Johannesburg, South Africa, May 12, 2005
— Sixty business school faculty members from 20 universities around
Africa are in Johannesburg this week to develop their teaching skills.
Sponsored by the International Finance Corporation, the private sector
arm of the World Bank Group, this is the first continent-wide workshop
for African management and business school faculty on participant-centered
and practice-based teaching methods.
The workshop, titled Teaching the Practice of Management, was designed
and jointly organized by African faculty from the Gordon Institute of Business
Science of South Africa and the Lagos Business School of Nigeria with the
involvement of leading international business schools, including Harvard
Business School, IESE, and Columbia Business School. The workshop addresses
the changing needs of teachers of management for Africa’s new generation
of business and community leaders and is part of the Global Business School
Network (GBSN) – an IFC initiative that seeks to enhance management skills
in emerging markets by partnering with business schools to build local
capacity for management training.
“This program has enabled us to bring together for the first time faculty
from business schools across the African continent to work together in
developing practice-based teaching skills. Enhancing the capabilities of
African business schools to train local management graduates is critical
for development and improvement of the investment climate,” said Guy Pfeffermann,
former chief economist of IFC and director of the GBSN.
The program focuses on introducing practice-based teaching and learning
methods into African management education and classroom discussion of case
studies, which are used in many leading international business schools.
“Practice-based teaching and learning allow managers and executives to
apply principles. Cases stretch them and force them to make decisions.
Making decisions in the classroom helps them make better decisions in their
organizations,” said Nick Binedell, director of the Gordon Institute of
The program – an intensive one-week course – is designed for faculty
from business schools in Africa that are committed to incorporating discussion
and practice-based teaching into their curriculum and for faculty members
who will play major roles in leading curriculum development in their schools
over the next decade. The program began with a two-day meeting of the deans
and directors of participating schools to discuss institutional issues
related to fostering and supporting discussion and practice-based teaching
in Africa. Professor Tom Piper of Harvard Business School, one of the teachers
in the program, noted the importance of “support at the leadership level
of these institutions to encourage a learning process which encompasses
the active engagement of participants and helps them develop the skills,
attitudes, and capabilities essential to practice.”
“We were delighted with the response to the program,” said Professor
Albert Alos, rector of the Lagos Business School, Pan-African University,
co-host of the program. This year’s program was over-subscribed, and another
session will be held again next year.
On May 11, SAB Miller sponsored a dinner that brought together participants
in the program with representatives of the local and regional business
community. The theme of the evening was the role of management education
in developing countries and its impact on business, and the event provided
a platform for dialogue between business schools and the business community.
Andre Parker, Managing Director, SAB Miller Africa and Asia, who serves
on the Africa Advisory Group of the GBSN, observed, "The GBSN is a
critical capacity-building initiative for Africa and we are delighted to
The program is part of one of four GBSN African pilot programs financed
by IFC. GBSN harnesses the experience of several of the world’s top business
schools in support of institutional capacity-building for African business
schools. Strengthening these business schools will deepen and widen the
pool of well-trained local managers who play a crucial role in generating
jobs, reduce reliance on expatriate managers, and help stem brain-drain.
GBSN’s other pilot programs are with the Lagos Business School in Nigeria,
the Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration and Kenya’s
USIU. GBSN is also helping the World Bank’s International Development
Association in support of Ethiopia’s major business school.
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44
billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.
For information about IFC, see: www.ifc.org.
For further information about GBSN, see: www.ifc.org/gbsn.
About the Gordon Institute of Business Science
The Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) has grown rapidly into
one of South Africa’s leading business schools in the five years since
it was established. It has just been ranked in the world’s top 40
schools for executive education for the second year, reflecting its focus
on partnership with business. The school runs more than 50 programs
with partner companies each year in addition to its suite of open executive
education courses. GIBS takes in 120 MBA students each year and runs
a DBA program. For more information about GIBS, see www.gibs.co.za.
About Lagos Business School
The Lagos Business School (LBS) is widely recognized as the first institution
in Africa offering international-class executive education in a continuous
and stable way. The school delivers executive programs at three top management
levels aimed at systematically improving the practice of general management.
LBS also offers a wide spectrum of open and in-company seminars. Yearly,
over 2,000 participants from multinational and indigenous companies participate
in these LBS programs. In 2002, the Federal Government of Nigeria
approved the application of LBS to be raised to the status of a private
university and granted the license to Pan-African University, making LBS
the first school of the Pan-African University. For more information about
LBS, see www.lbs.edu.ng