Chandaria School of Business and the Academy of International Business Africa hold joint conference to address disruption in global business

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Delegates post for a photo during the Academy of International Business (AIB) Conference. Established in 1959, AIB is the leading association of scholars and specialists in the field of international business with over 3007 members in 95 different countries around the world.

By Taigu Muchiri

Early this month, Chandaria School of Business and the Academy of International Business-Africa hosted a joint conference themed ‘Facing the Disruptive forces in Global Business: The way forward’, which presented an opportunity to discuss the latest research on the prospects and perils of doing business in Africa specifically focusing on how the business world is coping with the disruptions unleashed by forces beyond the control of individual organizations and governments. The business world globally is facing unprecedented disruptions due to a combination of factors such as climate change, growing protectionism across the world, gradual erosion in the authority of international trade bodies, and the rise of technologies that threaten millions of jobs.

In her keynote address, the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Ms. Carole Kariuki mentioned that the global, regional and local business space is more dynamic and competitive today than ever owing to globalization and fast technological advancements which cannot be ignored for any business to remain relevant today. “The uncertainties occasioned by rising protectionism, geo-political realignments, and climate change, among other factors will greatly influence the future social and economic landscape in Africa,” said Ms. Kariuki.

The Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza added that global challenges such as socio-economic challenges, climate change and the fourth industrial revolution are changing the way business is done across the globe. In addition, Africa’s burgeoning population will most likely tilt the scales and shift a lot of business to the continent. The United Nations estimates that Africa’s population will be at 1.7 billion by 2030 and 2.3 billion by 2050 and the continent will account for the largest workforce in the world. He said in order to resolve and address these challenges, universities had a big role to play by developing and preparing the next human capital fit for the 21st century and beyond. He said “teaching will shift from the classroom and will incorporate practical skills and involvement in the community as opposed to the traditional teaching methods that focus on reproducing content learned.”

He further emphasized on the need to continually upskill and re-train faculty in order to deliver graduates fit for the job market; increase research output in African universities to reflect the pressing needs of the world; shift the models of partnerships among universities by leveraging on technology.

The Academy of International Business is the leading association of scholars and specialists in the field of international business. Established in 1959, AIB today has over 3007 members in 95 different countries around the world. Members include scholars from the leading academic institutions, as well as, consultants and researchers with an interest in international business. As the leading global community of scholars for the creation and dissemination of knowledge about international business and policy issues, AIB transcends the boundaries of single academic disciplines and managerial functions to enhance business education and practice.

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