Words cannot express how proud I am of you, that you have made it successfully to the end of this grueling program of business leadership transformation and earned the right to be called the FOUNDING GRADUATES of ALUSB. You caught the vision, married it with your passion, you were selected among thousands, you have persevered, you have grown as leaders, you are equipped, and you shall continue to soar. Every one of you has been transformed from the competent managers that you were two years ago into competent Pan-African business leaders. I am honored to have played a part in your future success, of which I am confident.
To those whom much is given, much is expected. The journey that you started with ALUSB is not coming to an end; it is changing in its nature. You are now no longer students who are being transformed by our program; you are now graduates whose accomplishments and leadership will shape the brand and design of the program. Most importantly, your leadership will shape Africa. As you celebrate this milestone, I urge you to remember why you chose this program, and why this program chose you. We chose each other because we are passionate about changing Africa. Africa needs you desperately to make Africa great. Make Africa great by creating thousands of new jobs. Make Africa great by inspiring others to become better leaders. Make Africa great by consistently demonstrating V3 leadership.
I am so proud of you.
Make me prouder.
We had the honour of interviewing Former CEO of MTN Nigeria, Business Advisor and CEO of Africa Context Consulting, Micheal Ikpoki, in between his classes in March.
This video summarises Michael’s superb insights on some of the important nuances of doing business in Africa, gives excellent advice for rising leaders on the cusp of entering the “C-suite” and provides some context on why he chose to teach at ALU School of Business.
What is the key to doing business in Africa, that most people overlook?
“Actions from the regulator and government are the biggest risk to any business, bigger than the risk of market actions…we are all trained to deal with the competition but as leaders we are not well-equipped to deal with others issues in the external environment, namely government and regulatory issues”.
What brought you to teach at the ALU School of Business?
“It’s very clear that if you look across Africa there’s a lot of positive movements taking place and governments are becoming more accountable. citizens are now beginning to ask for change and in the midst of that there’s going to be a lot more expectations on companies and business leaders need to live up to that. That is where the gap is and what you are doing here at African Leadership University…trying to create Africa-centric leaders is critical and a big gap that we need to fill”.
What advice do you have for someone joining the C-Suite or making a partner for the first time?
I would capture it in one word, “PRESENCE”. Now your decisions have a lot more impact….you affect the lives of more people, because people now look up to you, you become a role model, it becomes your responsibility to cultivate more role models across the organisation”.
Watch Micheal Ikpoki’s fantastic full interview below!
ALU’s School of Wildlife Conservation (SoWC) is developing leaders with a mission to conserve Africa’s heritage.
A sanctuary for wildlife in East Africa, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy was established in 2004 with a new vision for conservation: to make conservation pay for itself without having to rely on government subsidies or donor funding. Their solution: to integrate the cattle business within a wildlife sanctuary.
The results: a system of land use that produces 60% more employment than the two enterprises would separately, taxable revenues for the Kenyan exchequer and a sustainable wildlife conservation model that that pays for itself. As wildlife has flourished, oversees visitors have grown from 12,000 to 85,000 visitors per year and Ol Pejeta is turning over more than $12M in revenue. Over $1M is reinvested back into the local community.
In order to share and develop expertise from pioneering new business models in conservation, Ol Pejeta engages with like-minded organisations, notably in the education sector. The ALU School of Wildlife Conservation (SoWC) is one such organisation, developing future and current leaders who make it their life’s mission to conserve Africa’s natural heritage. Students across ALU’s undergraduate and MBA programmes benefit from the ideas, expertise and network that SoWC brings to the table.
Regarding current leaders, ALU School of Business welcome it’s first class of conservation leaders in 2017 to join its MBA programme. Students hail from leading conservation organisations including; Serena Hotels, African Wildlife Foundation for Nature, Singita, Tanzania Parks Authority and New Forests Company.
About 300 future leaders across the continent started their undergraduate programme at African Leadership University Rwanda, and 100% of whom will be exposed to the basics of wildlife conservation as part of their first year curriculum; 25 full scholarships have been awarded to those who chose conservation as their life’s mission.
Watch the stunning video below to learn more about the inspiring work of The Ol Pejeta Conservancy and ALU’s School of Wildlife Conservation!
“The future of Africa is bright, but only we the leaders of today and tomorrow can make it bright. It is filled with many challenges, but these challenges can be flipped into opportunities depending on the lens we choose to look at them.”
Inutu Zaloumis ‘19
#MeetTheStudents is a series where we profile our students from all over Africa who are #DoingHardThings to drive the continent forward. This #MeetTheStudents interview features Inutu Zaloumis ‘19 who shares highlights from her professional journey since beginning the ALUSB MBA, and the impact the programme has made to date.
1- What has surprised you about the ALUSB MBA to date?
I have never done a Masters, so I didn’t have anything to compare it with. However, after examining it with friends who are in “long distance” learning programmes for their MBAs, I realized that their content was not based on African cases. I was surprised by the format of the HLTs (Home Learning Teams) and PAGs( Pan African Groups) because this has given me insight into different countries and how similar and at the same time different the countries are. The leadership lab was surprising as I initially thought there would purely be assignments on what we have read but the portion of self-reflections and being able to read my cohort self-reflections was different and very insightful. Another aspect was how practical it is and how I can immediately apply the learnings.
2- Tell us about the professional transition that you’ve just made. How did this opportunity come about?
I was headhunted for the position, and initially, I did not consider it. But after attending the second intensive, I realized that I should be brave enough to explore the opportunity. The MBA has taught me the importance of a Pan African experience and how important it is for personal and professional growth. The new role I have is stretching my thinking and has opened me to new cultures and backgrounds. I am thankful for the learnings with the MBA as I can put into practice what I learn immediately and in a much broader context.
3- Did the ALUSB MBA play a role in this transition? If so, how?
Yes, it did play a significant role in my transition. Firstly, it was something that Fred said: Do hard things. It also made me look at my professional growth, where I was and where I want to be in the next few years. The other thing was a statement that Achieng Butler said: “Do what makes your heart sing.” And it was during those sessions that I knew that the unsettling feeling I had was actually that I felt that I had outgrown my current role and needed to be challenged further. I know I would not have had the courage to take up this role if I had not been exposed to ALUSB MBA programme.
4- What does the future of Africa look like through your eyes? What role will you play in it?
The future of Africa is bright, but only we the leaders of today and tomorrow can make it bright. It is filled with many challenges, but these challenges can be flipped into opportunities depending on the lens we choose to look at them. This change can only be done by developing leaders at different levels, and we are the ones that can do that, one person, at a time, demonstrating leadership wherever we are placed, and pouring into those that are looking for a new found hope in their leadership.
My role is to become the leader that I wish to be led by. I look to play a role firstly in my sphere of influence, as they say, charity begins at home. I am here in Kenya, and I have an opportunity to show Kenyans what Zambia can produce. I look forward to making an impact in the property sector here as I did back home, but this can only happen when I first learn about Kenya.
Our MBA students return to Kigali every 4 months. They come to be inspired and to learn from tremendous leaders from across the continent and from awesome ALUSB faculty. They network, participate in social activities and spend valuable face time together. We have compiled highlights from this week to give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into an ALUSB MBA intensive.
Saturday 3rd March
MBA students working in the conservation industry kicked off the MBA intensive week with ALU School of the Conservation-led visit to Akagera National Park. Students discussed the Park’s strategy to combine business and conservation with the Park’s leadership team.
Talking integration of business with Philbert from the Akagera team: “We are focusing on new business models, such as charging concession fees from eco-friendly businesses allowed to operate within the park”.
Sunday 4th March
Thank you Dr. Deqo Mohamed for inspiring us by sharing transformative work you have done with communities in Somalia. Your leadership and vision are a challenge to our generation to do more for our continent” – Yves Iradukunda ‘19.
In the run-up to International Women’s Day 2018, ALUSB’s first Women in Management session took place, guest starring two phenomenal role models, Dr. Deqo Mohamed & Ms. Ayesha Bedwei.
Monday 5th March
Class of 2019: Vice Dean & Prof. Catherine Duggan kicks off her blistering Political Economy course with the quote, “I think of your job as a leader as absorbing complexity and transmitting clarity” ~ Yaw Boateng. The Class of 2019 then explored 30 years Chinese economic development, preparing to project next 20 years: of African development.
CLO Ryan Findley leads the Class of 2019 through the Renaissance Dam Simulation, a pan-African Leadership lab exercise, combining V3 challenges with negotiation skills.
Tuesday 6th March
Guest faculty Gbenga Oyebode, a successful lawyer, business adviser and board member for several companies, including MTN Nigeria, led a Doing Business in Africa session with Classes of 2018 and 2019. He then joined a subset of students for lunch and discussion.
“You need to have a strategy to manage the success of your company”. Guest faculty Micheal Ikpoki, the former CEO of MTN Nigeria, currently business adviser and CEO of Africa Context Consulting, an Africa-focused business advisory company, explores the importance of stakeholders management in Africa with our Classes of 2018 and 2019.
Wednesday 7th March
ALUSB CAO, Dr. Emmett Tracy, led an all-day Business Strategy session with the Class of 2018, building on their McKinsey Academy courses.
Thursday 8th March
International Women’s Day #IWD2018, Celebrating intelligent, passionate, beautiful women who are changing Africa.
After spending a day in the field with local organisations, our Class of 2019 presented their BUILD-structured findings and recommendations.
Friday, 9th March
Guest faculty Nicola Galombik, Executive Director of Yellowwoods, leads her “Where Value meets Virtue” session, focused on the importance and pursuit of shared value in African economies.
“ Africa is going through a transition in which the people are learning that they can hold their leaders accountable for their actions and their results. I believe that as this happens, Africa will see rapid development with millions lifted out of poverty.”
#MeetTheStudents is a series where we profile our students from all over Africa who are #DoingHardThings to drive the continent forward. This #MeetTheStudent interview features Matthew Grollnek ‘18 who shares highlights from his professional journey since beginning the ALUSB MBA, and the impact the programme has made to date.
1. What has surprised you about the ALUSB MBA to date?
I’ve been surprised by how close I got to my fellow students even though we are located all over the continent. Since we really explore the depths of our worldviews and inner values, we end up talking about issues deeply important to us as individuals. This creates strong bonds among us.
2. Tell us about your the professional transition and how ALUSB MBA played a role in this transition?
I have lived in Zambia for the last decade. I was highly invested in the community and had strong networks there. Being there for so long, however, my perspective became insular and I was not challenging myself to think on a pan-African scale. After two intensives (week-long, in-person MBA sessions) at ALU School of Business, and analyzing the Lions on the Move report with Acha Leke in which we compared economic activity throughout the continent, I realized that there were opportunities to create impact across Africa. At that point, I started searching for roles that would allow me to gain a continental perspective and learn about regions I knew much less about. I am now working as a management consultant and working on capital raises for companies across the continent.
3. What does the future of Africa look like through your eyes? What role will you play in it?
Africa is going through a transition in which the people are learning that they can hold their leaders accountable for their actions and their results. I believe that as this happens, Africa will see rapid development with millions lifted out of poverty. The role I will play will be to put others in the position to be leaders and affect massive change. I plan to achieve this by enabling them to build large, impactful companies, get the education that they need, and putting in place structures that will enable efficient delivery of services. The biggest challenge Africa will face, however, will be battling inequality. This is an issue that we all must tackle throughout Africa’s rapid ascension.