The ALUSB MBA Online Intensive Week: Highlights And Takeaways

Online learning, zoom

Every 4 months, the ALUSB MBA students travel to Kigali for a week-long “intensive” where they get to connect with their peers and learn directly from African business leaders. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent travel restrictions, we were unable to conduct our intensive in person. Nonetheless, the ALUSB community gathered online for an exciting week of engaging sessions led by academic experts and business leaders from across the world. 

Read on to discover some of last week’s highlights and takeaways! 

Day 1: Sunday, 12 July

ALUSB MBA Intensive

Leadership Lab with Dr Deqo Mohammed

We started the week off with a powerful question: what does it mean to be a virtuous leader? Special guest Dr Deqo Mohammed joined the ‘Ubuntu’ cohort to share her leadership journey and how she managed to stay true to her values amidst all of it! Together with Dr Deqo, our MBAs explored education, community and transformational leadership.

“Before you can truly be a leader, you have to know who you are and what you stand for.” – Dr Deqo Mohammed

Day 2: Monday, 13 July

Structured Business Communication with Julie Gichuru

On day two, we were privileged to have a fireside chat with Julie Gichuru, Head of Communications and Public Affairs at Mastercard Foundation, on the importance of communicating effectively. This conversation raised a point about inclusive communication and how important it is that every member of your organisation feels represented. Additionally, the class explored the complexities of navigating communications in the era of social media.

“Internal communication is about the ability to consistently communicate the mission, vision and journey of the team.” – Julie Gichuru

Day 3: Tuesday, 14 July

Strategy in Africa with Michael Ikpoki

Michael Ikpoki, former CEO of MTN Nigeria, joined the ‘Ubuntu’ cohort during their ‘Strategy in Africa’ session to share the story of his career journey and his insights on building and executing strategy in the middle of a crisis. Key takeaway: If you’re executing the right strategy, it will always reflect in the numbers!

“When you think about your business, you need to think about your society. You cannot have a successful business if your society is failing.” – Michael Ikpoki.

Day 4: Wednesday, 15 July

Entrepreneurship and Innovation with Chidi Afulezi

ALUSB’s Head Faculty for Product, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Chidi Afulezi, led a powerful session that took us through the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. The session also presented an opportunity for our students to express some of their personal experiences with being an entrepreneur. And the key takeaway from that session was that entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted! 

ALUSB MBA IntensiveALUSB MBA Intensive

“When a customer pays for your product, they are hiring your product to do a job.”- Chidi Afulezi.

Leadership Lab with Ebun Feludu

While the ‘Ubuntu’ cohort explored entrepreneurship with Chidi, the ‘Insinzi’ cohort was having a conversation about entrepreneurial leadership with Ebun Feludu, CEO of JAM – The Coconut Food Company. Ebun joined the session to share her professional story and why she believes that the COVID-19 crisis can be a catalyst for Africa’s growth! 

I see such a great opportunity for the continent; Africa is presented with the opportunity to get ahead with no physical limitations.” – Ebun Feludu

Day 5: Thursday, 16 July

Leadership Lab with Christopher Williams

ALUSB MBA Intensive

Day 5 of the July intensive started off with a leadership conversation with the President of the African Leadership University, Christopher O.H. Williams. The session explored the fundamentals of growth and how we can remain effective leaders in the face of adversity.

Capstone Presentations + BUILD Lab Presentations

The last day was also marked with presentations from both MBA cohorts. After working on their projects for months, the ‘Insinzi’ cohort shared their entrepreneurial projects aimed at solving some of the biggest challenges on the continent. The ‘Ubuntu’ cohort presented their innovative solutions for businesses across Africa as part of the BUILD Lab Challenge.

“In the context of a crisis, you are not the boss. You have a role as a leader but it’s the people in your team that make the difference.”  – Christopher O.H. Williams

Hackathon: Saturday, 18 July

To officially close off the July MBA intensive, ALUSB partnered with the Ministry of ICT and Innovation and members of Hult International Business School to provide innovative solutions to real government challenges in Rwanda! This Global Business Hackathon brought together creative minds from across the world and was a great exercise of taking a common business challenge and applying it to a context on the continent. A great way to conclude an intense week of online learning and community building! 


Looking back at our second online intensive, we are proud of the agility of our community and look forward to more growth in our leadership journey as we work towards making the African century a reality – COVID or no COVID.  

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