Entrepreneurship in Africa Master Class

In January, seven teams of Columbia Business School students from the Entrepreneurship in Africa Master Class visited companies in Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa. Each team produced a case study and completed a hands-on project for the company they studied.

One team worked with Joseph and Damasi Mfugale, founder and CEO (and father and son), respectively, of the Peacock Hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Mfugales received $2 million from the East African Development Bank to add 75 luxury rooms, a health spa and a conference center to their 93-room, three-star hotel. They hope to finish the expansion in one year, turning the Peacock into a five-star hotel, and open three new five-star hotels in five years. The Columbia team worked with the Mfugales to develop a strategic plan.

Although tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the Tanzanian economy, development is impeded by such factors as extreme poverty, high rates of infectious disease, unsustainable use of natural resources, widespread corruption and limited foreign and domestic investment. In response to increased demand, the government is building infrastructure and creating investment incentives to attract developers.