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Henley Business School unlocks global prospects for African business

Henley Business School unlocks global prospects for African business

Henley Business School Africa, Dunning Africa Centre (DAC) launches a webinar series this May in a move to give the continent a more prominent voice in global business research and help promote African business globally.

Dean Jon Foster-Pedley, the director of Henley Business School Africa in his justification for hosting the webinar series disclosed that despite considerable optimism at the turn of the new millennium, the 21st century has not yet turned out to be Africa’s.

“Most African economies remain dependent on exporting low-value-added goods, mainly in mining and agriculture, and an overall decline in manufacturing activities, with little or no movement towards the knowledge economy.

“It is time for Africa to reclaim its identity and make authentic, assertive inroads into the global market!” he said.

Rajneesh Narula, the director of the UK John H. Dunning Centre for International Business and Dunning Africa Centre in the same vein agrees with the view of Foster-Pedley when he stated;

“We need to take steps to address the marginalisation of Africa and look to create the right conditions and shape business strategy and policy to drive business success on the continent that also lifts African communities.”

According to Daniel Petzer, head of research at Henley Business School South Africa, the institution is well-placed to lead this conversation as South Africa’s first and only international quadruple-accredited business school in Africa.

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“An essential element of the DAC webinar is that business people from across Africa can offer their unique insights and perspectives. We have designed the platform so that the conversation can expand across industries and provide a unified path forward. Every voice counts,” Petzer noted.

Petzer further explained that the formal establishment of the new webinar series, which will bring more resources and impetus to the Henley South Africa research agenda, will help the school to deepen its focus on the issues that really matter for African business.

“Our research base is in a continent rich in opportunity with the youngest population in the world yet is beset by legacy problems that manifest in very visible and challenging ways that threaten to undermine the future of these young people.

“It is imperative that we target our efforts towards understanding and addressing these issues and find ways to unlock the full potential of African business,” he noted.

The DAC an affiliate of the prestigious John H. Dunning Centre for International Business in the United Kingdom (UK), will facilitate collaboration between top African scholars, business leaders and other experts including Henley’s 84,000-strong global alumni network to drive enquiry into the impact of globalisation on international business from an African perspective. It will also seek to reposition African business as a significant global player.

The new webinar series being launched by the DAC at Henley Business School, South Africa (SA) in May, will tap the continent into an international research agenda and aims to unlock more global opportunities for African business.

The research series will kick off with an open webinar on May 5, 2022 which will tackle the question of how Africa became marginalised and how to start to fix this.

Prominent guests, including Dean Foster-Pedley and Narula; Ebun Jackson-Adekola, the chief executive officer of Anglophone West Africa for Marsh; Muhammad Sani Abdullahi, chief of staff to the governor of Kaduna State, Nigeria; and Frank Aswani, the chief executive officer of Africa Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), will share their insights and instigate debate on how African businesses can approach international markets as well as how to invest abroad and attract significant inward investment.

Following the first webinar, monthly events will be held virtually to keep the conversation moving forward and encourage collaboration.

Since its inception in 1992, the Henley Business School SA’s research agenda has grown in international stature, and in 2020 it became the first African business school to join the Latin American Council of Management Schools (CLADEA).

It is currently leading a research project for CLADEA on the impact of situational leadership in times of crisis from an emerging market perspective.

Henley South Africa has a clear vision: to build the people, who build the businesses that build Africa. More than just a business school – Henley offers the opportunity to live, breathe, practice, and create a business.

Course participants do not just learn a list of facts and a handful of theories. They develop and apply their learning to real-life situations, examining issues around ethics and sustainability and building a holistic understanding of the global impact of businesses on society.

With more than 84,000 alumni in 160 countries, the institution is truly a global business community.