EDUCATION: African's Want Management Insight
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An analysis of enrolment statistics on a leading management development programme at the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) has highlighted that an increasing number of African organisations are investing in management education.
Statistics from the Programme for Management Development (PMD), a flagship two-week UCT GSB general management programme for middle- to senior-level managers which runs three times each year, reveals that organisations across the continent have shifted management development to the top of their agendas.
In 2000, the percentage of non-South Africans on the Programme for Management Development averaged below 10%. By 2008, the percentage of non-South Africans undertaking the programme had risen to 70% – the vast majority from organisations on the continent, said Bruce MacDonald, Director of the course.
“This focus on developing management capacity includes not only large firms, but also extends to the public sector, with a significant proportion coming from various countries’ state departments and parastatals,” he said.
MacDonald said the PMD has been revised for 2009 to accommodate a greater number of management students from across South Africa and the continent. The programme now runs over two weeks and at a lower cost as well.
“We have refined the programme and we expect it will help more organisations to send managers. We believe that supporting companies and their nominees will welcome this change, as the benefits of lower costs and a shorter time away from work and family need no underlining,” he said.
MacDonald added that the rise in management expertise in Africa has no doubt contributed to Africa’s economic development in the past few years and its resilience under the current economic pressures.
“A critical part of shifting international perceptions of Africa and the development of more productive and efficient operations on the continent, which to date may have gone unnoticed, has been the phenomenal growth of management capacity on the continent in the last decade.
“This has helped the continent onto the path of growth and despite the global economic recession, analysts are predicting African economies will still see reasonable growth of over three percent in the coming year. As world leaders converged on Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum recently, the projection delivered from several quarters is that African economic growth will slow to between 3.5 to 4 percent this year, but outperforming hard-hit industrialised economies and the low projections for some other developing regions such as Latin America,” said MacDonald.
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