Master of Business Administration (MBA) enjoys a long history of respect in the halls of business, leadership, and power.

But what about professionals already established in their careers, in positions of respect? They do not need to learn the basics; they aren’t just starting their careers like most MBA candidates.

Yet many executives understand that there is always more to learn; skills to hone; higher plateaus to achieve. What degree is available to level up their skills?

The Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) was established to offer experienced professionals the opportunity to advance their already-impressive careers.

Africa Business School is thrilled to have collaborated with one of the oldest and most respected business schools in the world — Columbia Business School — in creating an EMBA program designed by Africans, for Africans.

Columbia Business School

Columbia University is one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the United States. Located in the cultural and financial capital of the superpower nation — New York City — it is a member of the Ivy League, a venerated consortium of eight US universities that also includes Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.

Founded in 1754, it predates the American Revolution as the fifth-oldest university in America. Today it is one of the most respected research, teaching, and academic publishing organizations in the country. Professorships at Columbia are coveted by PhDs and Nobel Laureates around the world.

Columbia is one of six Ivy League schools to sponsor a business school, and Columbia Business School is respected the world over. Founded in 1916, it was ranked as the 7th best business school in the world in 2021.

Notable graduates of Columbia Business School include:

Berkshire-Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett
KKR & Co-Founder Henry Kravis
Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit
Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck
Morgan Stanley CEO James P. Gorman
Wheelock and Company Ltd Chairman Peter Woo

Any degree is an accomplishment, but a degree that bears the stamp of Columbia Business School is especially impressive, a crown jewel on any CV.

The Executive Master of Business Administration

The Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) is like an MBA, but it is not for beginners. While older and more experienced students can find an MBA fruitful, the majority of MBA candidates are young, often fresh out of undergraduate university studies. They have an interest in business, finance, or the corporate ladder, and the MBA helps them get started.

An EMBA is for lifelong students, already established in their careers. They don’t need to “get started.” According to US News and World Report, the average age of an EMBA candidate is 38 (although much younger or much older students may pursue the degree).

Many EMBA candidates are already respected business leaders in their own right. But they have the humility to realize that they still have more to learn, as well as the ambition to attain even higher positions in life.

Other EMBA candidates are recent MBA grads or early in their careers, but aspire to leadership roles and want a degree program that teaches them the “right material” to lead.

EMBA candidates learn nuanced, valuable leadership skills, including:

Recognizing your weaknesses, knowing when to shore them up and when to depend on team members who complement your skills.
Culture creation, taking responsibility for fostering an environment in which team members can thrive, finding purpose and community in collaboration.
Active listening, the ability to recognize when your team has great ideas and it is time to listen rather than talk.
Leadership attitude, positive thinking, good habits, a growth mindset, and a “can-do” attitude that inspires and trickles down to a team.

Differences Between an EMBA and an MBA

MBA
For students early in their career (though not exclusively).
Teaches “the basics.”
Focus on leadership.
Designed to “get your foot in the door.”

EMBA
For advanced career professionals (though not exclusively).
Teaches nuanced finer points of business.
Focus on leadership.
Designed for executives to level up their leadership skills.

At the corporate, governance, and social level, strong and principled leadership is the answer to so many of the challenges Africa faces. Few advanced degrees have the laser-focus on leadership skills as the Executive MBA.

May EMBA programs offer value, but few offer the pedigree of Columbia Business School, an Ivy League institution that has minted more than its share of billionaires. Africa Business School is beyond proud to offer an EMBA degree program in partnership with CBS.

It represents a unique opportunity for African executives to earn a lauded degree and advance their already-impress leadership skills, earning them pole positions in the African prosperity to come.

Mastering the Science of Business Administration: Our EMBA with Columbia Business School - Africa Business School

Is a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) necessary to make an impact in the global economy? No. The many business leaders who don’t have MBAs attest to this.

But in Africa, a continent rich with natural resources and brimming with development potential, the right MBA degree can make all the difference in the world. An Africa-relevant MBA can make an ambitious student a key asset in Africa’s development, even early in their career.

Africa Business School is thrilled to offer one of the most relevant MBA degrees on the continent — affordable, local, and tailored to the unique needs of the Africa business environment.

This degree — far easier for Africans to obtain than foreign degrees — is more beneficial on the African business scene because it teaches students the specific skills they need to thrive in the unique business environments found on the continent.
Additionally, African Business School partners with some of the most prestigious business schools in the world, including Ivy League institutions in America, to craft degree programs that carry instant respect and prestige.

The Importance of an MBA in Africa

Africa’s long standing problems are mostly problems of leadership. After all, Africa boasts a tireless and enthusiastic workforce, a treasure trove of natural resources, and limitless room to grow.

These priceless assets are useless, however, without the right guidance.

Many of Africa’s most brilliant CEOs have MBA degrees from prestigious universities. But the top of the corporate ladder is not the only place where an MBA is relevant. Disruptive corporations have complex corporate ladders. Leaders at all levels of the corporate ladder need the skills taught in MBA programs all over the world.

But for all its potential, Africa boasts few potential leaders with MBA degrees. This vacuum represents a golden opportunity for ambitious Africans who want to advance their careers and contribute to the prosperity of their homeland.

Why Africa Business School?

But the problem goes deeper than the lack of credentialed Africans. The Africans who do obtain an MBA often obtain that degree in a foreign school, or a school with heavy foreign influence. While many skills learned in a traditional MBA are transferable, they don’t train students for the unique challenges of doing business in Africa.

Despite our partnerships with industry leaders like Columbia Business School, Africa Business School remains steadfastly African. We are committed to providing a business education that not only stands toe-to-toe with the best in the world but also stands proud in its African heritage and teaches skills relevant to Africa.

Our mission is to train the next generation of African leaders, who will guide the hearth of humanity into a new generation of wealth, industry, and virtue.
What MBA Candidates Learn
MBA candidates do not learn to be leaders in any specific business. Rather, they learn a set of high-value skills that helps them thrive in any business or industry. Every industry needs leadership — outside-the-box thinkers with vision and decisiveness.

An MBA hones those skills, minting Africans into the kind of irreplaceable leaders that African industries desperately need.

The skill sets learned by MBA candidates at Africa Business School include:

Critical Thinking. Critical thinking is the ability to analyze problems and find solutions that don’t immediately present themselves. MBA candidates learn to ask probing questions and follow a chain of logic to their conclusion. Africa Business School suffuses its curriculum with instructive case studies, which show how brilliant business leaders handled the most unsolvable problems and produced prosperity against all the odds. By studying these examples, students learn to do it themselves.

Execution. Critical thinking is only half of problem-solving. Once the solution is apparent, you have to execute. African industries have many moving parts, with borders to cross and many competing interests. Africa Business School teaches students not only how to form a plan, but how to execute it. Equally important, students learn how to pivot the plan in the face of obstacles.

Stakeholder Management. Africa is a complicated place to do business. Stakeholders within an organization or project may come from many jurisdictions with many competing sets of laws, rules, and standards. An Africa-focused MBA teaches students to gracefully manage all these stakeholders, acting as a problem-solver and bridge-builder in pursuit of win-win solutions that avoid more short-sighted leaders.

Africa is rife with developing economies. Business leaders in Africa, as well as the world over, recognize the opportunity to harness the sleeping giant. Not only can companies and governments reap epic profits, but the standard of living in underdeveloped communities can increase substantially.

The future development of Africa is poised to be the most virtuous advancement of humanity in more than a century.

Which Africans will participate in this boom? Which ones will have the skills, the vision, and the passion to lead their families, their country, their people into a prosperous new world?

A prosperous Africa needs leaders. Through our MBA program, Africa Business School elevates those leaders to their rightful place in Africa’s bright future.

How an MBA Degree Can Make you a Key Asset in Africa’s Development - Africa Business School

Africa Business School is committed to fostering Africa’s next generation of leaders — executives, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and stewards of prosperity.
This mission infuses every aspect of our pedagogical approach. In designing in-person and online courses for our MBA, EMBA, and MA-ENR candidates, we strive to implement the following, we let the following seven principles guide us to excellence in business education:

1. African Courses for African Students

For generations, African business leaders and aspiring leaders have left Africa to pursue advanced degrees from some of the best business schools in the world.
While these institutions provide world-class education, they don’t necessarily prepare students for the unique and complicated business environment of Africa.
As a consequence, these leaders and potential leaders must either learn to navigate the African business ecosystem on the job or decide to make their careers outside of Africa and never return.
Africa Business School dedicates itself to keeping that talent in Africa and preparing that talent to thrive in its own continent. We therefore meticulously craft our courses around content, examples, and in-field activities relevant to Africa.
Students learn from a mix of African and global business leaders to understand what it takes to build a prosperous Africa and thrive within it.

2. Global Partnerships with the Best

While Africa Business School crafts African courses for African students, we don’t limit our pedagogical scope to the continent.
We design courses in partnership with some of the most prestigious business schools and institutions in the world, including Ivy League schools in the US like Columbia Business School.
These partnerships enable Africa Business School to offer degrees with the pedigree of prestigious universities. Even more so, we enlist the collaboration of the most established and respected business educators in the world.
This enables students of Africa Business School to enjoy the best of both worlds — course content relevant to Africa, curated by a global team with a golden reputation for academic rigor and excellence in business.

3. Follow the Example of Success

Success leaves a trail. Africa Business School designs its business courses around real-life examples of business successes.
We present Africa-specific examples, as well as global case studies, in search of the DNA for growth and prosperity.
Our approach touches on the micro-level as well as the macro. Our professors are interested not only in the global disruptors but also in the small success stories that form the backbone of prosperous economies.

4. Embrace the Example of Failure

Success is a great teacher, but failure is an even better teacher. Africa’s future business leaders must not only find insight from what has gone right in the past, but also from what went wrong.
We want students to be aware not only of the right choices that made companies and governments but also of the wrong choices that broke them.
They can also take inspiration from the fact that for some of the most successful and respected leaders in the world, the road to the top was not always smooth.
Africa Business School also seeks to instill an intrepid spirit into its students. Failure is an integral part of the path to success. African business leaders must be prepared to take risks, as well as a correct course in the face of the unexpected.

5. Learn by Doing

Textbooks and lectures are important, but business is not done in the classroom. It is done in the field, in the marketplace. Africa Business School actively cultivates opportunities for in-field experience and hands-on learning.
This has the added benefit of getting students involved in the local community and immersed in local business practices, enhancing our mission to provide African content for African students.

6. Pursue Virtue in Business

Africa Business School regards business and capitalism as virtuous institutions, able to uplift communities, generate prosperity, and foster cross-cultural bonds of friendship and productivity. All of this is possible if virtuous people hold the reins.
As such, Africa Business School teaches students to be as virtuous leaders as they are effective leaders. We stake our mission on the thesis that the most successful business leaders in history have not been the ones who took the most advantage, but the ones who help the most people.
This generation of leaders will not only contribute to the betterment of Africa but thrive in a global marketplace hungry for sustainable investments in emerging markets.

7. Students First

Every business has customers, and our students are our most valued customers. We don’t succeed unless they succeed.
Africa Business School, therefore, dedicates itself to the personal and career development of every degree candidate we welcome, from admission to graduation and beyond.

In these seven principles, Africa Business School dedicates itself to a high standard of academic excellence in the august tradition of business education.
Our programs prepare students for a productive, fulfilling, and lucrative career in their home countries, each with a role to play in the betterment of their communities, families, and all of Africa.

Designing Our Courses in Business Administration: Africa Business School’s Teaching Philosophy - Africa Business School