More MBAs Could Mean More Business in Africa |

More MBAs Could Mean More Business in Africa

By Visnja Milidragovic

Updated June 12, 2019 Updated June 12, 2019

The inaugural African MBA Indaba will bring together over 800 MBA alumni under one roof to discuss business in Africa and identify opportunities for impact. The event will be held on August  1st and 2nd at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The MBA conference - or indaba, the South African word for ‘discussion’ – will be held as one-part business school expo and one-part career fair. Aimed at accelerating the region’s growth, the conference agenda includes sessions on pertinent topics on business in Africa such as the agricultural revolution, disruptive financial services and innovation in social infrastructure.

Director of the indaba, Eric Wright, said the region needs more business school graduates to accelerate the continent’s forecasted growth. "Across the world, we see business school alumni creating innovative companies that employ thousands of people,” he said, “and in order for Africa to fully reach its potential, it will need to train and educate its youth in the fundamental principles of business.”

The event aims to offer participants with ideal opportunities for networking and prospecting commercial opportunities and career options. Aspiring MBAs will be able to meet MBA alumni in decision-making positions from multinational firms including Microsoft, Deloitte, and SABMiller, as well as large African companies like Ethos Private Equity and financial services group, Discovery Limited. High-growth entrepreneurial businesses, angel investors, and venture capitalists seeking new hires and investments, partnerships and contacts will also be in attendance. 

Top schools prepare for Africa’s biggest MBA conference for alumni

In addition, the MBA conference will host a total of 21 business schools from around the world, many of which will be participating with the aim of recruiting students. Among them will be the Graduate School of Business at University of Cape Town, a top-ranked school in the region, as well as Johannesburg-based Wits Business School. Other business schools that are also said to be attending include Harvard, Yale, Wharton, IE Business School, Fuqua School of Business, Oxford Saïd and Henley School of Business

Africa and the Middle East enjoyed an 8% growth last year, in terms of the region’s number of jobs available to MBAs. However, growth had been expected to decelerate to 3% across 2015/16. Entrepreneurial business in Africa, then, could just be the ticket to spur more development in the region and offset  the anticipated decline – and activities like MBA conferences may help to lay some of the initial groundwork for developing the required talent in Africa to make this possible. Currently, hiring in the region is driven by consulting and industry and non-professional services.

This article was originally published in July 2016 . It was last updated in June 2019

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Written by

Visnja is a content specialist with a background in marketing and communications. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of British Columbia and a master's in publishing from Simon Fraser University. Her interests include media & technology, personal growth, health & wellness, and innovation, topics that stay top of mind in her writing.


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