Extra-occupational management study course in the Congo
Frankfurt School of Finance & Management • German business school joins forces with local institution
According to the International Monetary Fund, economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa will be about six per cent in 2014. This makes Africa the worldwide fastest growing economy. With regards to management training, however, Africa still remains largely undeveloped. So far, the continent is home to only a few business schools. These are usually the result of a partnership between an educational institution in an industrialised country and an African educational institution.
One is the Central Africa Europe Business School (CAEBS) in the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kinshasa, established in October 2013. This facility and the opportunity to acquire knowledge about marketing, controlling and financial management derives from a joint venture between the German Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and the Protestant University in Kinshasa. A member in the iMOVE network, the Frankfurt School and its business profile are represented in the iMOVE provider database. Its service provision ranges from bachelor and master programmes, over continuing education courses, to individually tailored seminars and international advisory services.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the second largest country in Africa in terms of territorial area and has 75 million inhabitants. 45 per cent of the Congolese population are younger than 15 years. Especially the growing middle classes desire good structures for academic education in their own country. Many young Congolese people return home from abroad to work for multinational companies and organisations. A management training degree increases the students' competitive position in the employment market and the competitive advantage of the companies they work for as well as the international competitiveness of their country as a whole. Moreover, economic success can lead to "nation building" in a country that has been devastated by decades of civil war.
The co-operation activities between the two above-mentioned educational institutions date back to the 1990s. Four years ago, they established a joint institute for microfinancing, so that in 2010 students from the Protestant University were for the first time able to start a microfinance masters programme in order to learn how to use microcredits and microinsurances in a meaningful manner. The success of this joint programme provided the basis for establishing the Business School in Kinshasa.
More than 100 people applied for the first academic year, 39 of which were admitted. Most students are between 25 and 35 years of age and work in banks, industrial businesses and telecommunication companies. For one year, they study for an Executive MBA parallel to working; they have to provide proof of a minimum of two years of previous work experience.
The courses at the Business School are scheduled on three days per week. The campus is located in the centre of Kinshasa on grounds belonging to the Protestant Church. So far, CAEBS has been using premises at the Protestant University, but soon, this Congolese Business School will be housed in its first own building.
About half of the seminars are taught by professors from Frankfurt. Most courses are held in English. Only some lectures that are given by professors from the Protestant University are in the French language. Upon graduation, the students receive a Congolese diploma and a certificate issued by the Frankfurt School.
The academic programme costs 7,500 Euro. In the case of many participants, their employer covers some of the cost. Moreover, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) awards 15 scholarship grants for students at the CAEBS. The scholarship holders receive a monthly grant of 100 Euro. In addition, the DAAD covers their flight costs for a one-week trip to Frankfurt, where the students meet with German managers and complete a special course.
For the Frankfurt School, the MBA in the Congo is a long-term project. By way of next steps, the Business School plans an increase in student numbers and the establishment of long-term partnerships with business enterprises. The plan is also to develop further master programmes and occupational training programmes for companies.
This sucess story was first published in the iMOVE publication Developing Skills for Employability with German Partners • 8 Success Stories from Sub-Saharan Africa. The brochure was published in July 2014.