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IE Africa Center Celebrates Inaugural Gurus and Griots Cohort with Event at IE Tower

IE Africa Center Celebrates Inaugural Gurus and Griots Cohort with Event at IE Tower | IE University

The focus of the IE Africa Center is to shine a light on African solutions to global challenges.

The IE Africa Center recently celebrated its inaugural cohort of the Gurus and Griots fellowship for African and Afro-descendent leaders. The event took place at the IE Tower in Madrid and honored the year-long effort of the five fellows: Akinkunmi Akinnola Business Development Managing Director, Diversio (Canada); David Harlley, CEO, Third Way Capital (Canada); Ayuli Jemide, Lead Partner, Detail Commercial Solicitors (Nigeria), Kosi Yankey, Executive Director, National Board for Small Scale Industries (Ghana), and Raphael Ani, Global Business Development Lead, Project Management Institute (United Kingdom).

The event included a dialogue between each of the fellows and an IE University peer. The conversations focused on a wide range of topics from entrepreneurship to inclusivity to global economics. A consistent themes throughout the talks was how innovation and change can act as a catalyst for growth and present opportunities to view problems and their solutions in a new light. 

Gurus and Griots provides a platform for African and diasporic solutions to global challenges and incorporates the uniquely valuable perspectives of African and Afro-descendant business, policy, and thought leaders into the IE University ecosystem. Over the course of the year–long program, participants collaborate with IE University teams to develop multimedia educational materials and programming that center African and Afro-descendant expertise for a wide range of audiences, including students and alumni, corporate and institutional partners, and academic peers. 

The Gurus and Griots program is, at its heart an accelerator that prepares practitioners to be educators.

“This program was intended to bring the best possible talent and thoughtful leaders into the classroom to provide our students with firsthand knowledge of Africa, its customs and business, and its practices in society. For this reason, I genuinely look forward to the expansion of the Gurus and Griots program.”
Santiago Iñiguez, President of IE University

Applications are now open to join the 2022 Guru and Griots cohort.

As Gurus and Griots actively weaves African and diasporic perspectives into course materials and initiatives across the institution, fellows will serve as high-profile representatives of the university, developing academic content, and receive priority consideration for positions as adjunct professors in IE University’s degree-granting and executive education programs. Additionally, Each cohort will form an advisory panel who will be influential in reimagining ways of learning and thinking about business and public affairs through an African and Afro-diasporic lens.

The focus of the IE Africa Center is to shine a light on African solutions to global challenges. “For us that means that Africa, which is both a place and a people, has been integral in shaping the world as it exists today and, given current trends, will play a growing role in the future,” explained Felicia Appenteng, Chair of the IE Africa Center. “That means that our students at IE University need to know about Africa history and business in order to be globally competitive. This is a challenge, but it is also very exciting.”