Guest Faculty Willy Yav, broadcaster and pan-African entrepreneur from the DRC, joined us for an interview while on campus in Kigali this past July. Hear Willy’s advice for building pan-African ventures and his thoughts about the future of Africa. Be inspired!
Here are some highlights from Willy’s interview. Scroll down to watch his full video interview, below:
“But yes, we are advancing. We are not going back. Africa is not going backwards.”
What led you to teach at the ALU School of Business?
“ALU believes that I have some experience to share. It is very important to talk about what I know, what I believe are the problems and what I suggest could be the beginning of solutions.”
What is your advice for making an impact at a pan-African level?
“We have to learn to start small after doing proper preparation…
At Pygma, the company that I co-founded, we are borderless…we are not limited by the borders that were set in place by a few people sitting around a table, carving up the continent up like a piece of cake.
You need to build your business with the ambition to grow, to have an impact at an African level. I would say if you do something that works in Awolowo Road in Lagos, Nigeria, its going to work in Rue du Commerce in Kinshasa. Its the same people, the same problems. If we add to it the intellect…as long as you know how to interpret it and re-adapt it to our reality, and find an African solution, I guarantee we are going to be well – actually better than a lot of continents.”
What does the future of Africa look like through your eyes?
“Better than African today by far, and at one stage we are going to reach a critical mass of a lot of people thinking the way we now think, and we will have a continent that will be amazing.
People think that working success is in two or three weeks. No, its not true. Even considering the whole situation in the DRC, because I live there but partially, I can see where we have improved. We have actually improved a lot on certain aspects. Then, I can be there and say this is not fast enough for us to catch up, we should do it better.
But yes, we are advancing. We are not going back. Africa is not going backwards.”
Watch Willy’s full video interview here:
Luthando Vuba of the MBA Class of 2019 is a pan-Africanist and urban planner by trade, working at the nexus of policy and strategy. Discover why Luthando opted for the ALUSB MBA and how he has developed as a leader since he joined ALU School of Business.
“The one thing I had to face is what I thought I was as a leader, versus actually what I am and what others think around me, which we get from V^3 360 survey, where other people are telling you this is what we see about you”.
Here are some highlights from Luthando’s interview. Scroll down to watch his full interview.
What attracted you to the ALUSB MBA programme?
“I am very pan-African, very passionate not just about the continent, but about the potential that we have. When I was considering my postgrad, and I where I want to do my MBA, the big question that I was pondering was how do I invest in something that will carry some of my visions that I have for myself and goals that I am trying to achieve.
…I had engaged with and visited the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, and I had a very good sense of the quality that comes out of what the Group produces”.
Describe your leadership journey to date. How have you developed as a leader?
“The framework of ALU School of Business, the V^3 leadership model has become THE framework for me. Its a framework that I can get behind because it has challenged me, it has grown me…and I think for me, the key one has been becoming so self-aware…
…the one thing I had to face is what I thought I was as a leader, versus actually what I am and what others think around me, which we get from V^3 360 survey, where other people are telling you this is what we see about you”.
Watch Luthando’s full video interview here:
ALUSB’s MBA Class of 2018 arrived in Kigali for the last stage of their MBA journey: programme wrap-up and graduation. What did they experience that final week? Here are some highlights of the week:
SUNDAY 1 JULY
The week opened with an evening reception at 1000 Hills Distillery, which offers one of the most beautiful views over Kigali. Students and staff greeted each other, and caught up in person. They were officially welcomed back by Dr. Modupe Taylor-Pearce.
MONDAY 2 JULY
The Class of 2018 kicked off their first full day of the week with opening remarks from the Chief Learning Officer (CLO), Ryan Findley. They then started to present their capstone projects to Vice Dean Catherine Duggan, Dr. Modupe Taylor-Pearce and fellow classmates. Their capstone projects were the culmination of two terms of work.
TUESDAY 3 JULY
Students wrapped up their capstone presentations, receiving feedback from fellow MBA classmates and ALUSB Deans. Powerful ideas were shared, brilliant questions were asked and value was added from experienced peers in the room.
WEDNESDAY 4 JULY
The Class of 2018 student committee organised a day trip to Rwanda’s beautiful Lake Muhazi, where they spent some quality time away together. The students participated in many activities, including eating competitions, sack racing, a dancing competition, football and a tug-of-war!
THURSDAY 5 JULY
Students took some vital time to reflect on their futures, post graduation. What was next for our Leaders for the African Century?
FRIDAY 6 JULY
Students were joined by their families, who attended a special programme with some of ALUSB’s finest faculty, including a taste of a Political Economy in the Context of African Business (PECAB) case study led by Professor Catherine Duggan, and a Leadership Lab simulation led by CLO Ryan Findley. In the afternoon they attended a tour of Kigali, visiting key landmarks like the Kigali Cultural Village and the Special Economic Zone, future home of the Kigali Innovation City.
Meanwhile our MBAs attended a closing session with ALU Founder Fred Swaniker, who reminded them, “We have less than 6000 days before Africa has the largest workforce in the world. It will be morally irresponsible not to contribute towards solving this challenge”.
SATURDAY 7 JULY
We were honoured by the presence of His Excellency, President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, who led the Class of 2018’s final leadership case.
The students then proceeded to their graduation ceremony, for which Dr. Strive Masiyiwa, CEO and Founder of Econet, delivered a wisdom-packed keynote address. Thirty eight students graduated with a Masters in Business Administration that day.
ALU School of Business (ALUSB) was honoured to welcome their third MBA cohort to Kigali, Rwanda on Saturday 7th July, 2018.
The MBA Class of 2020 is made up of 46 students, of which 33% are women. Residing across Africa, Europe, the United States of America and the Middle-East, this class represents 17 countries of residence (Benin, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dubai, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe). With a proud, pan-African DNA, the class represents 15 nationalities, 14 of which hail from the continent.
The class unites expertise from multiple industries: conservation, consulting, financial services and banking, agriculture, energy, consumer goods, education and healthcare are the most represented industries. With on average 11 years of professional work experience, this experienced cohort includes managers, directors, controllers, partners, C-suite officers, founders and entrepreneurs.
In line with the mission of ALU School of Business, this MBA cohort represents many employers with a pan-African vision, including AfricaRE, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Ecobank, Coca-Cola, EthioChicken, GE, the IUCN, DMM.Africa, Genser Energy, Unilever, WWF and LinkedIn to name a few.
Hours before starting their programme, many ALUSB MBA Class of 2020 students were able join the ALU community in celebrating the University’s first ever graduation, to honour the founding MBA Class of 2018. The ceremony was attended by His Excellency President Paul Kagame, along with keynote speaker, Strive Masiyiwa and ALU Founder and CEO, Fred Swaniker.
As they oriented to a new work-life-ALUSB normal, the Class of 2020 began an intensive week of team building, Business Fundamentals, Doing Business in Africa (DBIA) – and of course, ALUSB’s signature V^3 Leadership Lab. Over the course of the week ALUSB welcomed the following DBIA guest faculty to Kigali: South African Advocate and Professor of Law, Thuli Madonsela, Co-Founder and COO of DRC’s PYGMA Communications, Willy Yav, and Safaricom’s Director of Regional Sales & Operations, Steve Okeyo of Kenya.
Zanudeen Makorie ‘19 is a lawyer, General Counsel and Company Secretary at RioZim, the largest mining company in Zimbabwe. In this interview Zanudeen talks about his personal leadership journey since joining ALUSB, shares his thoughts on what leadership development applied looks like in his professional life, and highlights some leadership lessons from African leaders that other students in the programme can emulate.
“Leadership is not something that you are born with but it’s something that develops. All of us have the potential, it’s just a question of applying what we have.”
Here are some highlights from Zanudeen’s interview:
How have you grown and developed as a leader since joining the programme?
“I was privileged enough to come from a background where I was always in leadership positions…In my head, I assumed that being a boss was being a leader but after joining ALU School of business, all of that has changed. I realised that there are many bosses out there but there are a few leaders.
Leadership is a journey that begins with you. First lead yourself, and to do that, you need to know who you are…I learned self-awareness and that makes it easier for me to lead others.
The most critical thing with leadership is just being able to lead others so that they can lead themselves later.”
What does leadership development applied look like for you in this programme?
“The best learning curve for me was when we did character profiles at the beginning of the programme. Naturally I am conservative, quite mild, and I assumed that was not leadership. Most leaders you see are extremely charismatic…I found my personality more on the mild side and I assumed that some of us were not necessarily leaders. But regardless of your character profile, all of us have that leadership within us. Leadership is not something that you are born with, but it’s something that develops. All of us have the potential, its just a question of applying what we have.”
What African Leaders have inspired you and taught you and your classmate’s leadership lessons to emulate?
“In Zimbabwe I am proud of Strive Masiyiwa, the Founder of Econet. I studied him in law school and I have watched his company grow since I was a child to where it is today. When you meet him, he is a very humble man and he speaks to everyone. I think Africa needs good ethical businessmen who are doing it well, not corrupt…simple people like us who made it, through simple hard work and perseverance. That’s my role model.”
New Leaders are stepping up in Zimbabwe and across Africa.What is need from those leaders from your perspective?
“The future of Zimbabwe is exciting regardless of who you support. The people who are rising are those who appreciate the struggle that the ordinary Zimbabwean is going through…I believe what needs to be done is getting someone who unifies the whole country…through diversity, we are better. We are one Zimbabwe, we are one nation and I believe whoever is going to take us forward cannot ignore the need to unite all of us as a people. That’s the only way we would go forward.”
Watch Zanudeen’s full video interview here: