Challenges and Opportunities Facing Africa and Emerging Regions

May 2015

Dean Okonedo outlines some of the challenges and opportunities present within management education in Africa and other emerging regions. Challenges involving funding, technology, and faculty remain a priority among many African business schools. The AACSB Accreditation process poses significant opportunity for business schools in the region, but also comes with its own set of challenges, primarily related to cost and contextual applicability. Entrepreneurial and business development present opportunities for business schools to play an increasingly important role in shaping the societies they reside in.

  • There are abundant opportunities across various business sectors within Africa and, as a result, for management education.
  • Attracting qualified faculty remains a challenge across Africa and is often a result to other challenges in the region related to infrastructure, technological constraints, limited funding, and perceptions of the region.
  • There is opportunity for skill development and support for entrepreneurial ventures in the region.
  • AACSB Accreditation presents an opportunity to improve quality, understand one’s mission across all of the business school’s activities, and elevate a school’s position to collaborate with other quality players.
  • The critical challenge with AACSB Accreditation is the cost. The majority of African schools are supported by the government and have limited financial leeway in pricing appropriately or modifying their financial model.
  • Another challenge is the applicability of AACSB’s standards and its mission to the African context.
  • Business schools in emerging markets need to focus more on establishing connections with industry and their curricular relevance to current business needs. Further, there needs to be greater focus on teaching values that will allow an individual or organization to thrive rather than simply teaching content that is specific to areas of management.

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