The interesting thing about Africa is that it is a living laboratory of the global world. There is growth potential, an abundance of natural resources but also developmental challenges as well as disparity and inequality. Derick de Jongh - based at the University of Pretoria in South Africa - believes that the continent is on the verge of a huge explosion of growth but he is worried that sustainability may get lost in the process. In African Futures - a recent Global Focus magazine article he says: “We need to challenge the basic foundation of the theory of for instance economics, or marketing or finance. That takes guts, courage, a very open mind – almost a new breed of faculty”. He feels optimistic about the future in that there is a huge desire and demand for improved education at all levels across the continent and business education and development can and must play a critical role in moving the continent forward.
How can African business schools best serve the often unique needs of African businesses and people? Moustapha Mamba Guisassy gives an example in “Management in Africa”. After elaborating on internal and external factors in the changes processes, he illustrates how IAM in Senegal established a school-community partnership. The efforts include modules on African anthropology and sociology, Fulani and Mandingo languages for business, research on entrepreneurship and immersion and incubation projects.
With the aim of encouraging the writing of case material, EFMD has been organising its annual Case Writing Competition for many years. The 2012 cases related to Africa included:
Economic growth on the African continent and the demand for local managers backs the need for raising the level of African Business Schools. Following conferences in Cape Town and Nairobi, EFMD is very pleased to go to Senegal for the fourth edition of 2013 EFMD Africa Conference which will take place from 13-15 November 2013, hosted by Groupe IAM - Institut Africain de Management in Dakar, Senegal. Traditionally attracting over 100 participants from around the globe, a variety of corporate and academic speakers will provide input and lead discussions around the theme of “Entrepreneurship and Management Education in Africa: are we miseducating our students?.