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IFC Network Brings African Business School Leaders to Economic Summit


Contact:
In Washington, DC

Ludwina Joseph

Phone: + 1 (202) 473 7700

Email:
 ljoseph@ifc.org


Cape Town, South Africa, June 2, 2005   The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has brought together deans and professors from business schools across Africa to participate in the World Economic Forum’s Africa Economic Summit. IFC’s Global Business School Network programs focus on strengthening business education in Africa.  

“As highlighted in the report of the Commission for Africa, higher education is crucial to economic development,” said Guy Pfeffermann, former chief economist of IFC and director of the network. “While a primary focus of IFC and the World Bank is on development of physical infrastructure, our network is focusing on developing the human infrastructure needed for business.”


Last year, the Global Business School Network launched four African pilot programs financed by IFC. The network draws on the experience of many of the world’s top business schools to support capacity-building for African business schools. Strengthening these schools will expand the pool of well-trained local managers, who play a key role in generating jobs while reducing reliance on expatriate managers and helping stem brain-drain. In addition, programs are helping train entrepreneurs and supporting the creation and growth of more competitive small and medium enterprises.

Pilot programs are underway with Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, USIU in Kenya, and the Lagos Business School in Nigeria; the fourth pilot is a pan-African faculty training program run jointly by South Africa’s Gordon Institute of Business Science and Lagos Business School. Through the network, IFC is also working with the World Bank’s International Development Association to support several initiatives in Tanzania and Ethiopia.

Attending the Africa Economic Summit were Professor Albert Alos, Rector of Lagos Business School, Pan-African University, in Nigeria; Peter Bamkole, Director, Enterprise Development Services, Lagos Business School; Nick Binedell, Director of the Gordon Institute of Business Science in South Africa; Mr. Amadou Diaw, President, Institut Superior de Management in Senegal; and Dr. Meoli Kashorda, Dean, USIU in Nairobi, Kenya.


Recent Global Business School Network programs included a workshop to address the changing needs of teachers of management in Africa, designed by faculty from the Gordon Institute of Business Science and Lagos Business School with the involvement of their counterparts at Harvard, Columbia, and IESE. The program focused on introducing practice-based teaching and learning methods into African management education curricula, often through classroom discussion of case studies, an approach used in many leading international business schools. The one-week intensive course was designed for faculty from business schools who will play major roles in curriculum development over the next decade. A similar training program was offered for Kenyan faculty in May 2005 with support from the Global Business School Network and a joint IFC-IDA program for micro, small, and medium enterprises.

In March 2005, the network joined the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration in hosting the first meeting of business school deans from across Africa. Discussions focused on issues of quality improvement, accreditation, and financial sustainability.  Participants also included leading experts from other regions, including representatives of international accreditation agencies. An agreement was reached to create an African business school association as a way of continuing the participants’ dialogue.



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 further information about GBSN, see:
www.ifc.org/gbsn.