Just recently, Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) PLC, the leading Information and Communications Technology Company in Africa,sponsored and hosted a Columbia Business School (CBS) MBA Information Session. The information session,which was held at the CWG Academy center in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, was attended by over 50 potential MBA students and provided participants information on the CBS MBA program, students’ experience, university resources, application criteria, and global alumni network from whichMBA students at CBS benefit.
CBS,situated in New York City,is a global leader in providing quality business training for people from different parts of the globe. According to Glenn Hubbard, Dean and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics,the school presently has over 40,000 alumni from over 100 countries. Having foreseen the business opportunity available within the African market and the quality of MBA applicants from Africa, including Nigeria, CBS has increased its recruitment and curriculum within the Africa region.
This year, CBS students visited eight different African countries as part of CBS’ practical curriculum. In each country, CBS students worked directly with established African businesses as well as local entrepreneurs to learn more about doing business in Africa and to build professional networks for future employment. CWG also understands the impact of quality education on every economy and, hence, has collaborated with CBS on the MBA Information session in Nigeria.
During an interview with Austin Okere, the Group Chief Executive Officer of CWG on this subject, he remarked that CWG is passionate about improving educational system at the higher institution level in Africa and this has resulted to the establishment of CWG Academy where fresh graduates receive thorough class room training and hands-on mostly on IT disciplines. The CWG Academy which commenced in 2010 in Nigeria has producedover300 graduates who are currently working in world-class companies like MTN Nigeria, IBM, CWG, KPMG among others while some of them have started their own ICT businesses. It has also been extended to Ghana.
He also highlighted that CWG’s corporate social responsibility is centered on promotion of Education in selected higher institutionsin African countries where CWG has established physical presence. CWG awards prizes to the top graduating students in those schools and offers automatic employment as a way of encouraging excellence among students.“To us in CWG, intellectual capital development is very crucial for our business growth as well as the economy at large. Hence, the huge importance we place on intellectual capital development”. Austin added.
Also, CWG’s CEO and top management staff engage in voluntary tutoring in entrepreneurshipdevelopment centers such as; Fate foundation, Lagos Business School amongst others. In 2013, Mr. Okere was appointed as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Columbia Business School, New York, he guest lectures at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston and United States International University (USIU) Kenya.
CWG and CBS first began its educational collaboration in 2007, when students of Professor Murray Low of Columbia Business Schoolvisited Lagos to meet with and learn from leading entrepreneurs. Inspired by the achievements of Austin Okere and CWG, Professor Low decided to write an educational case study on CWG, using the CWG story as an example of an inspiring entrepreneur operating within a challenging, yet promising environment. Through this relationship, CWG and CBS have built a strong relationship that continues today and has created more opportunities for Nigerians to be availed of MBA studies at Columbia Business School.