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International joint venture with a government partner case study: copper mining in Zambia, 1972

Author(s): Kofi Atta Annan
  • Type: Thesis
  • Researcher: Other Researchers
  • Timeline: 1970s
  • Affiliation: Alum


Theories of international investment suggest that the joint venture will receive increasing attention as a model by both host governments and foreign investors. Its popularity has increased as the political implications of 100% foreign ownership become more apparent and as investors appreciate the economic advantage of having a local partner.

The terms of such partnerships are usually dictated by the political and economic pressures of the time. Should these change, the basis for agreement may well disappear, thus putting pressure on one or other of the partners to renegotiate.

The paper reviews the history leading up to the 1969 nationalization of the copper mining companies in Zambia. Evidence suggests that there are conflicts within the resulting joint-venture which do not seem to have immediate solutions. Even assuming d stable political environment in Zambia, the pressures which exist already in the country may increase these conflicts to such a proportion that a continuing relationship on the same terms become impossible.

The authors undertook interviews of company and government officials in London, Lusaka and on the Zambian copperbelt. These interviews are not reported individually because of the highly political and confidential nature of many of ~he opinions offered.


About the Author

Kofi Atta Annan MS '72 earned a Masters of Science in from the Sloan School at MIT in 1972. As seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, Annan delivered the keynote address at the 1997 MIT Commencement Exercises. He went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, together with the United Nations, “for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world".

Annan, Kofi Atta. International joint venture with a government partner case study: copper mining in Zambia. MS Thesis. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1972.