In African-Centred Management Education, Professor Abdulai looks critically at the failings of management education in Africa and how that has impacted growth and development efforts, especially at this critical stage in the continent’s positive growth and development trajectory. He concludes that Africa’s current positive economic growth cannot be sustained without a significant contribution from its human capital. He adds that, the outstanding economic record of Asian economies in recent decades dramatically illustrates how important human capital is to growth. These countries lacking natural resources and importing practically all their energy requirements have grown rapidly by relying on a well-trained, educated and conscientious workforce. Professor Abdulai believes that Africa, too, can sustain its current growth and development by effectively combining its abundant natural resources with its human capital to attain its economic development, but this will require an African cadre of well-trained managers at the helm of both private and public sector institutions. For this to become a reality, management education in Africa will have to play a significant role, but the author argues that it cannot be effective by continually mimicking the West in the programmes it delivers. It must come up with innovative and relevant pedagogy that will address the special challenges that the continent faces and deliver an African-centred management education. As well as pointing to the failures of management education in Africa, Abdulai offers suggestions as to how to make management education really contribute to the education of Africans, in order to sustain current and future development.
Professor David N. Abdulai is President and CEO, of the African Graduate School of Management and Leadership. His Ph.D. is in International Economics and Technology Analysis and Management from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver, Colorado. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Programme in Leadership Development. Abdulai has worked for the Public Sector Management division of the World Bank, Morgan Stanley-Dean Witter, CBS News Washington Bureau, Voice of America (Africa Field Service), Africare International and the Bank for International Settlements. He has consulted for the World Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He’s written policy papers for the US House Sub-Committee on Africa and is an adviser to African heads of government. He chaired the ’Deepening Democracy in Africa’ Conference involving five former heads of states and governments.
’I consider this book the first of its kind on the issue of African-centered management education. The author provides thought-provoking and radical input on a subject that is most crucial for Africa to successfully meet its development objectives and positively change its economic trajectory. It is an invaluable contribution to much-needed management literature from an African perspective.’ Neville Gertze, Ambassador of Namibia to Germany