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

A comparative Analysis of the Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on Inclusive Economic Growth in Malawi and Zambia from 1970 to 2014

Since the dawn of the decolonization era in the 1960s many countries in Southern Africa have aggressively pursued inclusive economic growth as a principal goal their development agenda. The ability of inclusive economic growth to raise per capita income levels, create employment opportunities but at the same time reduce socio-economic inequalities; has been the main attraction point for these developing countries. One of the important pathways to achieving inclusive economic growth that has so far been advanced is the attraction and 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 a tangible means for translating output expansion into a broad-based poverty reduction mechanism through stabilizing capital flows to countries undertaking privatization, and enhancing asset distribution and social safety nets delivery to the poor. In line with the above propositions, 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 such as the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MDGS), and the 6th National Development Plan of Zambia (NDP). However, no known empirical studies have so far been carried out to evaluate the credibility of these government’s FDI-led socio-economic development agenda. Using time series data from 1970 to 2014 in combination with economic and econometric theory, therefore, this research aims to comparatively analyze the impact of FDI on inclusive economic growth in these two countries. Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression, Co-integration and Granger-causality techniques form the study’s main tools of analysis. By analyzing not only the effect that income level differentials of the two countries have on FDI-growth nexus but also its direction of causality, the research will help to empirically determine whether or not the governments of Malawi and Zambia should continue with their foreign investment-driven inclusive economic transformation agenda.

Supervisor: Prof. em. Dr. Dieter Bender

Research interests

  • Development economics and finance
  • International economics and globalisation
  • Capability approach to human development
  • Social protection and welfare
  • International migration
  • Energy economics


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