News & Events
ALUSB Graduates its First Class of 38 MBA Students
Congratulations to our very first graduating class of ALUSB students! It has been a journey for us all, and it is definitely a testament of our accomplishments so far.
On 7 July 2018, ALUSB held its first official graduation in Kigali, Rwanda. The ceremony attracted the attendance of H.E Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, as the Guest of Honor, alongside other dignitaries like Africa’s telecommunications leader and philanthropist, Strive Masiyiwa, as the inaugural graduation keynote speaker. We were greatly honoured by their presence.
Together we began this journey with the daring vision for our graduates to serve as a catalyst for prosperity on the continent and be the leaders we need to help bring about the African Century. And this graduation is the first step to making it there.
The ALUSB MBA is the first pan-African programme of its kind. This 20-month programme blends six, week-long, in-person intensives in Rwanda with interactive, online learning. Designed for working professionals across the continent who aspire to lead change while solving Africa’s toughest problems, this MBA unites a pan-African network of rising leaders hungry for robust leadership development and an African-focused curriculum. Indeed, the programme accelerates leadership velocity at scale, with 30% of the MBA curriculum dedicated to leadership development. The learning model allows students to build their studies around their work schedules while applying new skills, tools, and frameworks directly to their organisations, communities and daily lives.
As we launched the MBA in September 2016, we welcomed the very first cohort of pan-African professionals for the programme – this boasted a class of students from 14 different countries, 40% of which were female. Here we are two years down the line, having celebrated a founding graduation ceremony that was much more than a significant milestone, it was a step forward for leadership on the continent, as our graduates left with deeper, real-life experiences and understandings of what it means to do business on the continent while striving to lead change.
During the graduation ceremony, the President of Rwanda, H.E. Paul Kagame graced our graduates and their families and friends with inspiring words. He emphasised the fact that the solutions to Africa’s problems can only be found on the continent if young leaders are granted the right opportunities to do so. “By bringing together Africa’s brightest young leaders and giving them the tools to put their talents to use, ALU is playing a critical role in the transformation of the African continent”, he said. Strive Masiyiwa, who was the guest of honour for the ceremony echoed these words, and praised the programme further. “ALUSB is changing the way business education is delivered in Africa, for Africa,” the business leader said. He also urged our graduates to invest in Africa. “We keep taking from Mother Africa, but we rarely give it anything in return. Invest in your countries and your continent,” he stressed.
To top it all off, our student speaker, Jess Roussos delivered a strikingly emotional, and encouraging speech, that focused on courage and boldness. “The reason we are all here at ALU is so that we can be on the right side of history. We are here to make a change for the better,” she said. “We must do hard things and have courage, for the African Century is now becoming a reality,” she finished, with words that very much reflect the bold vision ALU is trying to achieve for the continent.
The ceremony was brought to a close with a room full of mixed emotions, palpable excitement and hope. The graduation was a measurable and transparent leap both for ALU and the graduating students, as they took their first steps into the rest of their lives as the continent’s most conscious leaders and changemakers. The future is challenging, but these 38 graduates give us hope that it will be bright. In order for the African Century to be everything we hope for – in order for the continent to live out the promise shown in countries like Rwanda – our graduates have a responsibility to step up and to have the courage to be on the right side of history.