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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'We do our bit in our own space': DAL Group and the development of a curiously Sudanese enclave economy
Author:Mann, Laura
Year:2013
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies (ISSN 0022-278X)
Volume:51
Issue:2
Pages:279-303
Language:English
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:private enterprises
labour recruitment
business organization
Abstract:The family firm DAL Group is Sudan's largest and most diversified company. Its growth has concentrated on consumer goods, rather than on State concessions or exports. It has developed its own training programmes, construction units, transportation networks and market research departments to manage the unstable environment outside its business walls. This paper focuses on the company's recruitment policies, demonstrating how the firm relies on its own internal family structure and a transnational network of Sudanese professionals in order to grow and prosper. Such self-reliance contributes to growing political frustration among young unemployed people. Graduates from 'marginal' areas rely more heavily on public advertisements and on information obtained from State bodies, not the private channels of 'wasta' (personal intermediation) that cut through contemporary business. The paper concludes by comparing DAL with similar business networks in Ethiopia and Rwanda, arguing that DAL is a unique and interesting form of 'enclave economy', shaped by a displaced transnational elite operating in a hostile political environment. Within the wider political context of Sudan, there is a limit to what similar businesses can achieve. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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