the presidency in Zambia. My good friend and fellow grad student Ken Opalo was in Zambia this week and has been writing about the election here. He suggests following @LoiusRedvers for updates.
  • Some snooping around suggests the flu that is still harassing me is quite widespread around Kampala. Friends who have gone to the Surgery and IHK with symptoms said they were told there is a severe strain going around. Perhaps it has peaked by now, but I wonder if the Ministry of Health shouldn’t have put out some kind of message. A fever that jumps from normal to 102 F (with ibuprofen!) in a matter of hours is no joke, especially for young kids and the elderly. Ok, end rant.
  • For those of you in the Bay Area, Stanford Professor Beatriz Magaloni and several others are organizing a conference on violence in Mexico: “Violence, Drugs, and Governance: Mexican Security in Comparative Perspective.” Speakers include Steve Krasner, Francis Fukuyama, David Kennedy, Karl Eikenberry, and many more. Not to be missed!
  • Another conference to put on the calendar is “Redefining Security Along the Food/Health Nexus,” hosted by Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute. Keynote speakers include Kofi Annan and Robert Gates.

I can now no longer put off packing, so that’s all for now.

I’ll see if I can get some wi-fi in Dubai. Otherwise, I’ll see you on the other side.

UPDATE:

I know, you thought I was packing. So did I. But I just read that the Uganda Shilling has fallen to an 18-year low – Ushs2901 to the dollar, according to Reuters. Annnnnd, the power just went out. Tough times indeed.

Uganda’s entrepreneurs

In Uganda it seems like everyone and their mother (I do mean that literally) has their own business. In fact, the 2010 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report on Uganda finds that 31 of every 100 working age Ugandans are involved in some kind of entrepreneurial activity, making Uganda the 6th highest in terms of entrepreneurship out of the 59 countries surveyed.

Interestingly, there appears to be a strong relationship between GDP per capita and entrepreneurial activity, as can be seen below.

Source: 2010 GEM Uganda report, page 32. Download here.

So what does this mean?

High TEAs [Early Stage Entrepreneurial Activity] are mainly registered in developing countries. And there’s a group of scholars that have argued that the greater the poverty, the higher the TEA of the country concerned. GEM Uganda team does not wholly agree with these scholars as its number of entrepreneurs motivated by opportunity is also high and so is that of Ghana, Zambia and Angola.

Although the team believes that necessity is a factor in Uganda’s high TEA, some entrepreneurs are keen to pursue business opportunities in the country. The positive relationship between economic growth and entrepreneurship is unquestioned; it is the causality, the measures used, and the role of the state that need to be explored further.

I’m curious about the relationship between the Doing Business scores and entrepreneurship as well. I would imagine that while it may be difficult to set up a business formally (i.e. following all the rules/wading through bureaucracy) in countries like Uganda, the relative lack of regulation encourages entrepreneurs to try their luck in business, especially in the informal sector.

Your thoughts?