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President Obama in Africa - The Promise of Better Business Opportunities

Posted By Page Schindler Buchanan, Monday, July 01, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Page Schindler BuchananThis 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 full potential.

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.

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