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For Henley Africa, the new relationship further cements an academic ethos that is rooted in Africa but infused by the very best in the world.


South Africa (24 July 2020) – Henley Business School Africa has become the first business school in Africa to be affiliated to the Latin American Council of Management Schools (CLADEA). Established more than 50 years ago, CLADEA has 235 affiliates across 27 countries on four continents. Now it has 236 across 28 countries on five continents.

Henley Africa dean and director Jon Foster-Pedley said the affiliation sat well with the school’s three major international accreditations: AMBA, AACSB and EFMD.

“We pride ourselves on being an integral part of the global Henley network – the oldest business school in Europe. The CLADEA accreditation is yet more testimony to the value of a Henley qualification, especially our executive MBA, but the relationship is also extremely beneficial, I believe, to both us and the council.”

As a member of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) bloc, South Africa shares many similarities with Brazil, while the same is true, Foster-Pedley says of Africa and Latin America. Membership of CLADEA allows Henley Africa to further tap into this network and adapt pertinent lessons already learnt there for application to local conditions. But it won’t be a one-way street, Foster-Pedley says, because Henley Africa has plenty to share with its new associates.

“There is much that we can contribute to CLADEA’s members in terms of our scholarship through our unique research unit, Henley AIR (African Insight and Research). We operate from a country that is the richest in a continent with the youngest population in the world, yet is beset by legacy problems that manifest themselves today in the world’s highest Gini co-efficient.

“These issues and our fervent belief in #CorporateActivism to build leaders that build the businesses that will build the post-COVID-19 societies are as true for us as they are for Latin America.”

CLADEA’s director of international affairs, Prof Yvon Desportes, congratulated Henley Africa on joining the council: “We are very happy to see that new bridges are being built between Africa and Latin America in management education and research.”

For Henley Africa, the new relationship further cements an academic ethos that is rooted in Africa but infused by the very best in the world. Today, Henley Africa produces 60% of Henley’s entire global MBA student population. 81% of them are black, and 50% are women. Blind-assessed internationally along with the British, German, Danish, Finnish, Malaysian and all the other nationalities that make up Henley across the globe – they are as good if not better than all of them.

“We have gone out of our way to decolonise the education we present, by blending the best of both the Johannesburg campus and the global Henley network faculty all of whom can teach physically or virtually as the situation requires,” explains Foster-Pedley.

“Together, they are finding practical solutions to real-life, real-time African problems that, in many cases, apply just as much to the rest of the world.”

Collaboration and innovation are key facets to the Henley Africa success story. Recently the business school won Africa’s first-ever EFMD Excellence in Practice Gold Award for Executive Development for a joint project it did with GIBS and Standard Bank, beating off teams from the rest of the world in the process.

The advent of the Coronavirus pandemic has spurred much innovation at the business school too, from the seamless pivot to virtual learning before the imposition of the nationwide lockdown in March without the loss of a single seminar or class to the development of free webinars on successfully surviving quarantine to the efficient running of SMEs. This, in turn, has led to the development of a brand-new raft of programmes at higher certificate and postgraduate level to be announced in due course specialising in entrepreneurship and professional practices like medicine, as well as short course programmes in agricultural management.

“We set out on an incredible journey 10 years ago,” says Foster-Pedley,

“It’s one that shows no signs of abating. We are continuing to adapt and evolve. We’ve successfully decolonised our education, we’ve expanded our offerings, and we have even created Henley AIR and launched Henley EARTH (Environmental Activism through Research and Training @Henley) to build resources to support business change to reduce global warming, species loss and pollution.

We’re looking forward to sharing all of this with the other members of the council and learning whatever we can too from Latin America.”

Sources: Henley 
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