ALUSB’s Matt Pelton Speaks at IE Africa Day 2016

On behalf of the ALU School of Business, Matt Pelton participated in the 2016 IE Africa Day aimed to elevate the institution’s awareness of the unique aspects of doing business in Africa,  in a standing room only crowd at the Paper Pavilion in Madrid on Monday, 13th June.

ALUSB's Matt Pelton

After opening remarks from the IE Africa Club President Felicia Okoye and Neeta Somers, the Political Counselor & Second-in-Charge at the South African Embassy, a keynote speech on the trends, challenges and opportunities on the continent was delivered by Emmanuele Santi, the Lead Strategy Advisor at the African Development Bank (AfDB), who also introduced AfDB’s African Economic Outlook 2016 Report.

Subsequently, IE Business School’s VP for External Relations, Gonzalo Garland, led a panel discussion that more deeply analyzed key factors for successfully doing business in Africa and prospects for future business opportunities accounting for these factors and trends. The panel included:

  •         Raphael Ani, Head of Africa Business Practice at KPMG UK
  •         Grace Obado, Founder of Hidrolution Kenya and an ALN Member
  •         Emeraba Tony-Uzoebo, Founder of Envirogro in Nigeria
  •         Matt Pelton of the ALU School of Business and the African Leadership Group
  •         Emmanuele Santi, Lead Strategy Advisor of the African Development Bank

A hot topic of discussion was the demographic dividend and growing youth population and how the youth will be harnessed to move the continent forward.  A 2015 IE graduate, Matt Pelton shared how ALU and the African Leadership Group are empowering youth, promoting leadership development, and driving prosperity on the continent. Specifically, Matt addressed why it is important to give youth the skills and tools to become entrepreneurs and sound leaders that create wealth and manage ethical institutions.

He explained how the ALU undergraduate foundational skills curriculum and internship programme bridges the gap between academia and industry on the continent, a key to addressing the talent crisis in Africa. Pelton also introduced the ALU School of Business, and its aim to build the capacities of existing institutions across the continent with a blended Master of Business Administration degree that focuses specifically on doing business in Africa and building the leadership skills of existing managers. Finally, Pelton offered the insight that developing a pan-African network built on personal relationships and trust are essential for doing business across the continent.

Matt Pelton at IE Africa Day 2016

Other topics of discussion included structural barriers to starting and operating businesses, the need for more intra-African trade, and how Africa is leapfrogging with technology in many sectors. The event concluded with a networking cocktail, and there was significant interest and support for ALU School of Business and the ALU undergraduate programme.

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