By Lee Davidson, Senior Associate, Copywriter/Editor, AACSB International
In the latest edition of AACSB’s revamped video interview program, AACSB Explores, president and CEO Tom Robinson sits down with the dean of Pan-Atlantic University’s Lagos Business School (LBS), Enase Okonedo, to discuss business education challenges and opportunities unique to LBS specifically and to emerging world regions more broadly.
Some of the themes threaded throughout the conversation include faculty recruitment and development, the perception of business education and practice in Africa, obstacles to accreditation, establishing connections between business schools and industry, the evolving role of technology in management education, and business practitioners’ responsibility to society.
LBS, located in Nigeria, is one of only 100 business schools in Africa, a number that represents a shortfall of opportunity relative to the continent’s increasing population, especially of college-bound people. While the current lack of sufficient business schools to serve the population is one problem, Okonedo also points to the challenge of bringing higher education to rural areas—where people don’t have access to college campuses—and the subsequent challenge of seeking different educational models that might accommodate a broader range of citizens.
Since assuming the deanship in 2009, Okonedo has built on the work of LBS to address the need for well-educated managers and executives in the Nigerian region as well as in regions across Africa. Further, through unique programming, LBS has worked to impress upon potential students the significance of majoring in business not only at the post-graduate level but also at the undergraduate level, where the major is not as popular as other, more lucrative-seeming fields, such as medicine and law.
In fact, an overarching theme in the conversation between Okonedo and Robinson centered on the need to change the perception of business school in general for potential students—as well as the need to change the perception of business in the African region from an industry that is corrupt to one that can benefit society as a whole.
Looking forward, Okonedo and LBS aim to create more business leaders in Africa through better cultural understanding of business education and practice, more professors to teach in business schools through unique programming, and a greater benefit to emerging regions through innovative initiatives.
Watch the interview, which is segmented into five distinct parts, to learn more about the special challenges, accomplishments, and goals for LBS and Dean Okonedo.