Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 218


Soft skills in developing economies: An African view on the hidden linkage between indigenous knowledge and business perspectives

Helen Akolgo-Azupogo
  • Helen Akolgo-Azupogo
  • Department of Planning and Land Administration, Faculty of Sustainable Development Studies, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar
Arthur Rubens
  • Arthur Rubens
  • Department of Management, Lutgert College of Business, Florida Gulf Coast University, United States.
  • Google Scholar
Roland Bardy
  • Roland Bardy
  • Bardy Consult, Germany.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 18 June 2021
  •  Accepted: 11 August 2021
  •  Published: 31 August 2021


Although, the soft skills theme has been covered from many angles, there remains a scarcity of research on the linkage between indigenous knowledge and advances of business in developing countries. In addition,   there is a gap between the theoretical approaches to the soft skills theme and the practical realities that ask not only which capabilities job seekers need to have but also where to acquire them. While it has been acknowledged that this gap exists, there is a scarcity of research and reports on the topic, and it is often overlooked that, in developing countries, the medium skilled employees and the small scale entrepreneurs are those who need the most support in acquiring knowledge. This fact was highlighted during the COVID pandemic. This paper shows that the provision of soft skills can meet both the requirements and capabilities in developing countries if people are given the chance to learn and master both professional knowledge and soft skills. The authors exhibit a conceptual base and showcase a range of examples, mainly on Africa, where improvement of soft skills has not only helped individuals and businesses but entire sectors of the economy. In the opinion of the authors, a documental presentation with “life stories” often provides more benefit to the readers than an anonymous statistical analysis.


Key words: Soft skills, developing countries, entrepreneurship, poverty alleviation, education, employment.