Kusa Partners, an international education-focused company, intends to acquire the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). GIMPA is a government-owned type of a tertiary institution. Being that the company already has the capital, other factors being constant, the major factor that may impact their final decision is the political aspect of development. This paper analyzes the varied socio-political factors that may affect the projected level of returns the company preempts from the company.
Vanston Alternate Scenario Planning and Justification
The paper applies the Vanston alternate scenario planning. Vanston alternate scenario planning is a twelve-step scenario planning methodology with an aim of determining the futuristic impact of varied factors on the profitability of a business. The twelve steps include a step-by-step analysis of all the factors considered in determining the impact that other factors have on the business environment in the future. The definition of purpose and scope, as well as team development, marks the commencement of the method. Gathering relevant data, listing relevant data, determination of most pertinent factors, choosing themes for alternate scenarios, the arrangement of factors into related groups, the definition of the present factors in terms of the chosen factors, development of the most probable scenario, alteration of the basic factors to support alternate scenarios, prepare alternate scenarios, checking all scenarios for completeness and consistency, and modification of the scenarios as necessary and organize for use is the chronological arrangement of the twelve steps of Vanston alternate scenario planning methodology adopted by this study. Since the idea behind a scenario planning is to visualize the future, choosing Vanston alternate method, through the twelve steps, makes it easier to understand the current sociopolitical situation in Ghana as of current while extrapolating the influence over a certain period of time. Vanston method also integrates the technical and non-technical factors considerable in affecting the future business environment in Ghana.
Vanston Methodology Steps
A. Define Purpose and Organize Development Team
The purpose of this futuristic business environment study is to study the current factors that influence the conduction of business in Ghana and the extrapolation of such effects in the future. This workshop includes a review of existing published researches on future planning for businesses as well as extensive consultation with stakeholders in the business world. The purchase of GIMPA has a direct correlation with input from professionals such as the ministry of education, teachers, and economic analysts. With their input, a rapport scenario for each factor that may impact the operation of the institution in the future is comprehensively analyzed. Generally, the document describes scenarios and their future impact on GIMPA and to determine solutions.
B. Gather Relevant Data
To collect relevant information for the study, the research depended on published researches about the future of businesses in Ghana as well as the world. Referencing the future impact of political factors on business from the world wide point of view was important as it helps define the external forces that may affect the operation of GIMPA in the future. More research was done from reliable academic sources such as Ebscohost. These academic databases helped with the most recent information about Vanston alternate scenario planning as well as the emerging issues about Ghana in relation to business operation. The reliable sources used in this study are as documented under the reference list.
C. List of All Relevant Factors
Depending on the information gathered from the sources mentioned in the immediately previous step, the researcher made a list of political factors that could affect business now and extrapolate the same for the future. The relevant factors inclusion criteria were dependent on how impactful a certain factor is to business and in the sector of education to be precise. Any other factor that could affect business but was not political was disregarded. The listed factors were as follows; rural-urban migration, ethnic and religious tension, increased urbanization, the relationship among political parties, the media and their role, the ideologies of the ruling party, regulation and deregulation, corruption level, tax policies and bureaucracy (Spillan & King, 2020).
D. Determination of the Most Pertinent Factors
Considering the fact that the factors listed under the “list of all factors” section were too broad, there was the need to filter these factors into those that have greater importance as far as the completion of this analysis is concerned. To determine the most important factors, the researcher conducted further research through a literature review on factors that most impact the operation of a business seven years after establishment or acquisition. The researcher also contacted various economists, political analysts, and social science personnel as well as those in education to help analyze the most important factors (Spillan & King, 2020). The factors were then listed chronologically in light of importance to the study leading to eight critical factors. The eight included rural-urban migration, increased urbanization, the relationship among political parties, the media and their role, the ideologies of the ruling party, regulation and deregulation, corruption level, and bureaucracy.
E. Choosing Themes for the Alternate Scenarios
The study, through consultations with educational personnel, economists, and social scientists, grouped the alternate scenarios in umbrella themes. The factors were placed in four themes depending on the inclusion criteria formulated by the study, as shown below:
a. Internal migration effects: This is a future where there is an internal movement of people from rural to urban areas. This theme also covers for a future where there is an increase in population (Ghana, 2020).
b. Political changes: This is a future where there will be changes in political ideologies as per the ruling parties as well as an undiplomatic political relationship among political parties (Ghana, 2020).
c. Regulation impunities: This is a future where the level of corruption has escalated, and institutions register and deregister companies without consideration of the rule of law (Ghana, 2020).
d. Media and bureaucracy: This is a future where the state makes decisions on behalf of the elected leaders and use the media to propagate the same (Ghana, 2020).
F. Arrange Factors into Related Groups
Considering the factors determined in section 4 and the themes generated in section 5, the study came up with topics that could easily be studied to understand the current situation in Ghana with the aim of using the same to predict the future. In line with the themes, the factors aligned with the following topics
iii. Political party values
These are general topics created from the series of factors generated during the study. The topics are a generalization of the factors into groups that defines them broadly. Further, themes played a major role in categorization as they defined what factor to fall under what topic. This step is critical for the following phases of the study.
G. Definition of the Present Situation Based on the Chosen Factor
In this phase of alternative scenario development, the researcher defined the current situation in Ghana in relation to the selected topics in the previous step. This is a situational analysis without bias of the occurrences. However, the analysis will be based on factors that have an impact on GIMPA’s operation.
Ghana is a young population with a potential for growth. Being that the land is not much populated, there is space for growth. According to Spillan & King (2020), Ghana has a population of 31 million people. Among the 31 million, 25% is made up of people viable for education. Ghana has also experienced rapid population growth in the last five years, with an average annual growth of 2.9% (Spillan & King, 2020). A high population favors the decision to purchase GIMPA.
Ghana has 64 possible cities, with two being the most populated with people above 1 million. The remaining 62 cities have people with a population of less than a million. With less population in the cities, the country has experienced increased rural-urban migration in the last ten years. According to Spillan & King (2020), the rural-urban migration rate stands at 2.8%. This leads to the increasing urban population.
iii. Political parties values
Ghana’s political arena is anchored on democratic values with the power given to the people to elect their leaders. The people are empowered to elect and demote any leader who fails to operate within the confines of the jurisdiction. Being a politically stable country with functional institutions making independent decisions, the country enjoys a fair trial before any legal decisions are made. The government is led by the ruling party while the favorable loser becomes the opposition. Every new government comes with its desired ideologies. The current government increased education funds from 18% to 23% in support of the education sector.
Ghanaian media enjoy the freedom of speech, as stipulated in the current constitution passed in 1992. The media is supported by the Ghanaian government through the formulation of information and communication policies through the ministry of communication. Media reaches people through digital platforms such as websites and social media. They also reach people through print media as well as radio and television.
H. Developing Most Probable Scenarios
Values were assigned to the relevant factors after critical scrutiny through a review of literature extrapolating the effects of some four factors. The four factors were under the topic of political party’s values (good ideologies of the ruling party and relationship among political parties) and population (rural-urban migration and increased population). The literature extrapolates the effect of the four relevant factors on GIMPA in 2026.
I. Altering Basic Factors to Support Alternate Scenarios
The scenario modification was done accordingly with regard to expert advice. The modification filtered factors as high rural-urban migration, high population, the diplomatic relationship between political parties, and good political ideologies among the ruling party.
Political Party’s Values
According to McWilliam & Kwamena-Poh, (2020), political parties have become less rival in the last decade. This is an indication of even more political interaction in the future. However, diplomatic relationships are relative since parties will always have interests. In addition, according to organizations such as Together For Ghana, they estimate that the next government would increase revenue allocation to education by 35% of the current allocation (Together for Ghana, 2020).
According to Ghartey (2020), with a constant population growth rate of 2.8% in 2018, Ghana expects more approximately 33 million people by 2026. On the other hand, the rural-urban migration rate is relative to individual interest and estimated at 2.8% as of today (Ghartey, 2020).
J. Checking All Scenarios for Consistency, Clarity, and Completeness
The researcher dry-ran the report to ensure no there were no errors. The project was also rechecked for completeness and level of clarity. This ensures the project is ready for consumption by a third party.
K. Modify Scenarios as Necessary and Organize for Use
A team, including those from Kusa Partners, would be invited for a review to help organize the final report according to how they feel the information should flow. This would be done within a month of project completion.
In conclusion, there are varied factors affecting the decision to acquire GIMPA as a strategic investment for Kusa Partners. In as much as the current situations are predictable, one has to understand the potential futuristic environmental factors that may affect the operation of the company. To understand the extrapolated impacts of sociopolitical factors on the preempted business profits, this study applies the Vanston alternate scenario planning methodology. The method outlines the potential futuristic impact of sociopolitical factors on the operation of GIMPA in twelve comprehensive steps. Following the steps as a way of determining the future scenarios, the study came up with four scenarios that are more likely to occur which included good ruling party ideologies, diplomatic political parties relationships, increased rural-urban migration and increased population. Assigning values to these factors determined that a good ruling party ideology is a likely scenario in the future.
Recommendation: Suggested Political Factors Mitigation Strategies
a. Influence presidential campaigns by vouching for a president with good ideologies concerning education.
b. Creation of a diplomatic relation among political parties.
c. Ease rural-urban migration to increase populations in the cities viable for GIMPA’s recruitment.
- Ghana. (2020). The new structure and content of education for Ghana. Accra: Ministry of Education.
- Ghartey, J. (2020). Doing business and investing in Ghana: Legal and institutional framework.
- McWilliam, H. O. A., & Kwamena-Poh, M. A. (2020). The development of education in Ghana. London: Longman.
- Spillan, J. E., & King, D. O. (2020). Doing Business In Ghana: Challenges and Opportunities.
- Together for Ghana. (2020). Together for Ghana. https://together4ghana.org/