This morning as I was listening to the radio, the news of
President Obama’s visit to Africa and speech at (GBSN Member) University of
Cape Town perked my ears. In his speech
he talked about the importance of working with Africa as a partner to enhance
their economic growth, instead of ramping up traditional aid. As part of the news report, a woman responded
to the speech by saying that instead of more aid, Africa needed management
(boy, did my ears perk up then), and corruption reform to truly realize its
For ten years GBSN has been working to strengthen the pool
of management talent for Africa and the rest of the developing world. While we have had support from diverse
sources that include global businesses, development agencies and governments,
it has been at times a challenge to convince people of the immense need for
quality management and business skills to address broader economic and social
issues. It is heartening then to hear
someone as influential as President Obama talking about how potent economic empowerment
can be in improving lives.
I hope the United States, and the rest of the global
community, will take this moment as a opportunity to evaluate how they are
looking at, and investing in Africa. By
fostering good management and strong businesses, we can help to cultivate
sustainable prosperity across the continent.
Certainly management is not the only key to economic and social
development in Africa. Corruption is
certainly an issue, among others.
However, a thriving economy, jobs, effective social services and
efficient government are not foreseeable without an improvement in management
and business skills on a large scale. We
look forward to being a part of the future of Africa by drawing on our global
network of leading business schools to build management education capacity to
teach international best practice with local relevance.
Page Schindler Buchanan is the Communications Officer for the Global Business School Network.