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Management Training Improving in Kenya Through International Partnerships


In Washington, DC
Ludwina Joseph

Phone: + 1 (202) 473 7700

Email:
 ljoseph@ifc.org


Washington, D.C. May 20, 2005 — The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is participating in the IDA financed Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Competitiveness Project being implemented by Kenya’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.  IFC’s Global Business School Network (GBSN) enhances teaching skills at the tertiary level by incorporating the case method of teaching.

The case method provides business school students real life examples of businesses operating in a specific political, economic, and socio-cultural environment, which has a direct bearing on the business decisions that these enterprises make. The cases developed will focus on enterprises operating in Kenya’s MSME sector. Cases provide teachers and students with an opportunity to have in-class discussions on possible solutions to the challenges faced by the enterprise on which the case is based, given the information contained in the case.

The GBSN Project has two core objectives:


1)To develop a base of Kenyan cases which can be used for teaching purposes in Kenyan business schools as well as business schools around the world, through which the challenges, successes, and growth opportunities within sub-Saharan Africa’s business sector can be highlighted.

2)To develop a teaching capacity within business schools in Kenya, where the case method would be one of the teaching methodologies used to enhance business school curricula.


To achieve these objectives, the GBSN Project is using the resources and knowledge of some of the top international business schools, including Columbia Business School, IMD, IESE, Ivey, and London Business School, to develop the capacity of Kenyan business schools, which in turn will be better equipped to produce managers who have the skills needed to drive businesses in Africa’s emerging markets.


In Kenya, GBSN is working with faculty teams from Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and Strathmore University. By the end of 2005, it is anticipated that each faculty team from these three universities will have produced at least eight cases based on the experiences of Kenyan MSMEs. To accomplish this objective, the faculty teams from the three universities will work closely with international faculty mentors, who will be on hand to guide them through the case writing process. These international faculty mentors will make two visits to Kenya to give focused attention to the Kenyan faculty with whom they will be working throughout 2005. A first round of visits will run from May through June and a second round is scheduled for August and into September.


During the last two weeks of May 2005, Professor Emeritus Michiel Leenders of the Richard Ivey School of Business—the second largest producer of cases in the world—will conduct two workshops to supplement the activities of the international faculty mentors. The first workshop, a Case Writing Workshop, from May 16-20, will take participants through a practical exercise of writing a case based on an existing MSME, with guidance on key areas when developing a case for classroom teaching. The following week, May 23-26, Prof. Leenders will conduct a Case Teaching Workshop on how to use cases for classroom teaching.


Following the mentoring activities and the workshops, the mentors will continue to work with the Kenyan faculty to develop cases. The success of the project will be evaluated by the extent to which these cases will be disseminated and used in the classrooms of Kenyan and other African business schools. GBSN will continue to assist in these efforts to ensure that the goals of the project are achieved.



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.