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IE University launches the IE Africa Center to power regional innovation

IE Africa Center

IE University has announced the creation of the IE Africa Center, a hub that will drive innovation, executive leadership, entrepreneurship and develop social impact projects throughout the continent. IE University has been developing projects in Africa for the past 10 years, and the new center, which the institution has been setting up for several months, will showcase African innovation and provide a strategic framework for IE University’s initiatives in the region. The IE Africa Center, which operates under the auspices of the IE Foundation, will start its activities in September.

Felicia Appenteng, Managing Director of the IE Fund in New York and of IE’s International Advisory Board, will be the Chair of the IE Africa Center. Felicia Appenteng, a Ghanaian-American, has been developing strategic projects for IE in the United States, facilitating access to higher education, promoting diversity in management and launching agreements with international institutions.

Begoña Gómez will be the Director of the IE Africa Center. With more than 20 years’experience in consulting and teaching, Begoña Gómez has been Consulting Director at Inmark Group. Since 2015, she is Co-Director of the Master in Public and Private Fundraising for Non-Profit Organizations at the Higher Center for Management Studies at Madrid’s Complutense University. Begoña Gómez is a profesional specializing in the design and implementation of strategic projects focused on fundraising and sustainability in the third sector.

In collaboration with IE’s Social Innovation Center, the IE Africa Center will launch the ‘IE Africa Social Innovation Booster’, an initiative aimed at accelerating African leaders’ innovative and entrepreneurial ideas with social impact. The ‘IE Africa Social Innovation Booster’ will strengthen issues related to team management, fundraising, innovation and sustainability.

The IE Africa Center will work in the region hand in hand with Sabine Yazbeck, Director of International Development for IE in Africa & Middle East.

“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. With this Center, we aspire to reshape the way that the next generation of global executives and entrepreneurs understand African history and culture.” says Felicia Appenteng, Chair of IE Africa Center. She adds:“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.”

“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,” says Carlos Mas, Vice President of the IE Foundation.

IE University has more than 60,000 graduates in 165 countries and develops training and social impact projects in Ghana, Ethiopia, South Africa or Nigeria, and also has delegations in Nigeria and South Africa. This year, more than 150 African students will be attending IE University, and the institution has a network of some 600 graduates from the continent. IE University develops 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 develops training programs for executives in Africa and collaborates with companies and organizations such as Deloitte, WIMBIZ, Dimension Data and Femmes Africa Solidarité, among others. IE University teaches programs such as Women on Board, designed for African businesswomen and managers in collaboration with the Nigerian organization WIMBIZ in six African countries, as well as the Women Entrepreneurship Resilient Citiesprogram, promoted jointly with the World Bank in Lebanon, Egypt and Djibouti.

Every year, the IE Foundation organizes its Talent Without Borders scholarship program to facilitate African candidates’ access to IE’s degree, masters and executive education programs. The IE Foundation and the other members of the Africa at IE initiative work with public and private organizations and NGOs in the region to expand the scope and reach of this project.

IE University students are key to promoting projects in Africa. The IE Foundation has been supporting the Financiers Without Borders program for the past seven years, a project in which students and faculty of IE’s Masters in Finance help promote financial inclusion and microfinance initiatives in Ghana. More than 300 students have worked on this program since its inception. Students also participate in social impact programs in South Africa and support a design and technology program focused on women from small towns in Ethiopia.

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 impartuniversity 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.