The International Executive MBA Week themed: Playing to Win in Africa: Exploring Business Opportunities in Nigeria, which held from September 10 – 14, 2018, is a cultural immersion programme to expose Executive MBA students and alumni from global partner institutions to the values and business environment in Nigeria and Africa while building their personal and business thinking agility through immersive experiences.
The week-long programme opened with a welcome speech from Professor of Strategy, LBS, Chris Ogbechie who described the International EMBA week as an excellent initiative because it provides a rare opportunity for business schools in Africa to collaborate.
“Africa’s narrative is changing, and soon, the continent will become the epicenter of urbanisation in the world. The time has come for countries to take advantage of this encouraging trend by boosting intra-Africa trade, accelerating integration by jointly building regional infrastructure and equally building responsible businesses”, he added.
The opening day was also characterised by multiple interactive sessions facilitated by LBS faculty, Dr. Doyin Salami, and Dr. Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, with the latter taking participants through a case discussion on the unique aspects of entrepreneurship and innovation in Nigeria.
Later in the week, participants gained first-hand experience of the wealth of culture in Lagos when they visited Nike Art Gallery, which boasts a collection of over 8,000 diverse works of art. Armed with sufficient knowledge on Nigeria’s creative industry, participants then headed to the International Centre for Commerce (ICC) owned by the Balogun Business Association (BBA) Market and later to technology and gadget hub, Computer Village. At these commercial centres, participants were exposed to business fundamentals as they interacted with traders and market executives.
At an interactive dinner organised as part of the programme, participants gained relevant insight into the opportunities and challenges that exist within Nigeria’s budding entertainment industry. Speaking at the dinner, Chief Creative Officer, X3M Media Group, Steve Babaeko said, “The music industry in Nigeria is one of the biggest drivers of foreign exchange in the country, and the Nigerian government urgently needs to create an enabling environment for the industry and its practitioners to thrive.”
Babaeko also thanked LBS for using the International EMBA week as a platform to attract investors who were erstwhile unaware of the inherent opportunities in the creative industry.
The highlight of the week was an investment challenge, a Dragon’s Den contest, where participants were required to use the knowledge gained during the programme to develop an action plan for investing in any of the identified growing markets. A panel of industry leaders in consulting, real estate and technology, and business integration judged the keenly contested challenge, with the group that developed a solution to the second goal of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Zero Hunger) emerging winner.
The programme helped to prepare participants for greater business opportunities, enabling them to manage business across borders and to face higher leadership responsibilities after their MBA programmes. They visited strategic locations that represent growing markets and entrepreneurship hubs in Lagos such as Balogun Business Association Market, Computer Village, Eko Atlantic, among others. They were hosted to networking events with CEOs, selected LBS alumni and students to enhance cultural immersions.
The International Executive MBA Week programme was built around strategies for managing business in a complex or turbulent environment; using innovation to cope with uncertainty.
According to the Director, MBA, Lagos Business School, Dr. Uchenna Uzo, “The programme content explored the most promising aspects of the country’s potential. Participants were equipped with knowledge to: understand growing market opportunities, spot where the action is, and what it takes to invest and improve intercultural exchange among people interested in investing in Africa.
“The International Executive MBA Week aligns with the School’s missional imperative to be the leading business school with the greatest impact on the knowledge and practice of management and business in Africa”, he added.
As certificates of participation were presented on the final day of the programme, Joyce Cherotich from Strathmore Business School, Kenya, praised LBS for the quality education that was offered throughout the week. She said, “The quality of knowledge I have gained this past week has opened me up to the numerous business opportunities available in Nigeria, and I cannot wait to implement all that I have learned. Also, I wish the programme ran for more than one week, there is so much more to do and learn from Lagos Business School”.
Lagos Business School offers academic programmes, executive programmes and short courses (customised to specific company needs, as well as open-enrolment courses) in management education. Its offerings have been ranked among the best in Africa as it systematically strives to improve the practice of management on the continent. The business school’s efforts have been recognised by several world-class accreditation and ranking institutions. Besides the quality bar set of world-standards, LBS programmes also stand out because of the emphasis on professional ethics and service to the community.