USIU-Africa partners with industry leaders to unveil a Center for Executive Education

L-R: Joseph Okello, Chair and Co-Founder, Association for Family-Owned Enterprise, Antoinette Wa-Tindi, Co-Founder, Association for Family-Owned Enterprise, Prof. Margee Ensign, VC, USIU-Africa, Dr. Kevit Desai, Chair, Board of Trustees, USIU-Africa (standing), and Ms. Helen Ambasa, Director, Legal Services, USIU-Africa during the launch of the Centre for Executive Education. Photo: Crimson Communication.

By Taigu Muchiri

On May 3, 2023, USIU-Africa launched the Center for Executive Education, designed to provide an immersive and multidisciplinary learning experience in partnership with the Association for Family Business Enterprise (AFBE), the Institute of Directors (IOD) and the Doctoral Association of Eastern Africa (DAEA) in order to improve research that link academia and industry. As part of USIU-Africa’s commitment to empowering society’s leaders in the region and continent, USIU-Africa has developed a comprehensive strategy that positions it as the transformative leader in executive education.

USIU-Africa recognizes the growing demand for professional development, expertise, and resources to support the EAC's rapidly evolving business, government, and non-profit landscape. By offering an extensive range of programs and resources, USIU-Africa aims to become the ultimate destination for individuals and organizations seeking to develop their leadership skills and enhance their business acumen.

Speaking during the launch, Professor Margee Ensign, Vice-Chancellor of USIU-Africa emphasized the importance of properly preparing family businesses in order for them to remain competitive in an ever-changing business environment.

“We recognize that executives and professionals must have access to the latest knowledge and resources to drive economic growth, sustainability, poverty reduction and job creation in the region, and we are excited to equip them with the tools and expertise they need to succeed,” she asserted.

USIU-Africa’s initial focus is on family-owned businesses, which comprise a staggering 76% of all companies in the EAC and employ over 78% of the workforce. Unfortunately, less than 16% of these businesses have a solid succession plan or strong family and business governance, which is why our commitment to their success is unwavering. USIU-Africa’s executive education programs will equip these family businesses with the knowledge and tools they need to thrive in today's global marketplace. Additional programs will focus on IT, especially data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, development and global monetary policy, and healthcare delivery.

While delivering her keynote address, Dr. Jean Meeks-Koch, CEO, Positively People, and the Interim Executive Director of the Center noted that sustaining family-owned businesses in East Africa must be prioritized.
“USIU-Africa's Center launch and strategic focus meet critical regional needs. The socio-economic landscape thrives when family-owned businesses are equipped with robust governance and continuity plans. These businesses are the foundation of a strong economic fabric, weaving together the threads of prosperity and growth for communities and the region,” she said.

The inaugural program will focus on family business owners and their families and will also quickly launch other programs that cater to executives and professionals, such as governance, leading digital transformation, and global leadership change transformation.

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