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Faculty Focus | The Case for Africa

Volume 18, Number 5
May 2012

Watch a 9-minute interview with Ivey Associate Professor Nicole Haggerty on Ivey's new Service Learning in Africa elective course

Ivey's HBA students are sharing their knowledge of case-based learning with their counterparts in Africa while also learning how to do business in this rapidly growing area of the world.

Arriving in Africa today, 18 students will spend five weeks in either Nairobi, Kenya; Mombasa, Kenya; Koforidua, Ghana; or Butare, Rwanda in May and June for Ivey's new elective course: International Business Environment Studies: Service Learning in Africa, which is led by Ivey Associate Professor Nicole Haggerty. While there, they'll teach African business students and faculty how to use Ivey cases, will write a new case on a business in Africa, and will do research on small African businesses.

Haggerty said the idea for the course was prompted by the demand for case-based management education at African universities and the need for business cases in Africa following the launch of Ivey Publishing's 39 Country Initiative. Haggerty noticed that 32 of the 39 countries involved in the initiative are in Africa.

In addition to sharing the case method, she said the course provides a valuable opportunity for Ivey students to get first-hand international business experience.

"The way the course is designed is truly immersive so, when the students come back, they'll understand how business in Africa works and will have had a far deeper experience than they would traditionally get in other kinds of programs," said Haggerty. "It makes sense for Canadian business leaders to understand the major opportunity for doing business in and with Africa. Africa is really on a turning point in terms of its growth."

Rob Freele, an HBA student who is heading to Nairobi, Kenya, is looking forward to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and participating in an African safari as well as developing a professional network while overseas. Freele said he is hoping to eventually work abroad.

"I know I'm taking my career international. That has always been my plan. I knew I wanted to gain more overseas experience before graduating," he said. "This course in Africa will be an incredible experience. It's an opportunity to meet new people, explore a different culture and view a new environment. Plus, I knew that some of fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, so, from an entrepreneurial perspective, that was a big plus."

Although the African partner institutions are helping to accommodate the students, Haggerty is hoping to raise money to offset students' costs for the course and costs for offering the course again next year. Those interested in providing corporate sponsorships or donating to travel bursaries, should contact Haggerty at 519-661-4025 or

(For more information on the course, please see Western News article )


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