Savage, Christopher J. and Jenkins, Andrew Kevin (2016) Will developing a gateway port in a developing country lead to ethical benefits for the populous: A case study of Walvis-Bay. In: The 21st LRN Annual Conference and PhD Workshop 2016 Doing the Right Thing – Ethical Issues in Logistics and Supply Chain, 7th - 9th September, 2016, Hull. (Unpublished)

The Namibian government, wish to develop the port of Walvis-bay into a gateway port-centric hub to serve southern Africa. They believe that it would enhance trade in the region which would improve the physical infrastructure of the country and develop the logistics industry with a concomitant improvement in service levels and the skills to provide them.
Assuming that this is successful, the proponents of this development postulate that the improved port and infrastructure, supported by the trade that it brings, will generate additional income that can be cascaded down to the whole population, thus reducing poverty and improving the distribution of income amongst the nation’s residents.
Research approach:
Previous research has suggested that the barriers to logistics development in Namibia are likely to prevent the proposed port development from succeeding, at least to the scale and in the time frame envisaged by its supporters (Savage. C.J., Fransman. L. et al. 2014). Nevertheless, as the port exists and will be developed in some form and to some extent, it is important to try to determine whether, if successful, the development would prove to be a good use of the country’s resources.
The research used a critical realist approach to analyse the views of stakeholders to determine their views on the probability of success of the port of Walvis-bay development as well as its impact in terms of trade development and the distribution of income. The output from this exercise was compared with historic information on other major infrastructure developments in other countries and the subsequent impact on the distribution of income.
Findings and Originality:
The research showed that whilst most stakeholders are very optimistic about the success of the venture and its impact on trade, they were far less confident about the likelihood of any improved income being fairly distributed. Nevertheless, since the political changes following Namibian presidential elections of late 2014, they have become more optimistic about the likelihood of more equitable distribution.
Research Impact:
The output supports previous research but challenges the ethics of developing nations making speculative investments in major infrastructure where this may restrict the funding of potentially more immediately beneficial projects. The identification of this ethical issue could contribute to triple bottom line costing of future large infrastructure developments in the southern African region.
Keywords: Supply chain ethics, infrastructure, developing countries and sustainable logistics.

LRN_2016_paper_AJ_CS130516.docx - Accepted Version

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