The Africa Initiative: Strengthening IESE's Commitment

School Boosts Contributions to Business Education in the Region


IESE has recently launched the Africa Initiative, a new project which aims to bring together the school's various Africa-related activities under one umbrella. The initiative will be directed by Prof. Lluís G. Renart, who will be assisted in his role by Izabela Kordecka.

"Through this new initiative we aim to provide information, ideas and support to help coordinate the full range of African initiatives being developed by IESE faculty, chairs and research centers, as well as provide support to IESE's associated schools on the continent. In addition, the initiative will serve as a platform for the development of new projects and programs while also raising awareness of IESE's latest activities in Africa," said Prof. Renart.

The initiative's main objectives will be to coordinate and strengthen IESE's relations with the Lagos Business School, Nile University and Strathmore Business School; to provide assistance for the development of African professors; to support the creation of new Associated Business Schools, and to build ties with the numerous institutions and organizations that are either active or are interested in initiating activities in Africa.

IESE also hopes to strengthen its presence on the continent through the different programs and academic activities it offers, and by forging ties with companies that already operate in Africa or are considering expanding their operations there.

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Through the launch of this initiative, IESE reaffirms its commitment to improve the quality of management education on the African continent. In fact, Africa has always been an important focus of IESE's attention. As testament to this, next week will see the launch of the second edition of the pan-African AMP Module, which brings together participants of the Advanced Management Programs at two leading African business schools (Strathmore Business School and Lagos Business School) as a means of fostering collaborative ties between participants as well as between the two schools. In its first edition, the AMP pan-African Module was attended by 58 executives and managers from East and West Africa.

IESE played a central role in the creation of LBS in 1995 and SBS, founded in 2005. In 2006, IESE and SBS inaugurated the AMP Kenya Program. Participants of the first edition had the opportunity to travel to Barcelona to attend the program's final 1-week module. Among the participants were a number of government ministers and senior public executives.

Meanwhile, the recently-launched Inside Africa program offers business leaders and investors practical insights into doing business in Sub-Saharan African countries. Participants gain a first-hand view of the business context in Kenya and South Africa, although the scope of the program extends to the whole Sub-Saharan region. Kenya (ranked 72 in the World Bank's Doing Business 2008 survey) and South Africa (ranked 35), present an illustrative contrast between two Sub-Saharan countries at different stages of development.

IESE faculty will team up with professors from Strathmore University and the Gordon Institute of Business Science, which forms part of the University of Pretoria, in Johannesburg. The intensive 1-week program comprises a rich variety of interactive sessions, company visits and presentations by local experts. Guest speakers will delve into all facets of the public and private sectors.

IESE continues to actively contribute to the development of LBS and SBS. Moreover, a number of IESE faculty members delivered sessions in the first edition of the senior management program (PADE, for its Spanish acronym) in Luanda (Angola) in 2009. The program was organized by Lisbon-based AESE, in collaboration with FACIDE, an association of Angolan business managers. IESE also maintains close ties with Nile University, as well as contributes to the development of L'Institut de Hautes Études (Ivory Coast). Through projects such as the Africa Initiative, IESE - in accordance with its values and mission - aspires to establish itself as a global benchmark for its support of economic and social development in Africa.