Author: Tinashe Nondo ’22
Use your voice, choose your medium, change the narrative!”- Ndidi Nwuneli
Intensive two marked the end of term one, a term in which my views on African leadership started to take a more optimistic turn. We started the week off on Sunday the 7th of March, with a talk led by Dr Deqo Mohammed. She shared a pertinent story on how she found her own voice and not only carried her Mother’s, Dr Hawa Abdi’s legacy in Somalia by running the Dr Hawa Abdi Foundation, but also tackled the education issue within her country by opening a school, the Waqaf-Diblawe Primary School. I was struck by her boldness and unapologetic nature and her passion not only for Somalia but for Africa as a whole. She reminded us that as Africans, we can solve our own problems.
Completing Finance and Evaluation and Doing Business in Africa (DBIA), marked the introduction of three new subjects; Marketing Across the Continent taught by Bill Carney, adjunct professor at Hult International Business School; Strategy in Africa, taught by Emmett Tracy, former Dean of ALUSB and founding Dean of Emory and Henry College and Operations Management presented by Professor Nawtej Dosanjh, the Provost and ProRektor of GISMA University. As a cohort, we were able to immediately apply the Operations Management principles we had ruminated upon during the week. In our Pan-African Groups, we collaboratively improved the operations and profit margins of Benihana Restaurant in an online simulation hosted by Harvard School of Business.
The talk facilitated by Dr Francis Mangeni on the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) made me realise that Africa is indeed open for business. The fact that there is a huge focus on easing restrictions on cross border trade of authentic African products across the continent is not only encouraging but long overdue. Dr Mangeni highlighted the objectives of ACFTA and the progress made to-date in meeting those objectives. One of the key focus areas of DBIA during the term was supply chain mapping; in our ultimate DBIA session, our Home Learning Team groups presented on the supply chain models of various products on the continent, including chocolate in Côte D’Ivoire, tea in Rwanda, tomato paste in Nigeria and peanut butter in South Africa to name a few. We were also tasked with recommending solutions that would improve the supply chain.
The best part of my week was undoubtedly meeting Ndidi Nwuneli, Founder of LEAP Africa, a youth leadership organisation and co-founder of AACE Food Processing & Distribution, an empowering agribusiness that collects produce from West African farmers, processes it, and makes it ready for sale on local and international markets. She is also the co-founder and managing partner of Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited; a firm committed to transforming Africa’s agriculture and nutrition landscapes. She shared openly about her MBA journey at Harvard, how ignorance about Africa on campus birthed the African Business Conference. She also spoke about how gross inefficiencies in Africa’s food ecosystem birthed Sahel and AACE foods. Ndidi effortlessly models virtuous, visionary and value-adding leadership. A strong advocate for empowerment and telling our own stories, she attributes her success to her faith in God, leaning into the support of her husband, remaining integrous and leveraging the networks she has formed throughout the years. Anger about issues that concern us can give rise to the needed solutions.
When you see distortions and inefficiencies, you see opportunities”- Ndidi Nwuneli
After completing this past intensive, there is admittedly an overwhelming feeling of being right at home within the ALUSB family. The intersection between passion, intellect, networking, and technology is noteworthy. I am exactly where I need to be, and through continuous engagement with all-star players the world over, it can only get better.
Soon we will be able to start realising our dreams of a transformed Africa. Will you join the tribe?
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