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Trade-offs in FDI Effects on SDGs in Sub-Saharan Africa Countries

Paola Garrone (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
Lucia Piscitello (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
Matilde d’Amelio (University of Westminster, UK)
Emanuela Colombo (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)

International Business and Sustainable Development Goals

ISBN: 978-1-83753-505-7, eISBN: 978-1-83753-504-0

Publication date: 31 July 2023


Integration between the different components of development is a major aspiration of the 2030 agenda, but the efforts of firms that intend to contribute simultaneously to multiple development trajectories may be hindered by trade-offs that occur between the different sustainable development goals (SDGs) and targets. At the same time, synergies may also materialize and reinforce firm’s contribution. This chapter analyzes the effects of multinational enterprises (MNEs) and other foreign investors on two different targets of SDG 7, namely access of population to modern energy systems, chiefly electricity, and the use of carbon-free and renewable energy sources in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries, and the authors investigate whether foreign investors experience trade-offs and synergies in their contributions. A two-equation growth model of households’ access to electricity and carbon factor is estimated by employing a panel dataset that covers 15 SSA countries and foreign direct investment (FDI) from 82 origin countries over the 2005–2011 period. The findings reveal that foreign investors are subject to a trade-off in their effects, because when they foster access to electricity they are also likely to spur carbon factor increases, and vice versa, depending on the economic development of host and home countries. Nevertheless, electrification and carbon factor reduction are shown to be linked by a system-level synergy. The results have implications for the design of MNEs attraction measures and energy policy in recipient countries.



Garrone, P., Piscitello, L., d’Amelio, M. and Colombo, E. (2023), "Trade-offs in FDI Effects on SDGs in Sub-Saharan Africa Countries", van Tulder, R., Giuliani, E. and Álvarez, I. (Ed.) International Business and Sustainable Development Goals (Progress in International Business Research, Vol. 17), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 177-199.



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Copyright © 2023 Paola Garrone, Lucia Piscitello, Matilde d’Amelio and Emanuela Colombo