The ALUSB MBA is a 20-month, part-time programme, blending in-classroom ‘’intensive’’ sessions in Kigali, Rwanda, with interactive, online learning terms.
You will join your peers six times during the programme for week-long, ‘intensive’, in-person sessions, where you will learn directly from an ‘all-star’ cast of African business leaders. Intensives are compulsory and are held in Kigali, Rwanda. They are designed to extend, reinforce and complement your online learning.
Upcoming MBA Start Dates
Class of 2020, March Cohort
Start Date: 17 March 2019
Class of 2021, October Cohort
Start Date: 27 October 2019
THE ALUSB MBA PROGRAMME IS OUR FLAGSHIP ACCREDITED POSTGRADUATE DEGREE IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION. IT IS A 20-MONTH TRANSFORMATIVE MBA PROGRAMME FOR AFRICA’S BUSINESS LEADERS.
We leverage 4 key elements to develop your leadership skills & business acumen, and to grow your network:
In-person Intensives | Periodic week-long sessions delivered by expert faculty and an ‘all-star’ cast of senior African business leaders.
On-Demand E-Learning | World-class online courses from the world’s top business schools and management consulting firms that you take at your own pace.
Real World Projects | Apply business theory to solve real African business problems from day one. Solve a major problem at your company as your final project.
Leadership Development | Improve your emotional intelligence and practical leadership skills with the help of expert coaches.
Blended Learning Experience
The ALUSB MBA is a blended, work-study programme. By “blended” we mean that this MBA is structured part in person (in Kigali, Rwanda) and part online, where students study while working, back in their home countries.
Students must therefore dedicate approximately 20 hours per week to their studies during their online periods. The experience is intense but our students succeed. How do they do this? These week-in-the-life articles follow the lives of our students. With the right classmates, community and support system, you can do it too!
- Visiting Lecturer
- Founder, Aluko & Oyebode
- Visiting Lecturer
- Tax Partner West Africa Corporate Responsibility, Diversity & Inclusion Leader Member of the PwC Africa Board
- Visiting Lecturer
- Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Pygma Group
- Visiting Lecturer
- Former President, Coca Cola South Africa
Introduction to Marketing
ALUSB’s Intro to Marketing combines Wharton Online’s acclaimed Intro to Marketing Course with two modules of ALUSB’s own Marketing content to enhance and contextualize a study of Marketing on the African continent. Students will spend the first part of the course (self-paced) engaging with the Wharton material through Coursera and then proceed to ALUSB learning platform (https://learn2.alusb.com)
Taught by Barbara E. Kahn, Peter Fader, and David Bell, three of Wharton’s top faculty in the marketing department, consistently ranked as the #1 marketing department in the world, this course covers three core topics in customer loyalty: branding, customer centricity, and practical, go-to-market strategies.
- Branding: brand equity is one of the key elements of keeping customers in a dynamic world in which new startups are emerging constantly.
- Customer centricity: not synonymous with customer service, customer centricity starts with customer focus and need-gathering.
- Go-to-market strategies: understand the drivers that influence customers and see how these are implemented prior to making an investment.
Introduction to Financial Accounting
ALUSB’s Intro to Financial Accounting combines Wharton Online’s acclaimed Intro to Financial Accounting Course with African Cases on Financial Accounting to enhance and contextualize a study of Financial Accounting on the African continent.
Taught by Brian Bushee (PhD), a Gilbert and Shelley Harrison Professor of Accounting at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, this course will help you to master the technical skills needed to analyze financial statements and disclosures for use in financial analysis, and learn how accounting standards and managerial incentives affect the financial reporting process.
By the end of this course, you’ll be able to read the three most common financial.
Financial management is the management of the flow of funds available to an organization. It is the integrating discipline of management, moderating the flow of capital, and the risks and rewards between savers and users of capital. Financial management seeks to create and preserve shareholder wealth.
Through case discussions and text-based supplementing readings, the ALUSB’s Corporate Finance course will help you to develop the knowledge, skills, critical thinking abilities and behaviors required for financial decision making. Although the main focus of this course is for profit-seeking firms, much of what is learned has applicability for organizations in the not-for-profit and governmental sectors as well.
- In terms of the learning environment, this hybrid course combines the use of instructor presentations, forum discussions, and case analyses using both virtual and face-to-face formats. In these teaching approaches, it is critical that you adequately prepare prior to each class. The benefit you derive from the course will be contingent on covering the suggested material so that our discussions allow you to clarify and deepen your understanding, rather than it being the first opportunity to hear about a topic. Of special note are the case analyses, where a critical component is to be prepared to share your analysis and opinions. The syllabus provides questions to help guide your analysis for all the cases we will cover. You will be expected to have reviewed and “solved” the case prior to the actual class discussion even when no formal written report is required.
Doing Business in Africa
The African continent is a notoriously challenging place to do business. It is a massive continent, with 54 countries, hundreds of languages and a variation of cultures. There are limitations in the reach and effectiveness of infrastructure, institutions, capital, etc. There is resource scarcity, but also resource abundance. Attempts at applying standard models of operation and frameworks are typically not successful.
ALUSB’s Doing Business in Africa (DBIA) course is an in depth encounter with the continent, it’s nuances and complexities, with an aim to understand it as it is and to bring out approaches that fit the continent and lead to successful business. DBIA helps develop a mindset that allows you to anticipate and appreciate the challenges and opportunities present. The ultimate goal of this course it to help you harness skills and knowledge that will enable you to run a successful business on the continent despite, and perhaps in spite of, the challenges.
V^3 Leadership Development
Term 1: Introduction to V^3 Leadership
In this term you will begin a journey to understand, examine, and embody African leadership. Profiling and engaging with some of Africa’s finest leaders in the field, you will explore how leaders are forged, how to become a more effective leader, and what you require to change the world. You will not live in the realm of ideas, however; you will apply ALUSB’s V^3 Leadership Model to your daily life, using personal Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), feedback, and coaching to actually begin honing your leadership ability.
Term 2: Virtue
How does a person become the most famous and beloved leader in the world from prison? Nelson Mandela did so by living and leading with Virtue–the first component of leadership. Virtuous Leadership–who a leader is, how they conduct themselves, and the relationships that they build with others–requires empathy, courage, and fortitude. In this term, you will explore the components of Virtuous Leadership by improving your ethical framework, decision making, and emotional intelligence through on-the-job challenges.
Term 3: Value
Leadership must not be only ethical & empathic; leadership must be effective, capable of creating value for all stakeholders–the second component of leadership. Value-driven Leadership leverages the world’s most useful approaches to generate worth for customers, employees, communities, and markets, creating a self-sustaining flywheel of possibility. In this term, employ these approaches to mine for opportunity, think divergently, and implement systemically.
Term 4: Vision
Whether reforming a country or going to the moon, most of man’s greatest achievements can be traced to a leader with a moving vision for the future–the final component of leadership. Visionary Leadership skillfully inspires masses with not only the grand mission but also the profound impact made possible by its achievement. In this term, you will discover what makes a leader inspirational and begin articulating the vision for your own life.
African leadership–that which is profound, enduring, and truly impactful–necessarily exists at the nexus of Virtue, Value, and Vision. Known as V^3 Leadership, this approach challenges leaders to their core, thoroughly refining their character, conduct, and course through real world trial and error. In this term, you will be personally refined in the crucible of the Capstone Project, in which you will demonstrate your leadership acumen by implementing a tangible project in your company/organization and delivering results.
Operations Management addresses the supply of goods and services in an international/global economy. The fundamental focus is on understanding the best way to match supply and demand at any organization. We describe marketing as the management of demand and operations as the management of supply.
Operations managers need to carefully manage and direct resources such as capital, labor, technology and information. This is done in multinational environments with increasing pressure for ‘more, better, faster’. Customer service, quality and use of appropriate technology are critical factors. Rapid and effective communications, including the internet, produce more options and choices than ever for the consumer.
The course will address the strategic issues and the analytic tools for decision making. It will address practical, process-based approaches to solving operations problems. Text, cases, exercises, webinars and special presentations address concepts in process analysis, quality, supply chain, logistics, control and integration. The role of the manager and what managers do about processes, cross-functional links, use of information systems and technology, are emphasized.
As for teaching and learning, the course will be presented in lecture and discussion format, with some use of business cases and exercises to demonstrate the application of the principles developed. Webinar sessions are designed to highlight key concepts, clarify areas of difficulty, and provide a general framework to address the subject matter. Preparation for Webinar sessions is essential. We expect active participation during webinars. Students are expected to participate orally in webinars and in online forums and team activities.
Big Data & Business Analytics
Business analytics is at the heart of most successful organisations. C-suite titles such as Chief Analytics Officer, Chief Data Officer and Chief Data Scientist are becoming increasingly prevalent, reflecting the importance of data as an asset and a potential source of intellectual property. Business leaders are expected to feel comfortable with data and know how to develop a rigorous scientific approach to extracting insights. Fuelled by the increasing ease of collecting big data from social media, digital transactions, smart devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), analytics is revolutionising many aspects of business such as human resources, marketing, operations, finance and strategy.
This course will demystify analytics by using real business examples that motivate the need for statistical approaches, rather than being an intimidating journey through complex mathematical formulae. A high level of mathematics is not essential and concepts will be demonstrated visually and explained through relevant examples. Familiarity with basic computer spreadsheets and the internet are the only necessary prerequisites. Spreadsheets and visualisation tools will be used to illustrate the role of analytics through a variety of applications.
A hands-on approach will be used to teach the course, involving demonstrations, practical exercises and assignments. By working through exercises, you will engage with other students to analyse data and present the results as part of a team. After taking this course, you will understand the advantages and challenges of analytics and gain experience with the methods used to collect, summarise, visualise and analyse data. This course will enable you to embrace analytics, gain sufficient knowledge to design data-driven projects, write business cases and manage the process of searching for actionable insights that can benefit your organisation.
Strategy in Africa
In order to be sustainably successful a business must have a clear understanding of where to compete and how to compete. Strategic management is the means by which these decisions are made, implemented and monitored. It is concerned with how a firm sets its direction, and carries out activities and sets in place policies and objectives to steer the business in this direction. Especially on the African continent where factors affecting competition in an industry may be less documented and more difficult to identify, a strong hold on strategy is key.
In this course students learn pragmatic ways to analyse and design strategies that help them earn a sustainable competitive advantage in challenging business environments. Students learn to identify strategies that will fit a firm (align with its strengths and capabilities internally) and also allow pragmatism in terms of a competitive position that meets competitor/environmental forces.
The questions answered in the course include:
- What is a strategy?
- How does a firm identify what strategy can work for it? (formulating or identifying a strategy)
- How can the business’ model and overall performance be honed according to the strategy? (implementation)
- Especially for a firm operating in African emerging markets, how can profitability be sustained in spite of a changing external / competitive landscape?
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Entrepreneurship has been instrumental in the economic growth witnessed in many African countries in the last two decades. Emphasizing the power of entrepreneurship, this course examines and synthesizes the experiences of successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs on the continent, to deliver valuable lessons on how to be entrepreneurial in Africa today.
Through this course you will learn innovative design-thinking techniques in order to design, test, and pitch your own venture. The course culminates in our Grand Finale “Lion’s Den,” where students pitch their ideas to successful venture capital investors in Kigali.
This course will also help you develop a rigorous and structured approach to problem solving and improve your ability to define challenging problems, prioritize issues, synthesize findings, and develop actionable recommendations. Projects are done individually and in groups. You will be able to apply these skills to your Capstone project.
Politics, Economics, and the context of African Business
Politics and macroeconomics affect just about every aspect of business on the African continent and around the world. Political Economy and the Context of African Business (PECAB) will give you a unique understanding of these forces, including how issues like public confidence, political considerations, and global economic forces interact to shape the cost of capital, exchange rates, taxes and tariffs, and other key factors in the business environment. The course will use and compare cases from African firms and countries with critical cases from the developed world and other emerging markets, helping you to develop a picture of the risks, opportunities, and trends in the complex and interconnected global economy—as well as how African firms and markets can manage them.
By participating in Political Economy and the Context of African Business you will:
- Learn how to analyze the business environment of a country, including finding and using relevant data
- Learn or review basic concepts in macroeconomics, politics, and policy–including GDP, inflation, interest rates, exchange rates, financial sector stability, taxes, institutions, coalitions, and veto players.
- Understand how links between politics, economics, and institutions shape the business environment.
- Understand how businesses in Africa and other markets navigate key political and economic risks.
- Understand how the business and economic environments in African countries are similar to (and different from) environments in other regions and the risks and opportunities these differences create.
Communicating for Impact (Negotiation)
Negotiation is an essential skill in today’s dynamic workplace. Whether you negotiate with customers, suppliers, or colleagues, your ability to negotiate effectively is vital to the success of your organization.
Negotiation Mastery: Unlocking Value in the Real World prepares you to close deals that might otherwise be dead-locked, maximize value creation in agreements you reach, and resolve differences before they escalate into costly conflicts. This program emphasizes preparation of both the “head and heart” before entering a negotiation. This includes an understanding of both analytical tools and interpersonal techniques for dealing effectively with different bargaining styles and tactics. Participating in Negotiation Mastery will allow you to:
- Understand negotiation dynamics and how to prepare for uncertainty
- Learn to craft agile strategy and be quick on your feet
- Resolve small differences before they escalate
- Secure maximum value for your organization and yourself
- Reflect on personal tendencies and refine your approach to be more effective
- Engage with like-minded peers from around the globe and content developed by Harvard Business School faculty
Develop a rigorous and structured approach to problem solving and improve your ability to define challenging problems, prioritize issues, synthesize findings, and develop actionable recommendations. Projects are done individually and in groups. You will be able to apply these skills to your Capstone project.
Microeconomics for Managers
Through the eight-month Capstone project, students will get the opportunity to apply everything that they learned in the previous 14 months to a project of their own. Students choose to be an entrepreneur (many continuing to work on the venture they came up with in their Entrepreneurship & Innovation course), an intrapreneur (making change within the organization in which they work), or do a passion project to make a positive difference in a community they care about.
Students get extensive coaching throughout the Capstone process, from peers, professional executive coaches, field advisors in their industry of choice, and a Dean advisor, to make sure that they are on track to succeed.
Students also work on a Personal Leadership Plan throughout the Capstone, to ensure that they are continuously developing as leaders through the execution of their project.