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The research group Doing Business in Africa (DBA) is headed by Prof. Dr Philipp von Carlowitz. He has been professor of Strategic and International Management at ESB Business School at Reutlingen University since 2011. Prof. Dr von Carlowitz is supported by research associates as well as student assistants.


Research Team

Prof. Dr Philipp von Carlowitz

Head of the research group "Doing Business in Africa"

Prof. Dr Philipp von Carlowitz is head of the research group Doing Business in Africa. After several management positions at BASF SE and Siemens AG, he has been professor of International and Strategic Management at ESB Business School at Reutlingen University since 2011. His research and consulting focus includes growth strategies, business model development and adaptation, business opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa and corporate internationalisation strategies. Prof. Dr von Carlowitz regularly researches and publishes in these areas and gives presentations at companies and conferences.

He regularly carries out consulting projects, workshops and studies for companies and ministries (e.g., ADA, WKO, BMZ, Ministry of Economic Affairs in Baden-Württemberg). He is a member of the scientific advisory board of the Africa Association of German Industry and a member of the foreign trade committee of the Reutlingen Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Dr Simon Züfle

Postdoctoral researcher in the research group "Doing Business in Africa"

Dr Simon Züfle is a postdoctoral researcher in the research group Doing Business in Africa. After graduating in International Relations, he initially worked in the department of External Affairs at Daimler AG where he dealt with global trade and industrial policy issues. He has been conducting research at Reutlingen University since June 2021. In his doctorate, he investigated China’s Belt and Road Initiative in East Africa. His research focuses on China’s engagement in Africa and types of market entry into African markets.

Simon Züfle is an external lecturer at various German universities and regularly teaches on the topics of Doing Business in Africa, China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Chinese engagement in Africa.

Dr Richard Adu-Gyamfi

Postdoctoral researcher in the research group “Doing Business in Africa”

Dr Richard Adu-Gyamfi is a research fellow at the “Doing Business in Africa” research group. His doctorate focused on firms in exporting processing zones and their relationship with local suppliers in the host economy with Ghana as the case in point. Further research interests cover areas such as doing business and trade in Africa, entrepreneurship and small development, small firm internationalization and market entry strategies, value chains, supplier development, linkages and spill-over effects and knowledge transfer. Richard has been involved in several African economic development and trade projects generously supported by the African Export and Import Bank, European Union, German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation, German Academic Exchange Service, German Agency for International Cooperation, South African National Treasury, Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs, United Kingdom Trade Partnership and various agencies of the United Nations. He is a former Mo Ibrahim Leadership Fellow at the International Trade Centre, Switzerland and a pioneer editor of the African Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  

Prof. Dr Larissa Zierow

Senior Research Fellow in the research group “Doing Business in Africa”

Prof. Dr Larissa Zierow is a Professor of Economics at the ESB Business School, Reutlingen University. She holds a research professorship at the ifo Institute and is affiliated with CESifo. Previously, she served as a research associate at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, where she completed her dissertation on the economics of education. Following this, she became the deputy director of the ifo Center for the Economics of Education at the ifo Institute in Munich. Prof. Dr Zierow's research encompasses Economics of Education, Labor Economics, Applied Econometrics, and Public Policy, with a focus on understanding the impact of education investments on economic growth and societal well-being in both developed and developing countries.

Prof. Dr Tobias Schütz

Senior Research Fellow in the research group “Doing Business in Africa”

Prof. Dr Tobias Schütz received his doctorate from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich in 2005 and subsequently worked as a project manager for the top management consultancy Oliver Wyman and as head of the European Customer Science practice group for J.D. Power & Associates. In 2010, he was appointed Professor of Marketing & Market Research at ESB Business School in Reutlingen. In 2018, he founded the Reutlingen Institute of Management, which he co-chairs as Managing Partner.

Research Assistants

Samantha Jaouiche

Student assistant of the research group "Doing Business in Africa"

Samantha "Sam" Jaouiche supports the research group "Doing Business in Africa" as a student research assistant. She is currently a final year student in the International Management Double Degree (IMX) program at Reutlingen University’s ESB Business School. She is from North Carolina, USA where she completed the first two years of her bachelors at North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC) concentrating in Finance. Sam has gained professional experience in change management consulting and finance communications with Red Hat - IBM in North Carolina (Raleigh) and product management and development with Mercedes-Benz AG in Stuttgart. Her studies and work experience underpin her enthusiasm for international business and demonstrate her global perspective.