A consortium of leading African business schools from five major countries have signed a novel partnership agreement, which commits them to sharing resources, expertise and research to give a much-needed boost to entrepreneurship, job creation and economic development on the continent.The newly formed African Academic Association on Entrepreneurship (AAAE) will promote and develop academic cooperation Ð particularly in the areas of entrepreneurship, small business development, innovation and start-ups Ð through research, case study development, the academic exchange of students and faculty as well as academic materials and publications, professional internships and technical cooperation.
“AAAE will play a key role in leading the continent towards stronger linkages among African business schools focusing on teaching and research in the areas of entrepreneurship and family business as well as further global collaboration,” said Professor Karim Elseghir, Dean of School of Business of the American University in Cairo, Egypt (AUC).
AUC will serve as the coordinator of the collaboration until a structured steering committee has been set up. The other five participating business schools are the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, South Africa (UCT GSB), University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa (USB), Esca Maroc Ecole De Management of Casablanca, Morocco (ESCA), The Lagos Business School, Nigeria (LBS), and Strathmore Business School of Nairobi. According to Professor Elseghir, youth unemployment and education are the most pressing challenges the African continent is facing and that the inception of the AAAE is an important step towards enhancing entrepreneurship across the African Continent.
According to Sarah-Anne Arnold, Manager of the MTN Solution Space at the UCT GSB who will represent the UCT GSB in the AAAE, promoting the exchange of ideas, experiences and skills is core to building up an entrepreneurship ecosystem on the continent.
“If we want to build our continent then we need to invest in building networks that are broader than any one single institution. The fuel to innovate is created when people with different experiences, realities, passions and ideas come together with the mandate and support structures to develop new possibilities,” she said.
“This is the first time that we have set this type of joint ambition for African business schools, each one of them being a leading academic institution in its region. Regardless our locations, we all share the same belief in the importance of management education, and the need to gather efforts for a continental approach to support entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs. ” added Thami GHORFI, President of ESCA School of Management.
The new association will seek to expand over the coming months to include more African business schools. There is also an explicit objective to invite collaboration between global business schools in the academic study of entrepreneurship. The AAAE will also seek to build bridges between academic and industry knowledge.
This press release was first posted by ESCA, Ecole de Management