Parts of Africa are now one of the most exciting regions of the world for business. 10 – 20 African countries have achieved steady, high growth rates during the last few decades. A wide range of sectors in these “lion” economies – commodities, tourism, agribusiness, eCommerce, oil and gas, retail, etc – are buzzing with activity and attention from foreign investors and multinationals. But how can companies and investors enter and operate efficiently in African countries still characterized by weak institutions? What challenges characterize the private sector in Africa, how do they vary with context, and what strategies can firms and organizations adopt to overcome them? Where can new MBAs interested in Africa add the most value? East Africa is the perfect region to address and explore these questions. Armed with a framework and analytical tools from economics, we will meet with executives in Kenya and Rwanda that have “cracked the code” of doing profitable business in institutionally weak countries, local industry experts, and African business leaders. We will also meet with policymakers that “make the rules” for the private sector in East Africa. The class will meet weekly in the A term in New York before traveling to Kenya and Rwanda March 14-21, 2020; several short assignments will be required.
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 may have one wrap up meeting at Columbia Business School. The 2019-2020 Global Immersion Program fee for most classes is $1850 and provides students with double occupancy lodging, ground transportation and some meals; unless an increased fee is otherwise specified in the course description. 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. No program fee refunds will be given after the add/drop period has closed. Please visit the Chazen Institute website to learn more about the Global Immersion Program, and visit the Global Immersion Policies page to review policies affecting these courses.
Gary Winnick and Martin Granoff Associate Professor of Business
Professor Hjort teaches Managerial Economics and a Global Immersion course on East Africa. His research focuses on firms, organizations and workers in developing countries