In its mission to build leaders for the African century, African Leadership University School of Business (ALUSB) is launching a new, exciting degree especially for young professionals and recent graduates as they enter the job market. The programme, entitled Master of Management (MM), has been shaped by top employers to ensure graduates are able to build their business skills, add value to their employer organisations and propel their professional journeys forward.
We sat down with the Dean of ALUSB, Dr. Emmett P. Tracy, who is also the Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at African Leadership University (ALU). Dr. Tracy shared his excitement and vision for the new MM programme, highlighting that it would expand the ALUSB programme portfolio as well as serve a younger demographic with a top quality business education.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE ALUSB MASTER OF MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME AND WHO IS IT DESIGNED FOR?
The Master of Management programme is designed for early career professionals and recent graduates with up to three years of professional experience – those who are just getting started on their career journey. The programme is ideal for someone who wants to get a headstart in the job market and who sees value in developing the leadership skills, team skills and their entrepreneurial mindset that would allow them to succeed in their career.For employers, there’s an enormous attraction that these individuals will be able to make an impact from day one, through their agile thinking and ability to adapt to different professional environments.
DURING YOUR TIME AS THE DEAN OF ALU SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, YOU HAVE SEEN THE INSTITUTION GROW IN VARIOUS WAYS. WHAT WAS THE GOAL BEHIND ADDING THIS NEW PROGRAMME?
A while back we identified a demographic that we were not serving. The ALUSB MBA programme is geared towards later stage professionals. The average age of our MBA students is 36 years and the average work experience is 11 years. Year after year of application cycles, we were repeatedly presented with applications from highly qualified candidates who did not fall within the MBA’s minimum five year, post-graduate eligibility criteria. We thought deeply about how to best serve these applicants, about how to include them as part of our community and offer them a top business education.
While we are still very committed to our MBA programme demographic, in surveying employers and understanding their needs, particularly in regards to entry-level and junior management talent, we realised that the MM degree could provide a lot of value to the market, while broadening our programme portfolio.
HOW DOES THE NEW MM PROGRAMME COMPARE TO THE MBA?
Our MBA programme is unique from other top MBA programmes by combining three important elements: (1) a Pan-African student community, (2) an Africa-focused curriculum, and (3) a part-time, blended format (combining in-person and online learning). The format is an important aspect for our MBA students because it recognises that our MBAs are experienced professionals at an advanced stage in their careers, who are juggling a variety of responsibilities like work and family.
In comparison, the Master of Management programme is targeted at younger, early career professionals, who will start the programme much younger and move faster through the academic experience. The programme begins with a very intense immersion in business foundations and can be completed in less than one year. This helps our MM students accelerate their career while introducing them to core aspects of an ALUSB, Africa-focused education.
HOW WILL THE MM PROGRAMME PROPEL ALUSB TO ACHIEVE ITS MISSION TO SERVE AS A CATALYST TO BUILDING LEADERS FOR THE AFRICAN CENTURY?
Developing business leaders is about developing leaders at all stages of the workforce. The MBA programme is designed for managers and senior leaders in organisations, while the MM programme is designed for a younger demographic.
What we are excited about is creating an ecosystem where an MBA student can hire an MM graduate. As a pan-African institution, we expect that our graduates will go out and work in companies that span the continent. Part of the MM learning experience includes gaining exposure to a wide range of sectors and economies across the globe, through faculty and classmates. This exposure will allow our graduates to better access opportunities from Cairo to Capetown, Dakar to Dar es Salaam.
“Developing business leaders is about developing leaders at all stages of the workforce.”
WHAT ELEMENTS FROM THE MM EXPERIENCE EVENTUALLY MAKE A GRADUATE STAND OUT FROM A DEGREE HOLDER IN A PROFESSIONAL SETTING?
The undergraduate experience is a very holistic process, it helps you to start thinking about your future career and developing foundational skills needed to succeed professionally. On the other hand, the Master of Management is a very focused programme for those who are interested in pursuing certain types of careers – for example, marketing, finance or consulting.
The MM programme gives you extra time to hone the specialised skills required for success in your career, as well as a professional ecosystem that offers networking and mentorship for you to thrive as a young professional. An MM graduate leaves knowing what they want to focus on and how exactly they will make an impact in an organisation.
WHAT DIFFERENTIATES THE ALUSB MASTER OF MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME FROM OTHER MASTER OF MANAGEMENT PROGRAMMES GLOBALLY?
The Master of Management programme is quite popular, especially in Europe and the United States as well as within Africa. Compared to other programmes, the ALUSB MM programme has a distinct focus on Africa, which is also a core pillar of our MBA programme. The pan-African approach is integrated into the curriculum, equipping you with the knowledge to understand the African business landscape. The MM curriculum also takes into consideration employer priorities for entry-level and junior managers in organisations across the continent.
Beyond that, we have a passion to deliver impactful leadership education. Everything that we do within the African Leadership Group has a strong focus on developing leaders, through developing self and leading others.
The focus on Africa is core to what we deliver because we see it as an incredible opportunity to help rising leaders solve the challenges that are within Africa. We see it embodied in the kind of students that graduate from ALU, from the tremendous impact that they make in the communities and organisations they get involved in.
WHEN CAN INTERESTED CANDIDATES EXPECT APPLICATIONS TO OPEN FOR THE ALSUB MASTER OF MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME?
The application for admission to the Master of Management Class of 2021 is officially open! You can start your application today at: https://bit.ly/MMAPPLY21. We look forward to welcoming our very first Master of Management students into the ALUSB ecosystem in January 2021.
To find out more about the ALUSB Master of Management admission requirements, programme structure, tuition fees and financing, please click the following link: https://www.alusb.com/mm/
Driven by a passion for helping people and knack for debating,Taona Wayne Nyamakura‘21 pursued a budding career in law in Zimbabwe. He currently works at The Chambers – Advocates of Zimbabwe as an Advocate of the High Court and Supreme Court of Zimbabwe. We caught up with Taona, nearly halfway through his ALUSB MBA programme, to find out more about his decision to pursue an MBA degree as a law professional and how the programme impacted his career up to this point.
Following the growing number of Covid-19 cases on the continent and in other countries of origin for ALUSB faculty and students, the resulting travel embargoes, as well as the World Health Organisation upgrading the global risk to high alert, ALUSB has taken the decision to postpone the March graduation.
ALUSB views this decision as a difficult, but necessary, step to ensure the health and well-being of a community of professional leaders, corporate executives and academic experts who are responsible for businesses across Africa and the world.
The graduation ceremony will be postponed to Saturday, 7 November. The momentous occasion will take place at 10:00 am at the Kigali Convention Centre, Rwanda.
We’re looking forward to celebrating this milestone for the class of 2020 ‘Umoja’ later in the year! Stay tuned for more updates.
ALU School of Business is proud to present our newest MBA Chairman’s Scholars: Emily Kinuthia of Kenya and Lukonga Lindunda of Zambia. These two remarkable African professionals will be joining the ALUSB MBA Programme in March 2020.
Read on to learn more about the impact that these pan-African leaders are making through their organisations, as well as to their communities, regions and to Africa.
Emily Kinuthia is the General Manager, Marketing Communication and Citizenship at NCBA bank in Kenya, where she oversees marketing strategy development and implementation across East Africa.
She has over 14 years of marketing, brand building and communication experience having worked in the advertising industry, managing multinational brands across Africa, as well as driving marketing for leading brands in the financial and technology sectors.
Emily gained strategic leadership knowledge having led the advertising and brand building engagements for Nestle equatorial Africa Region – consisting of 5 business units, across 16 African countries, and delivered consistent growth for these brands in market share and revenue for 4 years.
During her time in advertising, she also worked with the leading telecommunications brand in Kenya, Safaricom, as a business unit head, and while there was able to understand the dynamics that drive both brand equity and revenue growth for the Telecommunication and ICT sectors.
Armed with this knowledge and experience, Emily took on the opportunity to head the marketing and communications department at the former AccessKenya, now Internet Solutions Ltd. While there, she built a framework that grew the brand from low awareness to high equity and increased revenue, through consistent and transformational brand engagements that targeted B2B enterprises.
As an Entrepreneur, Emily is the co-founder and Director of Hair Expo, an engaging platform within the hair and beauty community, that she created and successfully launched into the market in 2014, a first of its kind in the Kenyan market.
In her efforts to make a positive impact on society, Emily supports and drives philanthropy efforts such as Twakutukuza Trust, a not-for-profit Cancer Trust that raises funds to support cancer patients with financial, medical and social needs. She also founded a feeding programme dubbed Embrace A Child in rural Machakos. Embrace A Child was born out of the desire to bring a positive change in the rural areas of Kenya, where poverty was high due to a lack of education and a lack of access to basic needs.
Lukonga Lindunda is a startup ecosystem builder, Executive Director and co-founder of BongoHive, an award-winning innovation and technology hub based in Lusaka, Zambia that is changing the landscape of innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.
Lukonga is a Mandela Washington Fellow and has 11 years of experience working with entrepreneurs and development partners. He began his career providing technical assistance in educational projects and programmes by building sustainable and affordable ICT infrastructure and support systems with Education Development Center Inc. and VVOB vzw. In 2011, he founded BongoHive with three colleagues after noting a gap in the support young entrepreneurs needed to bring their innovative business ideas to life outside the usual corridors of innovation in Southern, Western, and Eastern Africa.
Since then, Lukonga has steered BongoHive to nearly 500 Startups and MSMEsharnessing over $1 million in resources to support their growth with over $750,000 startup capital raised since 2016. He also co-led the building, management, and roll-out of Africa’s first digital mapping of technology and innovation hubs in 2012. He has personally spearheaded public and private partnerships to leverage the ecosystem work BongoHive does by building partnerships with firms such as the Zambia ICT Authority, World Bank, UNICEF, EY, Musa Dudhia and Co, Facebook and Google amongst many others.
Lukonga’s vision goes beyond the private sector and Zambia, having realized the interconnected path of the region’s development and the complexity of creating a viable support network for entrepreneurial development. Not only has he actively participated in the policy-making space in Zambia by making comments on Zambia’s ICT and Broadband policy, but Lukonga has also overseen BongoHive’s participation in the Africa Innovation and Technology Forum (AIPTF) an initiative led by African hubs to incorporate innovation into the continents’ development agenda. Closer to home, Lukonga has also sought to create a practical vehicle for collaboration and regional integration with partner hubs in Malawi and Zimbabwe by establishing the Southern Africa Venture Partnership which seeks to build up technology and innovation sectors in the region.
George Ampratwum ‘20 is the Career Development Manager at the African Leadership University (Rwanda) and the African Leadership College (Mauritius). He’s also part of the class of 2020, known as Umoja, that will be graduating soon! We were privileged to have a chat with George about his past 20 months as an ALUSB MBA student and his forthcoming graduation in March and his plans for the future.
George joined ALU with the purpose of building students’ professional development. Today, he is the manager of a strong team and department that is focused on helping ALU students find their footing in the professional world. In his role, he is tasked with students’ professional development, employer management with the different partners and managing the placement of students on both campuses.
His reasons for pursuing an MBA, despite already having a full plate, were twofold: “I was in the search for an MBA that would address my varied interests such as psychology, sociology, information systems, and human resources; all of which are intersected.” At the same time, George was looking for an MBA programme that would allow him to further build on his leadership and management skills to scale up the career development programme at ALU. All roads led to ALUSB.
Fast forward to today. George is at the end of his MBA journey and he looks back fondly at his time at ALUSB. The highlight of his experience? The ALUSB community! He reinforces that the people he has interacted with throughout the programme, including alumni and other cohorts, have played a considerable role in his professional and personal growth. George also notes that he enjoyed the process of learning and unlearning certain things that he thought he knew. “Breaking down my own leadership concepts and building new ones based on Leadership Lab has been a big highlight of my experience.”
“The programme has had a tremendous impact on my leadership trajectory.”
George believes that applying the skills learned through the programme have had a tremendous impact on his leadership trajectory; “I became the team’s manager while pursuing my MBA, and I have also been able to take up more leadership roles such as being part of ALU Rwanda’s leadership team,…” He credits this growth to the ALUSB curriculum with special mentions to Leadership Lab and the entrepreneurial-focused courses that allowed him to go beyond his current reality and anticipate future needs of his projects and his team.
Even though the past 20 months did not go by without any roadblocks, finding some type of balance between the MBA, his personal life, and his professional life has been a positive challenge for George. He is motivated by the intrinsic need to learn and gain new knowledge and skills. This enabled him to see challenging experiences as “functional challenges” that helped to push him out of his comfort zone. Moreover, George states the influence of the people around him, such as his spouse and classmates, were key players in overcoming any roadblocks throughout his ALUSB MBA journey.
“I feel like I’ve found a new family through the ALUSB MBA.”
George has built strong friendships with people he can trust to have his back when needed. While he acknowledges the fact that he had friends before, he points out that his friends from the programme have been a phenomenal addition to his life. “I feel like I’ve found a new family through the ALUSB MBA.” George is nostalgic about the experiences and adventures he has had with his classmates: a road trip to Uganda, a visit to Kenya, and an intensive in Mauritius, and definitely more to come.
“I could not do it alone; if I did not have my MBA classmates to support me and encourage me.”
Beyond having a good time together, his classmates taught him to be resilient and to have courage. “Seeing my classmates navigate through their own journeys, has really taught me the value of being resilient and pushing one’s self harder.” He believes that having each other to lean on, is one of the main reasons that they have gotten to the final stages of their MBA.
George also appreciates having a diverse pool of classmates. He is grateful for the opportunity to learn about different countries through a narrative that reflects the reality in those countries. “The biggest asset of the ALUSB MBA is the network. I feel like there’s someone I know in every African country that I visit.”
“I feel like there’s someone I know in every African country that I visit.”
“The future is limitless.”
“The future is limitless. I have unlocked potential I didn’t think I had. I discovered my ability to manage people and I’m now aware of my potential to be more than a domain master.”
George is optimistic about the new and exciting opportunities that may present themselves in the future. Moreover, he’s still passionate about building the capacity of the next generation of the African workforce through career development at ALU!
Looks like George is ready to take the African business landscape by storm – look out for him in 2020!
This year ALUSB welcomed two, stellar MBA classes into the ALU family; the Class Of 2020 “Insinzi” started in March and the Class of 2021 “Ubuntu” in October.Click here for details about our latest MBA class, “Ubuntu”.