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Area of academic expertise - outline

Prof. John Struthers: Director - Centre for African Research on Enterprise and Economic Development (CAREED), School of Business and Enterprise, University of West of Scotland (UWS).


Professor John Struthers is an experienced academic and economist with over 35 years working in a variety of universities in the UK and in Africa. He has worked in Nigeria and Sierra Leone, and carried out research on Ghana and Ethiopia. He has extensive publications in a range of economics journals, principally in the field of development economics, especially on “soft” commodities such as coffee and cocoa. He has previously been a Director of a leading Scottish Chamber of Commerce as well as a Local Enterprise Trust (both in Renfrewshire). He was also a member of Waterwatch Scotland, a water industry consumer body. He is a current member of the Westminster Africa Business Group in London. In academia he has been Dean of a Business Faculty at UWS, Head of Department of Economics and Enterprise, and founding Head of UWS’ Graduate School. In November 2015 he set up CAREED at UWS, a unique research centre which specialises in a range of key economic issues across the continent of Africa. For the last 10 or more years he has been researching, along with other UWS colleagues, in the area of commodity price volatility in developing countries. In this context he has collaborated with a number of UN organisations such as the FAO in Rome and UNCTAD in Geneva in the area of commodities research. His publications (some-co-authored) have appeared in the following journals: Development and Change; Journal of Energy and Development; Journal of Economic Studies; Journal of International Development; Oxford Development Studies, among others. His recent research has been funded by the British Academy. During 2015 he was appointed Honorary Consul for Ethiopia in Scotland. He has supervised 18 PhD students to completion, many of whom came from a variety of African countries and has been external examiner for more than 30 doctorates at a number of UK universities. He is also a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Glasgow within the Adam Smith Business School.



Current Research Activities

Currently my primary area of research is Commodities in Developing Countries. Previous areas included: inflation in developing countries (eg Ghana);Dutch Disease in oil producing countries (eg Nigeria); Economics of Voting, rational expectations, and exchange rate analysis in developing countries.

I have also recently commenced researching in the area of female entrepreneurship in developing countries, along with a UWS colleague, Dr Dina Nziku.

I have carried out various editorial and refeereing roles for a range of academic journals including: Journal of International Development, Journal of Development Studies, Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Developing Areas, Journal of African Economies, among others.

I am a research grant application reviewer for the Carnegie Trust for Research Incentives Grants.

I am also editor of the International Journal of Social Business and Lead Editor and a Founding Editor of The Journal of Social Business. 



Desired research direction

My recent research has been in the area of commodities in develoiping countries and I wish to continue in this area in terms of high level publications. Other areas that I have begun to research include: socal business, microfinance, and enterpreneurship, especially in Africa. I also have a longstanding interest in exchange rate issues in developing countries. 


Target collaborative companies

These will include companies that have the desire and potential to invest in developing countries, especially in the African continent. These also include NGO and other companies that have a social objective. 


Target collaborative organisations

I have good conatcts already with UN and other international organisations. These include:



Commonwealth Secretariat

These involvments include conferences and publications. I also have good contacts with a number of diaspora organisations within the Uk African community, especially with regard to Ethiopia and Ghana. This will be an increasingly important role for CAREED in partnership with other Africa focused organisations in Scotland such as Africa Forum Scotland.

CAREED is developing partnerships with a number of universities in Africa, eg Mount Kenya University, among others. CAREED is also developing good relationships with other UK based Africa research centres eg Centre for African Studies at Edinburgh University.

Through my Honorary Consul role I also have strong contacts with various African diplomatic missions in the UK, eg Ethiopia; Ghana; Cameroon, as well as with the Internationl Development section of the Scottish Government.


Other areas of expertise

In addition to my research experience, I also have extensive networking experience with a wide variety of organisations both in the UK and overseas. Over a number of years this has allowed me to carry our a range of economic impact studies (eg cost-benefit analysis) for individual clients. Such contributions might be referred to as enterprise activities, though during my career I have always tried to convert such work into research publications, where possible.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

External positions

Visiting Professor of Economics, University of Glasgow


  • HB Economic Theory
  • HC Economic History and Conditions
  • HA Statistics
  • HG Finance
  • HJ Public Finance


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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