On Monday, September 25, the ALU School of Business (ALUSB) formally launched classes in Kigali, Rwanda, welcoming its inaugural class to the continent’s first pan-African MBA. The diverse founding class welcomes students from over 22 African nations.

In an opening ceremony the night before, ALUSB founder Fred Swaniker and Dean Modupe Taylor-Pearce celebrated the class and challenged each student to make the most of this opportunity to grow as business leaders and transform the continent.

On the first day of school, students explored foundational concepts, such as vision, values, and leadership lessons from the continent. Swaniker called upon them to be co-founders of the programme by helping to solve problems, co-creating the experience, and building Africa’s MBA with ALUSB staff. Students also explored their personal visions and ALUSB’s vision by considering these three questions:

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With ethical and entrepreneurial leadership being essential for transformative change, Dean Taylor-Pearce shared his leadership path from the United States Military Academy to the Sierra Leonean armed forces. He promised to build competent leaders of character at ALUSB and challenged the co-founders to help build and protect values of integrity while at ALUSB and throughout life. Students then debated leadership case studies and analysed Swaniker’s insights on leadership based on his experiences doing business across the continent.

With many first time visitors to Rwanda, the inaugural class toured Kigali and learned more about the country’s history and city planning. The tour also allowed students to start building relationships with their peers and they have started working together in Home Learning Teams and pan-African Groups on activities facilitated by ALUSB Vice Dean Catherine Duggan and Director of Learning Miguel Lameiro.

Day two welcomes McKinsey & Company Senior Partner, Acha Leke, to share his experiences from advising organisations across Africa as well as insights from the McKinsey Global Institute’s Lions on the Move 2.0 report. The remainder of the week will introduce ALUSB’s Leadership Lab and case studies on Doing Business in Africa (DBIA) from ALUSB’s All-Star Faculty of proven business leaders.

The other DBIA sessions will be led by South African entrepreneur and women advocate Wendy Luhabe, former African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka, Professor Catherine Duggan, and Standard Chartered Private Equity CEO Peter Baird.

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