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Top African Business Schools Unite to Form the First Research Consortium on Entrepreneurship
The American University in Cairo School of Business (Cairo, Egypt), ESCA Ecole de Management (Casablanca, Morocco), Lagos Business School (Lagos, Nigeria), Strathmore Business School (Nairobi, Kenya) along with the University of Cape Town (Cape Town, South Africa) and Stellenbosch University (Stellenbosch, South Africa), six prominent African business schools, are joining forces to create the first research consortium on entrepreneurship.
Combining the expertise of faculty members from each of the partner schools with that of business and NGO representatives, the “African Academic Association on Entrepreneurship” aims to develop a Pan-African academic and educational collaboration between all members and to promote all aspects of entrepreneurship, SME management, family businesses, innovation and start-ups, with a clear focus on research.
Thami Ghorfi, Dean of ESCA Ecole de Management and one of the initiators of the project, stresses: “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 for a continental approach to the issues facing businesses and entrepreneurs.”
Whereas the importance of entrepreneurship for innovation, economic growth and sustainable development has been clearer than ever before, the field has still been insufficiently recognized by African business research institutes. By bringing together leading academics in the fields, the “African Academic Association on Entrepreneurship” will create opportunities to discuss new ideas, initiate joint research projects, encourage faculty and student exchanges among the partner schools and more globally build stronger South/South connections in the academic field across Africa.
The “African Academic Association on Entrepreneurship” is a remarkable concerted effort to reposition African business schools to meet the challenges of research material deficit, and transform the research scene in Africa, a prerequisite for the success and credibility of African institutions of higher education around the globe. The inaugural meeting will be held in March 2015 in Cairo. The Consortium also sponsors an annual research meeting to foster continuing debate on entrepreneurship issues. Affiliate members include Rotterdam School of Management (The Netherlands), Stanford Business School (USA), AfricaLabs (IT Services) and VC4Africa (online community of African venture capitalists and entrepreneurs).