Out of the War Zone: Ivory Coast AMP Comes to Barcelona


After a troubled start, interrupted by a brief but bloody civil war, the Ivory Coast AMP participants arrive in Barcelona this week for the next stage of their studies. The MDE (Management et Développement d'Entreprise) Business School in Abidjan is the fifth of IESE's Associated Business Schools in Africa and was formally opened under that name last December. The AMP is taught in French by faculty from MDE, and also led by visiting professors from IESE, Lagos Business School, and other prestigious global academic institutions.

The first AMP sessions were held as planned in February, but the following month the political situation deteriorated as the country descended into near civil war between supporters of the two presidential last-round candidates Alassane Outtara and Laurent Gbagbo. At least 3,000 people were killed in the fighting and tens of thousands were forced to flee their homes.

The participants come from a range of industries and have on average 10 or 15 years experience in executive positions. During the fighting the participants met in groups to discuss case studies but by mid-March it was deemed safe enough to meet at the school. In spite of everything, the AMP is going ahead in Barcelona on schedule.