MANAGEMENT: USB Pioneers Development Finance Education
Recent Western Cape Business News
The recent $3.75-billion loan from the World Bank to Eskom has highlighted the importance of development finance to Africa. Despite the success of this business model and the proliferation of development finance institutions that have emerged in recent years, the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) is still the only South African university to offer a Masters Degree in Development Finance (MDevF).
According to Professor Meshach Aziakpono, programme head of the Masters Degree in Development Finance at USB, the course has now been available at the USB for 10 years, enabling students to study development finance at a postgraduate level in Africa. “Understanding the role that development finance plays in our economy is crucial to sustaining the continued economic development of Africa.”
Aziakpono says Africa is currently going through major financial and economic transitions that require urgent mechanisms and intervention. “This calls for a new approach to economic development, one that depends on the implementation of Africa-driven solutions.”
A number of African institutions have already been established to provide development finance services such as the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and Khula Enterprise Finance, in addition to global institutions such as the World Bank.
The MDevF is aimed at graduates in both the public and private sector who are involved with macro, sectoral and enterprise-level finance and financial management issues in the context of developing countries and emerging markets.
The USB has seen a great response from students across Africa with the 2010 intake consisting of 80% of students from outside South Africa. These students come from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Cameroon, Gabon, Mozambique, Tanzania and Malawi. Two students from further afield come from Canada and Germany. Women make up 32% of the current intake.
“This course will enhance the analytical capacities and skills of people working in the field of development finance, financial management and regulation, equipping them with a thorough understanding of the special problems of finance in emerging market economies and with the functional knowledge and skills to operate successfully,” says Aziakpono.
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