AFRICA’S top business school and one of the world’s leading consulting firms have joined forces to boost leadership and management capacity in Zimbabwe by launching an innovative strategic alliance.
Report by Staff Reporter
The first-of-its-kind partnership between the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) and PwC Advisory Services Zimbabwe, will see the two working together to co-design and roll out executive education across the private and public sector with a view to bringing world-class learning opportunities to companies’ doorsteps.
Walter Baets, director of the UCT GSB, says the initiative came at a time when the Zimbabwean economy — after more than a decade of decline — is reviving and the need for leadership, management and strategic skills, particularly at the top level, is more urgent than ever.
“Given the brain drain from the country over the past decade, there is a huge gap in terms of experience, knowledge and exposure in the current leadership that this initiative will go some way towards closing,” he said.
Zimbabwean business leaders – current and future – will now have access to the world-class educational standards of the UCT GSB.
The school is ranked top in Africa and has several prestigious international rankings and accreditations. This will spare them considerable time and travel expenses and offer a more efficient learning opportunity, Baets said.
PwC Zimbabwe and Malawi, senior partner Tinashe Rwodzi said UCT GSB was a natural choice for PwC.
“This is not only because the GSB is ranked top in Africa in many surveys, but because the school’s entrepreneurial spirit, energy and forward-looking philosophy struck a chord,” he said. “We wanted to find an organisation that matched the pedigree of PwC and one that understood the challenges of Africa.”
Ethel Kuuya, senior manager of the People and Change practice for PwC Zimbabwe and Malawi said: “By marrying the deep knowledge and experience base of PwC and the GSB, we can bring to fruition solutions that address talent and capacity challenges and can help firms to grow and harness their intellectual horsepower.”
This is the first major step beyond the borders of South Africa for UCT GSB. Although it runs short courses in other African countries and recruits from across the continent, Baets said that this was the first time that the school would have a permanent footprint outside of South Africa.
It is also the first business school in South Africa to take such a step. The move is part of the university’s overall commitment to Afropolitanism — being relevant in the African context.
“This is an example of how a good African school like the GSB can reach outside in a useful way to contribute to the economic development and capacity building of its neighbours,” Baets said.