Latest AACSB International News
Oct 29, 2021
Digital Times Nigeria Published The Founder of CWG Plc and the Ausso Leadership Academy, Austin Okere has been appointed to the Global Business Practices Council. The Business Practices Council (BPC) is to serve as a collaborative partnership for an ongoing and sustainable relationship between the business community and business schools through the AACSB. As the world’s largest business education alliance, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) connects educators, students, and businesses to achieve a common goal of creating the next generation of great leaders. Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence since 1916, the AACSB serves over 1,700 members and more than 900 accredited business schools worldwide. Accepting the invitation, an elated Mr Okere said: “Thank you for the invitation to serve on the Business Practices Council, I am honoured and pleased to accept.” In welcoming him to the Council, Becky Gann, Vice President, Global Business Membership and Strategic Relationships said, “This is super news! We are delighted to welcome you to the AACSB Business Practices Council and to have the opportunity to work with you.” L-R: Paul Romer, Nobel Laureate and former Chief Economist of the World Bank and Austin Okere, Founder, CWG Plc at the Kogod School of Business in Washington DC Consisting of 20 corporate executives and business school deans, Council members are invited to bring their perspectives, expertise, and insights to improve business education worldwide, ensuring that the world’s top institutions continue to graduate high-potential leaders with the skills needed to build a more prosperous future. The BCP is charged to get connected to the best practices, thinkers, and ideas and to build partnerships to co-create and solve some of the world’s most challenging business problems. Chaired by Jikyeong Kang, other members of the Business Practices Council are: Austin Okere, Founder CWG Plc and the Ausso Leadership Academy; Jake Hansen, Apple Inc; A. Michael Smith of NASDAQ; Molly Nagler of PepsiCo, Inc.; Xuan Yan of Microsoft; Ignacio Bartesaghi, Universidad Católica del Uruguay ámaso A. Larrañaga; Caryn L. Beck-Dudley, President and Chief Executive Officer, AACSB International; and Shaun L. Budnik, Think Boldly LLC, Deborah H. Caplan, NextEra Energy. Other members include Sophie Chogovadze, Wendy’s Europe, the Middle East and Africa; Andrew Currah, Apple Inc.; Raj Echambadi, Northeastern University; Paul N. Friga, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Tony Lee, Society for Human Resource Management; Mike Malefakis, University of Pennsylvania; Jean-Francois Manzoni, IMD Staff Liaison; and Becky Gann, Vice President, Membership and Strategic Relationship Management at AACSB International. Austin Okere is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Columbia Business School, New York, and was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Global Business School Network (GBSN) in Washington DC in recognition of his contribution to the development of business education and knowledge transfer in Africa. Austin has facilitated at the United States International University (USIU) in Kenya and has served as a Consultant to the Sustainable Development Goals, African Center (SDGCA) in Rwanda, and served as a member of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Agenda Council, and was listed on the United Kingdom’s C.Hub Magazine 100 Most Influential Creatives in 2016. After retiring from CWG Plc, the company which he founded and the largest security in the technology sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Austin Okere set up the Ausso Leadership Academy in pursuance of his vision of Shared Prosperity. Share Post Published The bank disclosed on Monday in a statement signed by the company secretary, Sunday Ekwochi. This development comes weeks after the bank acquired a majority stake in BancABC Botswana, its fourth acquisition in 2021. Ekwochi said that upon completion of the transaction, the bank is expected to retain or increase its current shareholding in Access Bank Zambia. With the arrangement, the bank said it would have more than 70 branches and agencies with approximate $1 billion total assets and over 300,000 customers in the country. “The transaction will not require significant additional capital investment requirements from the bank given the capital and other synergies created from the merger between Access Bank Zambia with Cavmont Bank in 2020,” the statement reads. “The proposed transaction is expected to be concluded in 2022, subject to the fulfilment of conditions including regulatory approvals in Nigeria and Zambia.” Herbert Wigwe, group managing director/chief executive officer, Access Bank, said: “This transaction represents another milestone that brings us closer to the achievement of our broader strategic objectives.” “The merger of Atlas Mara Zambia with Access Bank Zambia is expected to augment our presence in Zambia and the broader COMESA region, Africa’s largest free trade area. “We are particularly excited by the prospects of increased earnings contribution to the bank from the enlarged Access Bank Zambia, which has also announced the appointment of a new Managing Director, Mr. Lishala Situmbeko, who brings over 25 years of cognate experience and deep local relationships into our Zambian operation. “Today’s announcement is a testament to the strong confidence of the Zambian market in the Bank’s country and regional strategy as well as our strong confidence in the long-term prospects for the Zambian economy.” Recall that in January 2021, Access bank completed the acquisition of Cavmont Bank Limited following fulfilment of “key conditions precedent including regulatory approvals.” Later in May 2021, the bank announced that its subsidiary in Mozambique concluded a deal for the acquisition of African Banking Corporation, which was backed by London-listed financial services group Atlas Mara Limited. Earlier in October 2021, the bank disclosed that it has completed the acquisition of a majority stake of 78.15% in the African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited, Botswana. Published The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced its partnership and support to the African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS). The support will address gaps in operational costs as well as funding for ongoing activities over a three-year period concluding in 2023. Afreximbank’s $500,000 financial support will facilitate the implementation of development programmes on the continent and cover the shortfall in ATPS’ resources. Think Tanks play a crucial role in Africa as catalysts for ideas, helping develop material solutions to some of the continent’s most complex and intractable challenges. As actors equipped to understand intensely local issues, secure buy-in from relevant players, and establish sustainable partnerships across sectors and interests, these institutions are vital to maintaining and improving governance mechanisms through evidence-based decision-making for Africa’s development. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank said, “I am delighted that the Bank has entered into this partnership with the African Technology and Policy Studies Network, which has shown through its record an unwavering commitment to intellectual integrity, imagination and ingenuity in the pursuit of sustainable development on this continent. “Robust institutional capacity in Africa has, historically, been stymied by a shortage of funding for think tanks and their programmes – Afreximbank is pleased and proud to address this.” The ATPS boasts an impressive record of activity: having worked in over 30 African countries; completed 150 STI research projects; published over 1000 research papers, journals, and policy briefs; developed 4 training manuals; trained over 8000 different stakeholders; and conducted over 75 training workshops on science, technology and innovation development in Africa. Moreover, the ATPS pioneered the first-ever African Manifesto for Science, Technology, and Innovation. Alongside a diverse range of partners, the ATPS has facilitated the commercialization of more than 110 technologies, created over 12,000 jobs, worked with over 50,000 farmers, established 350 SMEs, supported over 280 new businesses across Africa and created linkages with over 20 incubators and mini incubators across Africa. This partnership aligns with Afreximbank’s mandate to stimulate a consistent expansion and diversification of African trade to ultimately increase Africa’s share of global trade. Strengthening and collaborating with indigenous knowledge-based African institutions fits into the Bank’s strategy. As the provider of key platforms which encourage the commercialization and implementation of indigenous knowledge and solutions, the ATPS contributes significantly to sustainable development in Africa. Nicholas Ozor, Executive Director of ATPS said, “I am very excited about this landmark partnership between the Afreximbank and the ATPS. “Through this partnership, we will strive to tackle youth unemployment which is one of Africa’s most pressing challenges, by the application of science, technology and innovation as a means for technological innovation development, commercialization and up-scaling of enterprises for jobs and wealth creation in Africa.” A Ride On A Bus That Changed This Entrepreneur’s Journey Designing websites came naturally to Onyeka Akumah even as a college student, but his greatest epiphany was in a moving bus in Lagos. Today, his bus-hailing solution is going places. Share Post By Peace HYDE What do you get when you have a mother who wants you to make all the money in the world and a father who wants you to read all the books in the world? You get Onyeka Akumah. At 36, the serial entrepreneur with a focus on agriculture, real estate and transportation has embodied the advice of his parents. However, the biggest takeaway that helped him hone his entrepreneurial prowess was from his mother. “My mum told me when I was 15 that if I wanted to be wealthy, I needed four streams of income,” says Akumah now. He took that advice to heart and at 15, set up his first business with one employee. “It was a business centre and I had my first employee there where I was paying N5000 ($12) per month and I used that business centre to buy my first computer and got into school early and studied software engineering,” says Akumah. This is where his father’s emphasis on education and top grades came in handy. At the Sikkim Manipal University, Akumah had a natural affinity for applied information and technology which also birthed a love for web design. He learned how to build websites in his first six months at school and the whole world opened up to him. “I just enjoyed creating websites so I created websites for so many reasons. For example, I am told to do a presentation in class and I would rather do a website to do my presentation. I want to talk to a girl that I like and instead of approaching her in person, I design a website in her name and I send her the URL. It always worked,” says Akumah. A chance encounter with a friend who was building websites for money changed Akumah’s perspective. “I went to him and tried to understand how he was able to pitch and convince companies to pay a lot of money for the websites. I did the first job and it wasn’t so great but the second job I did for a business, I made a lot of money that allowed me to pay for my university school fees in my final year so I was really excited about what I was doing.” He built over 300 websites in pursuit of the four streams of income his mother encouraged him about. The precious advice from his father also paid off and Akumah graduated from university with first-class honours. Fresh out of school in 2006, Akumah’s web development skills landed him a job with a software engineering company where he was responsible for designing websites and building their brand presence. With a knack for brand-building and software programming, Akumah decided on an initial career as a chief marketing officer and had brief stints with organisations such as British Council, Wakanow and Konga before launching his startup, Quick Gist. “I had raised some seed funding from an investor of about $50,000 and I launched it and in six weeks we had about 200,000 people that had downloaded the app. I felt I was on a rocket ship and we were building something amazing. It was pretty much like Google News but it allowed people to pick different sources of stories they wanted and get a customized newspaper every morning from their favourite channels,” avers Akumah. That dream did not last long. Within six months, he hit a roadblock. “I was trying to compete with the best with my money, which was very expensive, and within three months of going solo, I started realizing we were running out of cash. I made some mistakes, one of them was I started to change the model and started thinking we shouldn’t just aggregate content but should create our own content. That was very expensive and we ran out of money.” Akumah managed to sell what was left of the business to recoup his investors’ money. After a brief while, Akumah had his Eureka moment, one that would change the course of his entrepreneurial life forever. “I made the decision that there were three sectors I wanted to pay attention to because I felt like if you could do stuff here you could pretty much make an impact in millions of lives. These sectors for me were agriculture, because people eat every day, real estate because people need to sleep in a place every day and transportation because people have to move on a daily basis,” says Akumah. This led to the birth of Farmcrowdy, the fintech solution empowering farmers with technology. Today, it boasts over 500,000 farmers on the platform with over $17 million raised using the crowdfunding platform. After conquering the world of agritech, Akumah set his sights on the mobility sector and with that came Plentywaka. “I had this strange encounter in January 2019, I had to get to a meeting and leave my car and take two bikes and I got on a bus and I had a panic attack. I could see all the metals sticking out of the chairs in the bus. I held on to the rails in the bus and the driver was sweating so profusely it was crazy. “I hadn’t entered a bus in 15 years and I couldn’t imagine that people had to go to work on a daily basis with this form of transportation in this state. They are overworked and with about 70,000 buses in Lagos, it just didn’t make sense that people moved that way,” says Akumah.