Posts Tagged ‘ie africa club#8217;


supporting sustainable social entrepreOn October 22, 2014, the IE Africa club hosted Mr. Evans Wadongo, a renowned Social Entrepreneur with a focus on Africa. Mr. Wadongo spoke on ´Innovation and Business Models that effectively work for the bottom billion´.

It was an inspiring session, where he gave us insights into the way his solar lamp idea for people in rural Kenya, morphed into a self sustaining social enterprise that goes beyond providing light to encouraging savings and investments by the poor in rural Kenya. Attendees were able to ask questions and develop business model ideas for their own enterprises. In addition, we had an opportunity to further connect with the speaker at the after-session cocktail.

It was indeed an enlightening experience.


The 4th Annual IE Africa Day

Written on March 19, 2014 by Campus Life in Geographic

RDR_9684On Tuesday, 25 February, 2014 the IE Africa Club hosted the 4th annual Africa Day. This is a day that places emphasis on the dynamic nature of business and opportunities on the continent. As previous years have been focused on understanding the nature of opportunities in Africa, this year the theme was “How to build and sustain business in Africa” because for all the opportunity there is, only a few have been able to create businesses that last and continuously grow in this unique environment. We had several guest speakers from various industries such as FMCG, Consulting, Energy, Finance and ICT, participate and shed light on their experiences of the business climate and how they have managed to build successful business on the continent. The event also included participation from a number of initiatives targeting the continent at IE Business School such as Emzingo and Financieros sin Fronteras.

RDR_9496The event started off with a few words from Gayle Allard, the club’s faculty mentor who introduced the president of the IE Africa Club, Octavia Manaka, along with other coordinators of the club: Jeanine Muokwe, Armando Belchior Nunes, Michael Burke, Antoine Abi Kanaan, Onyekachi Eke and Stuart Blyth. She thanked them for their hard work and commitment to hosting this event and others, in an effort to engage others in relevant discussions pertaining to business on the continent. She also spoke of new initiatives that students can participate in such as the annual summer trip to Ethiopia where students are immersed into the culture while contributing to local communities.

This was followed by a presentation from the Director of Financieros sin Fronteras, Maria Luque, who spoke about the efforts of the NGO in addressing the need for microfinance in Ghana. The NGO empowers individuals to overcome challenges by single sustainable capitalism and involves finance students of IE pursuing multiple projects in Ghana and transferring their skills and knowledge.

RDR_9558 (Medium)As interest in working in Africa from both African and non-African students is on the rise, the Africa CV Book was officially launched and Careers in Africa presented on the nature of opportunities for work on the continent. They were well informed and did an excellent job in addressing all the questions students had around work permits, labor laws and career growth on the continent. The session highlighted that the continent has significant potential and career opportunities, however there is still a lack of skilled labor even with the increasing number of diaspora returning to the continent.

After this presentation, the Dean of IE Business School and the President of IE University, Mr. Santiago Íñiguez, officially welcomed all the guests and speakers and started the second part of the event.

RDR_9567 (Medium)Ms. Sofia Cerqueira Serra, a lawyer from Morais Leitao Galvao Teles, shared her learnings from her experience working in Mozambique and Angola. She provided insights on the legal framework for investments in the 2 countries and regulatory requirements of the oil and gas sector. She spoke of the challenges they faced in being a law firm from Portugal when working on the continent and how they viewed these as opportunities. She pointed out that the nature of these challenges did not significantly differ from what they have encountered in other emerging and developed countries.

RDR_9586 (Medium)Following this we were honored to receive an exclusive preview of the Africa Retail Development Index: Seizing the African Retail Opportunity from Mr. Jose Ignacio Nieto Puertas, Partner at AT Kearney Madrid. The ARDI uses a set of tools to analyze macro-economic and retail specific variables to identify and rank countries on the continent on their potential for retail expansion. The report was rather insightful and informed the audience on the business climate in Africa and why some countries are more conducive to retail expansion than others. This report will be officially launched in March 2014 and made available on the website of the company.

Our keynote speaker, Mr. William Egbe, Group Director Sustainability, Strategy & Planning of The Coca-Cola Company captivated the audience by offering a realistic perspective on how to approach business on the continent and depicted how the unique nature of community and culture on the continent is not a challenge but rather a valuable asset. He highlighted 6 pillars necessary to building and sustaining successful business on the continent namely:

RDR_9615 (Medium)Local Partners, as they understand the local environment and become endorsers of your brand.

Long Term Perspective, where no matter the challenges faced today, one needs to remember that the demand is great and will exist long into the future thus significantly diminishing the costs of risks in comparison to the long-term gains.

Continuous Improvement, by building on what you’ve learnt and developing processes and components of the business in context of a continuously changing environment

Create Value to Drive Distribution by ensuring that you are creating shared value for all participants of your supply chain, as this will ensure your product keeps moving.

Social Investment, as no company can succeed in communities where people don’t have the basics and can’t afford to buy the product the company is selling, it is of great importance to help improve communities and empower them to provide for themselves in order for business to be sustainable.

RDR_9629 (Medium)Brand Building because the brand helps mass markets filter through the numerous products they are flooded with to identify quality. Coca-Cola’s managed to get its product to every corner of the continent by building its brand and integrating it into the local culture so successfully that the product moves itself to places where formal supply chains wouldn’t be effective.

Mr. Jorge Portillo of Abengoa took us through some of the projects that the company has invested in across the continent, primarily South Africa. He highlighted the potential for renewable energy projects, especially solar in specific sunny regions, as having the ability to increase access to electricity while keeping the costs of energy at competitive levels. He also spoke of the benefits that the continent would enjoy from desalinization of plants.

RDR_9642 (Medium)Ms. Reine Essobmadjie, the founder of Evolving Consulting, which operates primarily in Cameroon and France, and co-founder of NGO ICT4MDG, presented her opinion on the current state of the ICT sector on the continent. She identified the fragmented nature of the market as a key obstacle that also provided significant opportunity through consolidation. She provided a few suggestions on how best to develop the sector in the market and provide better access for Africa’s significant population. She also spoke of her role and how her company helps in filling the gaps through training and capacity building, hosting events and providing rewards and recognition for efforts in the sector.

RDR_9653 (Medium)Guest speaker, Mr. Kim Allen Barkan, presented on “Entrepreneurship in Africa- Lessons from a Marx, Rhodes and Rockefeller”.

RDR_9658 (Medium)Mr. Pablo Esteves introduced the audience to Emzingo, a business created by IE Alumni with an aim to inspire responsible leadership, prepare individuals to tackle global challenges and connect business to the citizen sector.  The business has multiple programs, one of which involves social consulting projects in South Africa. This is an amazing cause that helps professionally tackle social challenges while developing leaders’ social conscious.

A cocktail ended off what had been an insightful day, and the audience had the opportunity to interact with some of the speakers and other distinguished guests. The turnout at this event was the greatest seen since the initiative began 4 years ago and speaks to the rapidly increasing interest in business on the continent. The overwhelming support from speakers who were keen to present and discuss multiple topics regarding the continent, is a clear indication that 1 afternoon is not enough to address the dynamic nature of business on the continent.

You can visit the full gallery of photos of the event HERE.


IE Africa Club organizes the first African Dinner

Written on February 3, 2014 by Campus Life in Geographic

IE Africa Club Coordinators Jeanine Muokwe & Michael Burke with the President Octavia Manaka

IE Africa Club Coordinators Jeanine Muokwe & Michael Burke with the President Octavia Manaka

On Friday January 23, 2014 the IE Africa Club held their first African dinner of the New Year, welcoming more than 60 of their classmates to the Ethiopian restaurant Hannan in Madrid. The goal was to bring a group of IE students together to better understand and enjoy some of the great food and culture that the African continent has to offer. Students from both the November and April IMBA intakes were in attendance along with a handful of MIM students.

Africa3The night kicked off with traditional Ethiopian appetizers. During appetizers and drinks, guests were welcomed to participate in an African trivia game, which tested their knowledge of both cultural and geographic aspects of the continent. Diner was served and included an array of shared platters that held a sampling of several different Ethiopian dishes. The winning trivia team was invited to participate in a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony following dinner, where the coffee was freshly roasted and consumed.

The IE Africa Club focuses on raising awareness of the African continent, with a particular focus on business opportunity. On February 25, 2014 all students and faculty are welcome to join IE Africa Club for the annual Africa Day event. This event will bring together those interested in conducting business on the continent for an afternoon and evening of executive keynote speakers and a panel discussion on the changes necessary to sustain and improve growth in Africa. The current guest list includes several representatives from global multinationals and consultants with operations in Africa, as well as representatives from African embassies and consulates based in Madrid. We hope to see everyone there.

For those interested in trying Ethiopian food, Restaurant Hannan can be found here in Madrid at Calle de la Ventura Rodriguez 3, Madrid, Spain.


RDR_6148The IE Africa Club is open to all IE students (African and non-African), who have seen it fit to create awareness of the African continent, its rich culture and the myriad of opportunities that the continent offers. The vision of the IE Africa club is to promote Africa as a continent of opportunity, debunk myths about the continent and act as a link between Africa and Europe particularly in academia and business.

On Wednesday, April 10, 2013 the IE Africa Club presented an event featuring experts on emerging markets to discuss the growing sectors investors should focus on when looking to do business in Africa. The theme was “mapping investment opportunities in Africa” with a purpose to question the opportunities available on the continent and direct investors on the sectors of growth and about where to start.  The invited speakers included:

Chidi Okoro, Managing Director for GlaxoSmithKline, Nigeria
Jason Duloquin, Account Manager RMED region at First Point Group
Neeta Somers, Political Counsellor & Second in charge at South African Embassy in Spain
Balexis Kilonzi Kasombo, First Counsellor, Embassy of The Republic of Kenya in Spain
Daniel Pulaski, Partner at Emzingo Group.

RDR_6189The event also featured programmes on the continent currently supported by IE Business School. The IE Africa club president, Funmi Odushola encouraged students to sign up for these various programmes in order to gain practical experience in African markets. Some of the opportunities presented included: AMIP, the African Markets Internship ProgrammeFinancieros Sin Fronteras and Emzingo.

The event was opened by the Dean of Programs, Martin Boehm followed by a master class by Professor Newton Campos, IE professor of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies. Professor Campos presented his five years of research focusing on how foreigners can create successful ventures in developing countries. The main requirement for success he says, is building trust and developing local networks.

Daniel Pulaski, a partner at Emzingo and an IE alum discussed his work at Emzingo Group, specifically, the NexGen Fellowship Program and its focus on human capital investment.  The mission of the program is to develop people through social impact in order to inspire responsible leadership and connect businesses to citizens in the environments they operate in. Pulaski explained that, individuals and organizations alike need to be culturally aware and sensitive about the historical, political and cultural aspects of their communities in order to better integrate and to be successful.

RDR_6180Neeta Somers, the Political counsellor and Second in charge at the South African Embassy in Spain, spoke about current and future business trends in South Africa and in Africa as a whole. She provided statistics to support the growing middle class in Africa stating that Government’s investment in the public sector is accelerating growth rate in other sectors. The infrastructure, energy and manufacturing industries are a mentioned few currently experiencing significant growth in Africa. Ms. Somers added that the South African government plans on investing 121 billion USD in public sector infrastructure. There is also a surge of investment in alternative energy such as wind farms particularly in South Africa.

RDR_6115Balexis Kilonzi Kasombo, First counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Kenya discussed the continuing growth trend in Kenya making it the most developed economy in East Africa, and whose recent New Constitution (2010) and Vision 2030 project ensures a growing industrialization of the country and continuous economic growth.
The key sectors experiencing growth according to him in Kenya are: Agriculture (accounting for 23% of Kenya’s GDP, 60% of foreign exchange earnings), tourism, transport infrastructure and energy. Kenya is in the process of creating the Konza Techno City and is also building a new port which will serve as a connection to southern Sudan and Ethiopia.
RDR_6122Chidi Okoro, Managing Director at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Nigeria was the keynote speaker for the evening. He challenged the assumptions of the audience and urged people to think critically about the current data available about Africa. He highlighted the African continent, if seen as a country, is the 6th largest economy in the world and stated that it has a huge need for infrastructure development. As such, there are many fields for investment opportunities. Africa he says, does not need not aid but investment and knowledge transfer instead.
Mr. Okoro explained that while people are discussing ¨the industries to watch” in Africa; these are the same industries he would advise “not to watch” as all of the industries will be expanding exponentially and require active participation.

The event came to a close with a cocktail where the audience interacted with the speakers and other distinguished guests. It was a fantastic event and one that the Africa club should consider organizing more than once a year.

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