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Global Business School Network, Strathmore and Stellenbosch Business School Convene Roundtable on Wildlife Conservation Leadership and Management


NAIROBI, KENYA Ð On Wednesday morning stakeholders from academia, conservancies, foundations, business and government convened for an exclusive roundtable to address the management and leadership skills gaps in the wildlife conservation sector. The Global Business School Network (GBSN), Strathmore Business School and University of Stellenbosch Business School hosted the event at Hemingway’s in Nairobi with representatives from Kenya and South Africa present.

The hosting partners proposed a pilot educational program to strengthen the leadership and enterprise management skills of African wildlife conservation professionals through a world-class international, practical, skills-based program. The program will be developed for mid-level managers of conservancies and for policy makers aimed at creating awareness on the role of policy in protecting conservancies in Kenya and Africa. The pilot project is set to kick off at the end of 2017.

“Government wildlife services, conservation organizations and game reserves all over Africa are striving to protect the environment, safeguard endangered wildlife, and to do so in a way which benefits local communities and is economically sustainable,” said Guy Pfeffermann, GBSN Founder and CEO.

“GBSN was started fifteen years ago on the proposition that good, locally- relevant leadership and management skills can advance development. Since then Africa’s capacity to teach these skills has improved greatly, and so this roundtable is part of a second phase, in which business schools apply their capacities to pressing development needs. Together we will find practical ways to enhance the quality of local leadership and management in wildlife conservancies, first in Kenya and South Africa, and then in other parts of the world.”

The stakeholders discussed the priorities and challenges of the sector and offered their support for the partners to develop and launch the pilot. A primary area of focus was around the need for business, public sector, conservancies and NGOs to better communicate and collaborate towards their mutual benefit. Participants stressed the challenges of the skills gap in management and leadership skills in the aspiring professionals working in the field. They also noted a need for stronger connection between business and community needs, emphasizing wildlife conservation’s benefit to society.

Dr. Manu Chandaria, former GBSN advisor and former IFAR board member said “there is population growth, especially in the areas where conservation efforts are greatly needed.” He encouraged the participants to work with companies to help them understand that conservation provides them with more than “social responsibility” and to play a role in making a change. “We must commit to action,” he said.

Participants in the roundtable included:

  • Mohanjeet Brar, GameWatchers Conservancies
  • Dr. Manu Chandaria, KEPSA Foundation
  • Irene Crowe, Pettus Crowe Foundation
  • Dickson Kaelo, Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association
  • Grace Kariuki, Strathmore Business School
  • Lucy Karume, Kenya Tourism Federation
  • Willemien Law, University of Stellenbosch Business School
  • Lynette Muganda, Kenya Wildlife Service
  • Ferial Nathoo, ICCF
  • Mathew Norval, Wilderness Foundation Africa
  • Charles Oluchina, The Nature Conservancy
  • Margaret Otieno, Wildlife Clubs of Kenya
  • Guy Pfeffermann, Global Business School Network
  • Nicholas Sadron, ICCF
  • Page Schindler Buchanan, Global Business School Network
  • Patricia Sewe, Wildlife Direct
  • Vishal Shah, Northern Rangelands Trust Trading Co.
  • Edwin Tambara, African Wildlife Foundation
  • John Waithaka, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas
  • Edwin Wanyonyi, Kenya Wildlife Service
  • Lucy Waruingi, African Conservation Center; Conservation Alliance of Kenya
  • Michael Watson, Lewa Conservancy

At the conclusion of the roundtable the participants shared how they would assist the pilot project to move forward by committing to provide participants, funding, mentoring, expertise, marketing, and learning and career opportunities for graduates. Guy Pfeffermann indicated that GBSN intends for a pilot program to launch by the end of 2017. If you are interested in learning more about this initiative or would like to get involved, please contact Page Buchanan at pbuchanan@gbsn.org.

About the Global Business School Network
The Global Business School Network is a nonprofit organization that partners with business schools, industry, foundations and aid agencies to improve access to quality, locally relevant management education for the developing world. GBSN harnesses the power of a global network of over 70 leading business schools to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing, advancing management education that delivers international best practice with local relevance.

Page Buchanan