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African Management Faculty Training Program Builds Regional Capacity and Networks


Ludi Joseph
Phone: +1 202 473 7700

Email:
ljoseph@ifc.org


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 Business Science.  


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 support it."


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.


About IFC

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