The IE Africa Center: IE University’s latest initiative to capture innovation on the continent
Over the last 10 years, IE University has been developing innovative projects on the African continent to help drive business and innovation on the continent. The IE Africa Center, backed by IE Foundation, is their most recent venture that seeks to engage with executive leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation and support social impact projects in the region.
The IE Africa Center is chaired by Felicia Appenteng, Managing Director of the IE Fund in New York and IE’s International Advisory Board. The Ghanaian-American has extensive experience developing strategic projects for IE in the United States. While there, she worked to give more people opportunities in higher education, alongside promoting leadership diversity and cultivating agreements with international institutions.
Appenteng is joined by Begoña Gómez, who will bring her 20 years’ experience in consulting at Inmark Group and teaching at Madrid’s Complutense University to her new position as Director of the IE Africa Center. As a specialist in designing and implementing strategic projects to fundraise and promote sustainability in the third sector, Gómez Fernandez will be a valuable asset as the center develops social innovation projects on the continent.
For one of its first initiatives, the IE Africa Center will collaborate with IE’s Social Innovation Center for the IE Africa Social Innovation Booster. By exploring how to strengthen team management, fundraising, innovation and sustainability, the aim is to deepen African leaders’ innovative and entrepreneurial ideas to produce a social impact. Sabine Yazbeck, Director of International Development for IE in Africa & Middle East, will work alongside the IE Africa Center to help promote these regional initiatives.
As Felicia Appenteng, Chair of IE Africa Center, states:
“IE has been promoting executive education and leading social impact programs in Africa for the past 10 years. The creation of this center is a further indication of our commitment to Africa and will allow us to invest in our strategic initiatives. We aspire to reshape the way that the next generation of global executives and entrepreneurs understand African history and culture. With the world’s largest percentage of people under the age of 18, the highest concentration of natural resources and a new wave of political reform, Africans on the continent and in the diaspora are reclaiming their place in the world. IE must be an integral part of the change which will reveal Africa to the world.”
Carlos Mas, Vice President of the IE Foundation added, “It is a pleasure for us to announce the creation of the IE Africa Center. Our goal is to support African change makers, promote innovation, financial inclusion and the empowerment of African women.”
IE University is a global institution of learning with over 60,000 graduates in 165 countries and training and social impact projects in Ghana, Ethiopia, South Africa and Nigeria, alongside IE delegations in Nigeria and South Africa. In terms of Africa alone, over 150 students will join us in our programs this year, with a network of over 600 graduates already working on the continent. On top of this, IE University takes part in further collaboration on international projects with the universities of Cape Town and Pretoria in South Africa, Ashesi in Ghana, the Université International de Rabat and the American University in Cairo.
IE University also takes part in a number of training programs where they help executives in Africa develop key skills, while also collaborating with organizations that include Deloitte, WIMBIZ, Dimension Data and Femmes Africa Solidarité, among others. In addition, IE University imparts programs for African businesswomen and managers in six African countries, through the Women on Board initiative in conjunction with the Nigerian organization WIMBIZ and the Women Entrepreneurship Resilient Cities program, alongside the World Bank in Lebanon, Egypt and Djibouti.
The IE Foundation was built on the belief that everyone should have access to world-class education. For this reason, the Talent Without Borders scholarship program is presented to African candidates every year to allow talented individuals to take part in degrees, master’s and executive education programs at IE. As talented IE University students are essential to boost the effectiveness of projects, the IE Foundation also works alongside regional public and private NGOs and organizations to ensure the effectiveness of this scholarship project.
The Financiers Without Borders program is an initiative that the IE Foundation has continuously supported for the last seven years. This project has allowed over 300 students and faculty from IE’s Masters in Finance programs to expand financial inclusion and microfinance initiatives in Ghana. Students also take part in social impact programs in South Africa, while supporting a design and technology program that focuses on empowering women from small Ethiopian communities.
About IE University
IE University offers a technology-based learning ecosystem for leaders making a difference in the world through innovation, a global vision, an entrepreneurial mindset and a unique Humanities-based approach. IE University has a faculty composed of more than 500 academics who impart university degrees, master’s programs, doctorates and executive training to students from 131 countries. IE University’s more-than 60,000 alumni work in 165 countries.