Global Immersion: Business Opportunities in the Maghreb (North Africa)
The “Maghreb,” which groups the North Western African countries of Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya, is a region ripe for business opportunities. The region represents a market of more than 90 million people with an average annual GDP growth of 2-3%. Because of its free trade agreement with Europe and several countries in Africa and the Middle East, the Maghreb can potentially become a gateway to a market of more than 500 million people. The Maghreb is going through profound changes following the initial upheaval of the Arab Spring. But there are many questions that await. Will the Maghreb countries transition to democracy? Will they be able to create a business environment that is attractive to investors? If so, what investment opportunities exist in the region? What are the risks involved and the future challenges? The course will explore these questions and other issues related to doing business in the Maghreb. The course consists of three classes at Columbia to introduce this complex region. A week-long trip to Tunis will include visits to companies and government institutions. Students will undertake projects that could focus on analyzing business opportunities in the region as a whole, a particular country or industry, or could simply study the strategy of a local firm. The class will meet during the B-term on the following Wednesdays, 2:15-5:30 pm October 24, November 7 and December 5 with one meeting during the spring semester where students will present their final projects. Travel will take place to Tunis, Tunisia from Sunday, January 13, 2013 through Saturday, January 19, 2013.
Global Immersion Program classes bridge classroom lessons and business practices in another country. These three credit classes meet for half a term in New York prior to a one week visit to the country of focus where students will meet with business executives and government officials while working on team projects. Upon return from the travel portion of the class, students will have at least one wrap up meeting at Columbia Business School. The 2012-2013 Global Immersion Program fee for all classes is $1800 and provides students with double occupancy lodging, ground transportation and some meals. It does not cover roundtrip international airfare. Attendance both in New York and in-country and regular participation are a crucial part of the learning experience and as such attendance is mandatory. Students who miss the first class meeting may be removed from the course, and will not have their program fee refunded to them. No program fee refunds will be given after the add/drop period has closed.