In 2005, GBSN convened a workshop of deans and directors of African business schools in Accra, Ghana. Funded by the World Bank’s IFC, the workshop focused on business school accreditation, quality assurance and financial sustainability. Workshop participants met for two days at the Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). To my surprise, very few of the present deans and directors had met each other. Bringing them together was truly a first.
Participants in the 2005 Accra meeting convened by GBSN
Deans and directors of nineteen African business schools took part in the discussions:
- Uganda’s Makerere
- Uganda Management Institute
- University of Stellenbosch
- University of Botswana
- Lagos Business School
- University of Ibadan, Nigeria
- Kenyatta University
- University of Ghana, Legon
- Addis Ababa University’s Faculty of Business and Economics
A day and a half into the discussions, it had become obvious that the participants confronted common challenges, notably issues inherent in the complicated relations between business schools and the universities to which they belonged. A consensus emerged in favor of establishing an African association of business schools, and GBSN offered to help. We provided two consultants who worked with a steering committee of African deans. They collaboratively drafted a charter and a business plan for what was to become the Association of African Business Schools (AABS).
A second workshop took place in October that same year at Lagos Business School. During this workshop, the charter was ratified, and Nick Binedell, Director of the Gordon Institute of Business Science, became the first Chair of the Association of African Business Schools.
Three members of GBSN’s Advisory Board, Javed Hamid, Richard America and David Hampshire, spoke at this gathering in Ghana. I can remember David, then Chairman of Diageo Africa, gave GBSN our first private sector donation: a can of Guinness. It still proudly sits in our Washington DC offices.
I first met EFMD’s Jim Herbolich and AACSB’s Jerry Trapnell at event as well, and we continue to maintain a close relationship with both AACSB and EFMD. In fact, we will be returning to GIMPA’s Accra campus this coming November 3 – 5 in partnership with EFMD for a special joint conference, themed “Quality in Context: Management Education for the Developing World.” GIMPA’s Rector, Franklyn Manu, was an active participant in our 2005 Accra workshop and I am very pleased that he will be our host for this special event.
Back in 2005 GBSN only had 17 member schools, none being in the developing world. Today our growing membership includes 67 top schools in their respective markets on six continents. I am very proud of the fact that 12 of these member schools are in Africa. Three of these African business schools are part of GBSN’s Executive Board Level of membership – Institut Supérieur de Management of Dakar (Senegal), the Mediterranean School of Business (Tunisia), and Lagos Business School (Nigeria).
It will be a special honor to return to Accra in 2014 with delegates from this remarkable group of schools, along with those from EFMD member schools and others interested in strengthening business education in Africa. I hope I will have the pleasure of welcoming many who read this blog at the conference in November.
Registration for the GBSN and EFMD Joint Conference in Africa will open on May 5th. Visit www.gbsnonline.org/africa2014 for details or email email@example.com.
Guy Pfeffermann is the Founder & CEO of the Global Business School Network.