The talk down the hall is about Africa as “the last emerging frontier.” Some buy into it; others are skeptical. These are the same reactions as I got when I started telling people about my learning trip to Africa. Some: “What a great opportunity!” Others: “Are you sure about this…?” Yes, I am sure I want to spend my precious sabbatical time in Africa learning about Africa. And I want this to be a joint learning journey: I will share my experiencess and views, and hope that you’ll be willing to share yours.
Africa is very diverse. Out ot the three large regions that compose it, my interest lies on Sub-Saharan Africa and on the South-African region, thus leaving aside Northern Africa. Why this interest?
First, I was meant for this: being born in Melilla, one of two Spanish cities located in Northern Africa, I’ve always heard the call from Africa.
Second, IESE provides the right context to develop this interest given our long time association with African Business Schools created in the Continent (Lagos Business School in Nigeria, Strathmore Business School in Kenya, and MDE Business School in Ivory Coast). We also support a number of projects which have crystallized in the Africa Initiative.
Thus, I decided to initiate this learning journey. Let me provide an overview of it. Right now, I’m visiting the Lagos Business School working on a project titled “Africa-to-Africa” that focuses on African companies that internationalize within the Continent, and in April I will visit Strathmore Business School until the end of the summer.
But my journey is longer that this: it began in January 2013 when I attended the Academy of Management Africa Conference held at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg, and I hope it will last for a long time once I’m back to Barcelona. I hope you decide to join this learning journey and make it more estimulating!