Institutional, Talent, and Faculty Development in Africa

May 2015

Dean Okonedo discusses the early stages of development within management education and the management mindset in Africa, as well as the region’s student population trends. She also delves into some of the challenges related to faculty and talent development, along with examples employed at Lagos Business School to address such challenges.

  • Management education remains relatively new in the African context; however, only within the last 30 years has there been an increased number of business schools. There has been greater interest for business, as the need for the development of skilled managers is becoming more apparent across the region.
  • Depending on one’s definition of a “business school,” Dean Okonedo counts roughly 100 business schools present in Africa, which remains insufficient to the population and needs of the region.
  • In Nigeria, top disciplines for applying students are, in ranked order, (1) medicine, (2) law, (3) business, and (4) engineering.
  • There is a greater interest in business at the post-graduate level rather than at the undergraduate level.
  • Across Africa, there remain cultural nuances as well as limited understanding as to what a business manager is and does, especially in comparison to other professions.
  • Top priorities for elevating management education in Africa are to establish more business schools, help existing schools advance their quality through their curriculum and relevance to market needs, and look at less traditional models in order to reach underserved students.
  • Several years ago, LBS launched an initiative to address the shortfall of PhD faculty in Nigeria.
  • A career as a business faculty member generally lacks appeal among individuals in Nigeria and across Africa. As a result, the Young Talent Program was established in which 40 bright individuals are brought into the school and informed about the life and opportunities of a business professor at LBS.
  • Faculty development, particularly teaching preparation, comprises an important area within the LBS faculty development.

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