By Peter Hirst, Associate Dean, MIT Sloan Executive Education
It's coming to a year since I went to the UNICON Director's meeting hosted in Johannesburg by the Gordon Institute of company Science (GIBS) of University of Pretoria. Started in 2000, GIBS is actually perhaps one of the most respected business schools in Africa, rendering it not only an important center for company discovering, but in addition an influential person in the location's company community. Looking right back as of this past year, i will be realizing exactly how appropriate and useful that week in Southern Africa happens to be for me. (Picture ©Lonely Planet)
If you were to believe the covers of this preferred U.S. and European business publications, photography equipment might be viewed as poor, disease-ridden and politically volatile, and therefore perhaps not a good destination to work. Needless to say, this might be a gross oversimplification, which establishments like GIBS will work difficult to alter.
Feeling the Context
Within that brief stop by at South Africa, the 54 countries on continent, We enjoyed a variety of wonderful experiences-the historical landmarks and vibrant communities in Johannesburg, the majestic scenery and wildlife in Madikwe Game Reserve, the lush beauty of wine country outside Cape Town-that made me personally value why more and more people fall in love with Africa.
Obviously, we know that Africa isn't a country hence Southern Africa isn't the only economic climate on continent. However, I would personally venture to guess that anything like me, not many business frontrunners all over the world fully appreciate the continent’s great variety of economies, stages of development, and challenges, in addition to governmental, social and religious distinctions. As my other UNICON seminar participant Adam Gordon, Director of Executive & Corporate Education at Wits Business class in Johannesburg, stated in a Forbes article following the occasion, knowing the financial, social and historic context of various African countries is extremely important for company training providers thinking about working together with clients in Africa. This indicates self-evident that it is equally important for almost any business or organization trying to expand into African areas.