ACCRA, Ghana, Nov. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On 2-4 November, over 100 business school deans, faculty and senior administrators from 34 countries gathered at the Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Executive Conference Center in Accra for a joint conference between two international business school networks: the Global Business School Network (GBSN), based in Washington DC and EFMD, based in Brussels. Delegates discussed the theme "Markets Shaping Management Education," focusing on the context of African schools, students and companies. The conference was sponsored by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, IESEG School of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management, Peregrine Academic Services and supported by conference partner Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).
GIMPA's Dean, Samuel Bonsu, interviewed the conference keynote speaker, technology entrepreneur Austin Okere, Founder and Vice-Chairman of the Computer Warehouse Group in Nigeria, about his industry view of markets shaping management education in West Africa.
"Reality is that students should think along the lines of bringing their own work to the party. We should encourage students to start thinking about how they can create an entrepreneurship enterprise. We need to teach people to learn how to learn – how to learn new things and adapt. Entrepreneurship is like musical chairs – always one chair short," said Austin Okere.
Local students and industry leaders joined the educators to discuss specific needs of sectors such as health, agribusiness and entrepreneurship. The conference also featured a parliamentary debate between four educators on the statement, "the house believes that the business schools should serve as visionaries shaping the future of management, instead of reacting to immediate market demands." Vincent Ogutu, Vice Dean of Executive Education, Strathmore Business School in Kenya argued for the statement, saying, "business schools do care about the present and solving these problems. We should have solved them yesterday. If we're beginning to think about today's problems right now, it's too late. To solve present problems, you forward think the solution. Business schools have a duty to anticipate what skills and competencies students will need when they graduate."
Opposing the statement, Jonathan Foster-Pedley, Dean and Director of Henley Business School Africa in South Africa argued against, saying: "The university of today must embrace error in order to be innovative, must work in continual beta mode, failing fast forwards. The present needs are urgent. The 70% of African population that is below 25, of whom some 40-60% are unemployed, cannot wait for our visions of utopian futures whilst a dystopian present unfolds. Being truly future-oriented means being focused on today."
"The conference's theme of 'Markets Shaping Management Education' was chosen because of its acute relevance to business schools today," said Guy Pfeffermann, CEO and Founder of GBSN. "Students are graduating from academic programs lacking the full complement of skills needed to be successfully employed or entrepreneurial, and this problem is particularly acute in Africa."
"We are grateful to GIMPA for their gracious hospitality and support in hosting this special EFMD/GBSN joint conference in Africa," said Nadine Burquel, Director of Business School Services at EFMD. "It is important for the global business education community to engage with our African colleagues – to learn, share and continue our collective efforts to make quality management education more accessible."
For more information on the conference agenda and speakers visit the website at www.gbsn.org/africa2016.
About the Global Business School Network (GBSN)
The Global Business School Network is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening management, entrepreneurial and leadership talent for the developing world through improved access to quality, locally relevant education. GBSN harnesses the power of a network of over 70 leading business schools on 6 continents that share a dedication to our mission to build management education capacity for the developing world.
Through international events, advocacy and local capacity building projects, GBSN facilitates cross-border networking, knowledge sharing and collaboration. GBSN programs tap the expertise of our member schools to advise, train and mentor developing world institutions and educators. More information is available at www.gbsn.org.
EFMD is a leading international network of business schools and companies at the forefront or raising the standards of management education and development globally, based in Brussels, Belgium, with international offices in Asia and the Americas.
As the largest international network association in the field of management development, the EFMD network includes nearly 900 institutional members and reaches over 25,000 management development professionals from academia, business, public service and consultancy across 86 countries worldwide.
EFMD fulfils its mission by offering a range of services which have been developed over the last 40 years to meet the needs of its members. These include conferences and seminars around the world that address key issues for our industry, surveys and the dissemination of knowledge, quality improvement and accreditation via EQUIS, EPAS, EOCCS and CLIP as well as the EFMD GN Deans Across Frontiers mentoring programme (EDAF) and Business School Impact Survey (BSIS). For more information, please go to https://www.efmd.org/
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SOURCE Global Business School Network