Marketing (Part 5)

Marketing (Part 5)

__Find your greatness: This is how we are supposed to do it!

Let me first tell you some #BreakingNews! This Saturday afternoon I will have the honor of taking part in a Presidential Youth Entrepreneurship town hall with His Excellency President Paul Kagame in Kigali, Rwanda. I’ll share more here very shortly so you can RSVP to attend if you are nearby this weekend. Stay tuned.

Now let’s start to finish up this marketing series. For those of you on the platform here who carefully read my Afterthoughts each week, you’ll know that last week I posted an amazing 6-minute video made by Nike. It’s message was: “Find your greatness.” I also gave a quiz asking about what Nike was trying to do with this kind of marketing. Was it trying to make money selling sportswear? If not that, then what?

Many of you mentioned some interesting answers which I will get back to later. Meanwhile (a hint) what would you say is the “purpose” of your own company’s brand? Is it “purpose-driven”? As you are coming to see, marketing is a complex subject that requires you do a lot more study than these few posts I’ve shared in the past month.

If you are really serious, for instance, about business leadership and skilling yourself up to build Africa’s century, you need to know about the African Leadership University School of Business (ALUSB) MBA program co-founded by my friend, Fred Swaniker. You can find out more here:

https://www.alusb.com

Along with President Paul Kagame who I look forward to seeing this weekend, I was invited last year to give a keynote address to ALUSB’s innovative world-class program. I’ll give you the link below if you want to watch the graduation highlights.

As I told that impressive inaugural group of MBAs from across Africa: “If I could turn the clock back to when I was your age, I would have loved to be sitting with you.”

What inspires Fred to do what he does?

__ “There are less than 6,000 days left before Africa will have the largest and youngest workforce in the world!”

You might call Fred a “serial edupreneur” in his mission to tackle this challenge across the continent. Some of you will remember I told you here a few years ago about the African Leadership Academy (for young people 16-19). This was the first social entrepreneurial venture Fred co-founded in Johannesburg back in 2004. You can check it out here: http://www.africanleadershipacademy.org/

Fred’s new pan-African MBA program at Africa Leadership University ALU School of Business is 20 months long. Courses are online but there are also mandatory one-week sessions (six in total) where students must study together at ALUSB’s Kigali campus. The idea is to blend both online and in-class learning to ensure professionals who are full time employees can take part, and also to build an alumni network of MBAs with pan-African vision. Please check it out and share feedback. What do you think about the core courses they offer? They are always listening for ideas.

ALU’s MBA coursework is drawn from some of the world’s top global business programs including the (Peter) Drucker Institute. You better know his quote by heart now… “Marketing and innovation make money. Everything else is a cost!”

As Fred said a few days ago about ALUSB’s MBA program: “We must aim for the highest standards if we are going to achieve our objectives in Africa. There is also the imperative of creating ‘human infrastructure’: leaders who can cross borders and have pan-African relationships so they can drive pan-African trade and investment, reduce conflict, . . .”

I couldn’t agree more!

If you’re thinking about this MBA program for yourself, your potential workforce, or maybe for some of your talented employees, here’s a quick look in numbers at the class that got started in October 2019:

# 41 students

# 59% female

# 11 years average work experience

# 36 average age

# 17 countries of residence

# 14 primary nationalities!

The application DEADLINE for the next intake of MBA students is 13 January 2020.

I just read that they’re holding a workshop in Kigali this Saturday morning on “How to impress the MBA admissions committee”! Maybe I will even get to meet some of these aspiring students at our Presidential town hall later in the day… (more on this ASAP).

Here’s another website where you can check out some of the ALU’s other cutting edge programs (run out of their Mauritius and Rwanda campuses): https://www.alueducation.com/

Lifelong learning, 21st century skills… if you can’t find the program you’re looking for to help build Africa’s century on one of the websites I shared here today, then either tell Fred or launch one yourself!

Why not?

“Greatness is not born, it’s made”…

#ALUEducation

To be continued. . .

Image credit: Africa Leadership University, MBA graduation ceremony, Kigali, Rwanda, March 2019.

Author:Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.

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