Alumni News 2020

Dr Sabastine Akongwale: My PhD in Development Finance experience as a trained economist

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Dr Sabastine Akongwale: My PhD in Development Finance experience as a trained economist

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  • March 15,2021
  • Tags Stellenbosch, business school, PhD, doctorate, Development Finance, economics, public financial management

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Dr Sabastine Akongwale completed his PhD in Development Finance at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). He outlines his journey – from his economic and financial background towards his discoveries from his doctoral research.

I am a trained economist and a public finance management consultant with experience spanning areas of public financial management (PFM); economic policy analysis and governance related issues. Having previously obtained an MSc in Finance from the Manchester Business School as well as an MSc in Development Economics and Policy Analysis from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, I found the USB’s PhD in Development Finance very interesting. This is because the dynamic and intellectual rigour of the programme availed me the opportunity to blend academic experience with my industry experience as a public finance and governance expert from an African perspective.

…the dynamic and intellectual rigour of the programme availed me the opportunity to blend academic experience with my industry experience as a public finance and governance expert from an African perspective.

My thesis titled “Essays on Fiscal Policy Implementation and Governance in sub-Saharan Africa” entailed a collection of empirical papers that examined the institutional, political and economic forces influencing the fiscal transparency in Africa. Owing to the relevance of my research subject, during the completion phase of research work, I was hired by international development partners such as the Collaborative African Budget Reforms Initiative (CABRI) in Pretoria (sponsored by the African Development Bank) as well as United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to carry out project studies with bearings on fiscal policy and governance in Africa.

A Synopsis of my Research

Despite the adoption of fiscal rules by many African economies, fiscal policy outcomes remain compromised by weak fiscal transparency. My study was a collection of 3 empirical essays that investigated the institutional, political and economic determinants of fiscal transparency in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Our results show that the institutional governance index, political variables including partisan fragmentation and ethnic fractionalisation, and economic factors such as trade openness and debt service determine fiscal transparency in SSA. Hence, to achieve improved fiscal transparency and hence optimise fiscal performance, the study recommends that policy makers should focus reforms on the variables identified by our study.

The study provided new knowledge that relates to the topic and fits the interdisciplinary research approach obtainable at the University of Stellenbosch as it deals with the intersection between economics and political science. It focused on fiscal transparency with considerations for implications of political dynamics and social relations in SSA; where poverty, inequality and unemployment still hold sway in spite of the global attention on this region in the past few decades. Also, the study drew attention to the weaknesses of market-based traditional macroeconomic policies in the absence of adequate institutions. Finally, whilst situating the study in the domain of institutional and political factors, it provided policy prescriptions on the primacy and management of fiscal policy as a tool of economic governance, in a continent where markets are generally ineffective as tools of economic management.

[The study] focused on fiscal transparency with considerations for implications of political dynamics and social relations in SSA; where poverty, inequality and unemployment still hold sway in spite of the global attention on this region in the past few decades.

My Experience at the University of Stellenbosch Business School

I had a pleasant time studying at USB. There was enormous support from the academic and non-academic faculty. The structure of the programme, particularly the colloquia were very helpful too. The feedbacks from the colloquia were more robust than those I received from some of the conferences I attended. The program gave me insight into germane public sector and public finance challenges currently faced by most African states and provided me with experience that I could directly apply to my role as a Public Finance and Governance Expert.  It also helped me identify the skills-set I already had and could strengthen. I received world-class support from the Library staff in terms of getting all the study resources I needed. The same goes for the international office that provided me with all the support I needed as a foreign student.  More so, the serene atmosphere where the USB campus also makes for great learning with less distraction. I recommend the USB without any reservation to any prospecting student who needs a world-class education at an optimised cost!

I recommend the USB without any reservation to any prospecting student who needs a world-class education at an optimised cost!

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Neema Robert Towo: My PhD in Development Finance journey

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Neema Robert Towo: My PhD in Development Finance journey

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  • March 15,2021
  • Tags Stellenbosch, business school, PhD, doctorate, Development Finance, Africa, sustainability, industrialisation

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Dr Neema Robert Towo completed her PhD in Development Finance at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). She takes us through her journey – from her initial inspiration, towards the abstract and findings of her doctoral thesis.

It all started in 2014 when I attended a training on Industrial Competitiveness, which was conducted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Tanzania. The end of that training was the beginning of my sustained curiosity on the performance of developing economies in the industrialisation move. A few weeks later, I was contracted to work with the Industrial Intelligence Unit of the country as a national industrial expert, and for approximately three years when I was there, I developed a profound interest in the field.

Once, I read the Industrial Development Reports (IDR) by UNIDO of 2013 and 2016, and among the many things, the need of developing countries to invest in human capital as a take-off towards desired economy structural change through industrialisation, caught my attention. I thought of a country like Tanzania where the education and training sector is among the top priority backed by the existing policies and significant amount of budget directed towards it. I needed to find answers if the progressing efforts on developing the human capital are administered in a right way considering the demand. That was the beginning of my PhD journey.

I needed to find answers if the progressing efforts on developing the human capital are administered in a right way considering the demand. That was the beginning of my PhD journey.

An award from the Graduate School scholarship to pursue doctoral studies in Development Finance at the University of Stellenbosch Business School was a ladder towards the answers I needed, and the catalyst for persistent sense in the field of development finance, economy structural change and impact evaluation. More questions advanced during this period of COVID-19 pandemic; should developing economies continue to set human capital development as their focal point or start transitioning on technology capabilities?

An award from the Graduate School scholarship to pursue doctoral studies in Development Finance… was a ladder towards the answers I needed, and the catalyst for persistent sense in the field of development finance, economy structural change and impact evaluation.

My PhD thesis was centred on human resource development practices, to evaluate the progressing effect on the firm performance as summarised in the abstract below:

Industrialisation is among the recent key economic moves for most African countries to maximise productivity and create sustainable jobs. Countries design policies to strategically invest in human resources through different practices, one being training. Since countries use their scarce finances to develop their human capital, it is necessary to evaluate the progress in the process for review purposes.

Industrialisation is among the recent key economic moves for most African countries to maximise productivity and create sustainable jobs.

The study was undertaken to observe training effect on firm performance considering the employees’ quality defined by education level, its effectiveness in relation to existing needs and employers’ perception and understanding the causes of effect variation across firms.

While a systematic moderation model was used to analyse the interaction effect of human capital sources on firm performance measures, a moderated parallel mediation model was employed to realise the effectiveness of the conducted training through matching the demanded and supplied skills. Finally, a qualitative analysis was done using the firms’ top managers and employees’ responses on the viability of training as a human capital development strategy for firm performance.

The results show for a positive magnitude to be realised from training, there should be inputs from other human capital sources such as education. It was also established that the supplied skills should match the existing needs among the key success factors of training effectiveness. The variation of training effects across firms could happen due to the customised training policy, the need assessment process, the effectiveness success factors and managers’ willingness to change.

As a contribution to the theory and so for practical adoption, once effective training exists, one can continue arguing about the effect of training on the firm’s performance. This should be viewed as a two-stage training effect analysis. Monitoring and evaluation of training initiatives should be done regularly, not only at the firm level, but also at a national level for adjusting the strategies employed. The evaluation should consider process analysis for the decision-makers to understand which areas requires extra attention.

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Towers

Theunis van der Linde: Traversing careers and continents, with the help of my MBA

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Theunis van der Linde: Traversing careers and continents, with the help of my MBA

Towers
Source: Photo by Nextvoyage from Pexels - https://www.pexels.com/photo/cn-tower-457937/

  • March 15,2021
  • Tags Stellenbosch, business school, Canada, alumni, MBA, Modular

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Theunis van der Linde, the Chairperson for the University of Stellenbosch Business School Alumni Canada Chapter, shares with us the positive impact his MBA has had in both his personal and professional life. In doing so, he emphasises the value in changing perspective and the way we view our situation.

It was Wayne W Dyer who said, “If you change the way you look at things, then the things you look at change”. A decade is a long time to change how you look at things; roughly 87 600 hours to reflect on how you see the world. It was a decade ago that I graduated with my MBA degree, and so many things have changed since then.

I graduated in 2011, at the time working full time while also starting a family. That’s why I opted for the modular MBA programme, which provided the flexibility of studying remotely most of the time and required us to be physically present on the campus for one week each a quarter. The week on campus would typically be packed with as many tests and lectures as possible, and we would use the face-to-face time to make arrangements between group members on how to work effectively remotely for the next three months. If only we had the features of Zoom, Teams and Slack back then.

At the time I chose to pursue an MBA degree because of the direction that I wanted to develop my career in. The aim was to keep the emphasis on sustainable leadership, and compliment that with the necessary business administration skills and knowledge to be able to lead large teams in a large corporate setting. The MBA checked all the items on the list for me, but it also brought so much more to the table, which I only realised later on.

The MBA checked all the items on the list for me, but it also brought so much more to the table, which I only realised later on.

The concept of entrepreneurship never appealed strongly to me then. In fact, we had Entrepreneurship as a subject, where my performance and results could be labelled as mediocre at best. This confirmed to me that I was not the entrepreneurial “type” and reaffirmed that my decision to progress in the corporate world was the right one. It was in the corporate world where I truly felt comfortable; where clear structure existed and your future path, expectations and deliverables could be mapped out fairly unobscured. All of that drastically changed when we moved to Canada.

Jumping on a chance to expand my professional exposure, we decided to move to Canada at the start of 2016. The offer presented itself in an opportunity for me to join a top tier consulting company’s strategy practice while also living in one of the world’s top 10 most liveable cities, as ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) annual Global Liveability Ranking. That is the city of Calgary. Known for its proximity to the Rocky Mountains, being the Canadian hub for Oil and Gas and the host of the 1988 Winter Olympics where the Jamaican bobsled team made a historical first appearance (ever seen the movie “Cool Runnings”?). And the Calgary Stampede, which is the world’s largest outdoor rodeo show; yes, cowboys…

Living in Canada has been a drastic adjustment to get used to on a personal level, which includes driving on the other side of the road and shoveling mini mountains of snow from your driveway in the winter in minus 40-degree Celsius temperatures. However, it is the professional environment that is the hardest to adjust to. Living in the most educated country in the world presents unique challenges. In such a competitive higher education candidate environment, the way to differentiate yourself is not by the level or type of qualification you have, but by how you use the knowledge you have gathered over time. Being a partner and part-owner in our start-up consulting company (Helios Consulting Ltd.), we experience first-hand every day the need to be unique, innovative and entrepreneurial. The better we are at that, the more value we create for our clients.

Living in the most educated country in the world presents unique challenges.

This brings me back to changing the way I look at what I had been taught in my MBA. The challenge was to adopt a growth mindset and dig deeper into the elements of the MBA that would align to what I was doing now. Including having a more entrepreneurial focus and “resetting” my knowledge to focus on developing, marketing and financing your own business, as well as configuring my knowledge in such a way that it helps solve specific business problems for our clients.

As Helios Consulting, we are still growing (albeit slower due to Covid-19) and still continuing to bring a different kind of consulting to our clients; a kind of consulting where we as partners and owners encourage and challenge one another to apply everything we have studied, learned and experienced in our past in an innovative way to create value for our clients.

My takeaway is that even if you started your MBA with a specific goal in mind, it could offer so much more if you change the way you look at it.

Every time that I refer to my MBA books and notes, which is quite often nowadays, I find a different way to understand, interpret and apply something. My takeaway is that even if you started your MBA with a specific goal in mind, it could offer so much more if you change the way you look at it. You might not see or realise it the first go-around, but you can always find it if you change the way you look at it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Theunis van der Linde

Theunis van der Linde currently lives in Canada with his wife and two children, where they have been for the past 5 years. He is a Partner at Helios Consulting where he focuses on Digital Transformation, and he believes that a new and disruptive consulting style based on personal investment and a flexible engagement strategy is the key to building lasting valuable partnerships.

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Globe

Julien Wormser: What Cape Town taught me about myself

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Julien Wormser: What Cape Town taught me about myself

Globe
Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/old-books-and-globe-in-library-3837494/

  • March 15,2021
  • Tags Stellenbosch, business school, Europe, Grenoble, France, alumni, exchange student

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International exchange student and new Chairperson for the USB Alumni Europe Chapter, Julien Wormser, takes us through his experience of coming to USB and the valuable lessons he’s adopted and brought back to Europe.

In 2003 I was a standard student at Grenoble Ecole de Management, one of the top graduate business schools in France and was then offered an opportunity to enrol in an exchange program at a partner university somewhere in the world. Without any hesitation, I chose the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

Without any hesitation, I chose the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

Those six months were to be the happiest, the richest and most interesting moments of my student life and I feel so fortunate to have had a chance to meet people from all over the world, to have been taught by eminent professors and, last but not least, to have come to know and love South Africa and its ‘Bring-and-Braai’ parties. Ever since I came back from South Africa, I have adopted a Bring-and-Braai philosophy. More than merely a South African way of life, I now regard these parties as the source of my philosophical rebirth. Don’t think or act alone: bring your piece of kudu meat and end up eating boerewors.

Believe it or not – ever since I came back from South Africa, I have adopted a Bring and Braai philosophy… Don’t think or act alone but bring your piece of kudu meat and end up eating boerewors.

In a professional context as well as in the personal sphere, the Bring-and-Braai way of thinking is valid and worth considering. If you think alone… you will stay alone. It may be less risky but so much less rewarding and cheerful! And that’s why from then on, I decided to live and act differently.

After my graduation, I worked for a few years as a business consultant at CSC Peat Marwick with the feeling that working with sibling partners was highly educative but maybe not in concordance with myself. That’s why, four years later, I chose to abandon my suit and tie for a company more authentic, nearer to what I considered real life: Tokheim, with a factory and blue-collar workers. As a business analyst, I enjoyed meeting those people. It was so exciting! I must admit that I have always preferred working with people in a context far from my own habits.

After seven years in the oil industry, I joined Alstom as Finance Transformation Project Manager during the Alstom-GE deal. It was great working there! Why? Just because I had a chance to work with people from all over the world, which reminded me the time spent on the benches of USB. In the morning you would chat with Australia, India or Saudi Arabia and after lunch you would turn to Europe and Americas! Every day brings you a chance to meet people who help you grow.

Every day brings you a chance to meet people who help you grow.

I then worked for a few months for Colas as Business Intelligence Project Manager and I must say I deeply enjoyed my experience in civil engineering industry… the smell of asphalt and the presence of the ground!

But I wanted to leave Paris. I had lived in the big city for fifteen years and I was in quest of something different. I moved to Lyon where I joined Carrier as Business and Strategy Analyst. I was pleased to find nice people in this new surrounding and that’s why, in spite of challenging conditions, after more than three years, I still work for the same company.

Those six months in Matieland have opened my eyes and helped me choose the way I wanted to follow in my life.

From Stellenbosch, I have learnt so much more than simply preparing my home-made biltong! Those six months in Matieland have opened my eyes and helped me choose the way I wanted to follow in my life. Don’t focus on yourself, but take the risk to go out and meet the unknown. You may fall and fail but never miss the opportunity to reflect about where you want to go and who you want to be.

USB made me a Matie!

Baie Dankie USB

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Balloons flying

Dr Candice Booysen: My PhD journey and the quest for social impact

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Dr Candice Booysen: My PhD journey and the quest for social impact

Balloons flying
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  • March 15,2021
  • Tags Stellenbosch, business school, PhD, doctorate, social impact, industrial psychology, coaching, leadership, alumni

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Registered Industrial Psychologist and executive coach, Dr Candice Booysen, completed her PhD at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). The new Chairperson for the USB Alumni UAE Chapter reflects on her fascinating journey towards achieving her doctorate degree.  

The PhD journey will challenge you and it can be a very lonely journey. It is a long climb with sweat and tears, but also with so many beautiful moments in between. I am a registered Industrial Psychologist with the Health Professional Council of South Africa. I hold an MCom degree in Industrial Psychology and completed my PhD at the University of Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa.

It is a long climb with sweat and tears, but also with so many beautiful moments in between.

Research suggests that on average, 50% of PhD students leave graduate school without finishing. Having graduated with my PhD, I realise what a privilege this is. It was also one of the most difficult journeys I’ve ever embarked on and I am thankful for the support from my family, friends, colleagues, organisations, research participants and my supervisors. There were many sacrifices along the way, but giving up was not an option.

There were many sacrifices along the way, but giving up was not an option.

I’ve been involved in community work for more than 15 years and I am passionate about the development of organisations, teams and individuals. Working in the IT sector where I have been responsible for the strategic direction of the human capital function for a number of organisations, I saw the need to provide organisations with understanding on how to lead and retain millennials in the workplace, backed by scientific evidence. Much of the data business leaders and managers used was either not science-based or was not based on South African research.

As a thought leader and strategic business partner, I hold a number of board positions and felt that we need to be a voice for millennials in the boardroom and help organisations update outdated talent management policies and assist in implementing more effective strategies in retaining their best talent. I am also privileged to speak at various conferences and I thought I would use that platform to serve business leaders with the findings of my research. I have been humbled by being a recipient of numerous awards in recognition for her contribution in various industries. These awards includes 100 Global Most Influential HR Professionals award, HR Rising Star award and Africa’s most influential women in business and government program award to mention a few.

Remember that PhD is about improving society, not chasing academic kudos.

I wish to encourage other scholars not to give up but to keep pushing. Remember that a PhD is about improving society, not chasing academic kudos. Let your passion to come up with solutions for societal or business challenges push you beyond the pain. To God be the glory for giving me the grace to finish my PhD whilst working full time, running an NPO, being a mentor and serving as a coach to other young professionals. It still remains a mystery to me – the more one serves, the greater one’s capacity is to achieve greatness. I’m learning more every day about the importance of to BE and not to DO. Focusing on the “To-do list” can be overwhelming – instead, focusing on our “To-be list” can be more liberating. Here is to you BE-ing a leader, courageous, powerful, influential and competent.

I was honoured to be a guest speaker at the opening academic ceremony of the business schools where I shared my journey including what informed my decision to pursue my degree with the Stellenbosch business school, my research highlights and the lessons the PhD has taught me.

Reasons for choosing USB

  • It has the highest-weighted research output per full-time academic staff member of all South African universities and the second-highest number of scientists in South Africa who have been rated by the National Research Foundation (NRF).
  • It also has the highest student success rate in the country.
  • I attended a 2-week doctorate training programme where I got a feel for the culture, programme, support structures and faculty members.

Highlights of the research journey

Highlights of my PhD journey include the special relationship developed with my supervisors, Professor Johan Malan and the late Dr Babita Mathur-Helm, and the amazing faculty and support staff: Dr Morrison, Prof Kidd, Dr Lara Skelly, Ronelle Galie and Sunelle Hanekom. And obviously, graduating after six years of sacrifice, hard work, commitment, and emotional highs and lows.

Another highlight was having the privilege of presenting my research internationally. I got to present my research at the 26th EDAMBA Summer Research Academyin Athens Greece in 2017, where I met Professor Joseph Hair in person. Also, I shared my research at the 35th European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM) workshop on Senior Human Resources Management in Portugal.

The lessons the journey taught me were how to be resilient, remain humble and the importance of staying curious. Having lost Dr. Babita made me realise how fragile life is and the importance of treasuring every moment with your loved ones as tomorrow is never promised. It is in her memory that I write this article and with a deep sense of gratitude towards her for being on this journey with me. Also to Prof Malan for his support and guidance, without whom this journey would not have been possible.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Candice Booysen

Dr Candice Booysen is a registered industrial psychologist and executive coach. She holds an MCom degree in industrial psychology and completed her PhD at the University of Stellenbosch Business School. She is a dynamic leader who is passionate about the development of organisations, teams and individuals.

She is responsible for the strategic direction of the human capital function for Interconnect Systems where she serves as the Human Capital Director. As a thought leader and strategic business partner, she holds a number of board positions including Phoenix AmeriCapital and Aquila Talent Solutions. With more than 15 years of experience, she has served as a talent specialist and organisational development practitioner in various industries serving in organisations such as BCX, Deloitte, Aspen Pharmacare, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Media 24, and University of the Western Cape.

She is the founder of a non-profit organisation called Releasing Eagles which is centred around the mentorship and coaching of young women in South Africa. She has also been a recipient of numerous awards and recognition for her contribution made in industry. These included being the winner of the HR Rising star award of the year, by HR Future (2016). She was nominated for the Standard Bank woman of the year award as well as a finalist for 2016 Institute of People Management HR Director of the Year Excellence Award. In 2017 she was recognised as one of 100 most influential HR professionals globally at the 25th World HRD Congress.

[Source: World HRD Congress]

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The Reading List | Recommended by Prof Renata Schoeman

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The Reading List | Recommended by Prof Renata Schoeman

Books in wooden book shelf
Source: Pixabay

  • March 15, 2021
  • Tags Leadership

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Prof Renata Schoeman, Head of the MBA Health Care Leadership, recommends her recent and current reads.

books

“I have a stretch goal of reading one book per week – outside of my usual academic reading, journals, and “Blinkist” (a book summary app). This is sometimes tricky between work, being a new mom, exercise and other obligations. However, I grew up in a library (my mom used to be a librarian) and reading has always been a part of our family’s life. My reading varies from historical novels (e.g. Phillipa Gregory, Alice Hoffman, Joanne Harris), to parenting and cooking, and then everything in between!

Two books I’ve recently completed and enjoyed, are “The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future” (Kevin Kelly) and “Factfulness: Ten reasons we’re wrong about the world – and why things are better than you think” (Hans Rosling).

Currently, co-occupying the space on my bedside table with my Bible, a book on baby milestones, and a book on baby feeding and weaning, and a novel by Louis de Bernieres, are “Social: Why our brains are wired to connect” (Matthew Lieberman) in which he argues that our need to connect with people is even more fundamental and basic than our needs for food and shelter, and “The Leader’s Bookshelf” (James Stavridis and Manning Ancell) which is a powerful collection of leadership lessons drawn from outstanding works of literature, history and biography.

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Leading letter from USB Director-Elect, Prof Mark Smith

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Leading letter from USB Director-Elect, Prof Mark Smith

  • March 15, 2021

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So 2021 has started very much like 2020 finished. These are challenging times for individuals, organisations and economies. These are also times when responsible leaders are required to help find sustainable and resilient solutions to build back our societies. These are times when we at the University of Stellenbosch Business School can have a positive impact on society through our teaching, research and social impact.

I am happy to say that we have already welcomed students back on the full range of programmes at the school, from Postgraduate Diplomas to MBA and MPhil to PhD. Last year we were able to respond to the constraints created by the pandemic while also providing an excellent pedagogic and learning experience. As a leader in blended education we were well placed to respond to the challenges of 2020 and we are now innovating further to meet our students’ needs.

When the time comes we are looking forward to being back on campus more regularly and to take advantage of the +R100 million upgrades of our facilities. In addition to this investment, the school is committed to investing in virtual facilities to complement our modern staff and student physical environment. I am pleased to say that the school was technologically well-placed to cope with the challenges posed by Covid-19, compared to competitors, thanks to our custom-built streaming classrooms and leading technical facilities, however, we cannot be complacent.

One of our key tasks for 2021 is a renewal of our strategy for the coming years. Three years ago in a school-wide process of collective intelligence we developed a comprehensive school strategy. This work remains a solid roadmap for the future and we will re-examine this and adjust in the light of the events of 2020. We will rely on members of the alumni community to be active participants in this strategy renewal and count on your feedback and support.

The third major activity of the year is the rebranding of the school. We hope to take advantage of a rebranding of the university to leverage a school brand renewal. The first step in this process is making better use of social media channels such as LinkedIn and you will see that we have dropped the “USB” identity in favour of the University of Stellenbosch Business School. I invite you all to update your LinkedIn educational profiles in order to signal your membership of our alumni community and advance the school’s reputation.

Finally, we recognise that there remains a lot of uncertainty as we start 2021 and we encourage you to stay safe, make the most of your family and friends, and make the most of the alumni community — watch out for alumni events in your region. And visit us when you can.

All of us at the business school send you our best wishes for the year ahead.

*Read more about Prof Mark Smith in this interview by David Furlonger in Financial Mail

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Alumnus elected as new Vice President of Chartered Insurance Institute of Ghana

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Alumnus elected as new Vice President of Chartered Insurance Institute of Ghana

  • March 15, 2021

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Alumnus Dr Geraldine Gina Abaidoo was elected as the Vice President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Ghana (CIIG) together with five elected executives at the AGM of the Institute. The mandate of the 9th Constituted Council is to steer the Institute’s affairs, as enshrined in the CIIG Constitution and Bye-laws.

Dr Abaidoo sits on the Boards of Hollard Life, Digital Leads Consults Limited, and the Alumni Executive Committee of the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). She is a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Ghana (CIIG), the President of Mfantsiman Old Girls’ Association (MOGA), a member of Executive Women Network and The Boardroom Africa, a Fellow of the International Institute for African Scholars (FIIAS), a Member of Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), UK, and a Consultant for UNDP (Ghana). She engages in executive mentoring and motivational speaking on leadership, women empowerment, and mental health.

The insurance industry in Ghana constitutes six critical categories of industry players and stakeholders.

  • The Insurance Regulatory body – The National Insurance Commission,
  • The Trade Associations -The Ghana Insurance Association, Insurance Brokers’ Association of Ghana,
  • The Professional Development Wing -The Ghana Insurance College; The Chartered Insurance Institute of Ghana
  • The operational players made of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies;
  • The intermediaries  brokers and agents, Risk and Loss Adjusters
  • Affiliate organizations –Bancassurance houses, the Ghana Police Service, DVLA, Birth & Death Registry, Ghana Fire Service, Hospitals, NADMO, Garages, Auto Houses, etc.

The industry contributes on average 2% to GDP, hoping and expecting to grow the industry and increase penetration. However, Ghana’s insurance coverage is increasing, and more awareness is being created on Insurance offerings and benefits. The industry saw an expansion in its balance sheet in the year 2019. The industry experienced 20% growth in assets and 21% growth in premium.

The industry has 29 Non-Life Insurance companies, 20 Life Insurance Companies, 3 Reinsurance Companies, 90 Brokerage Houses, 3 Loss Adjusters, and 5 Reinsurance Brokers.

The Pioneer members of CIIG considered the needed platform where the need for a professional body will provide the unifying and common platform to regulate the professional operations and performance in the insurance market, leading to the establishment of the Insurance Institute of Ghana (renamed the Chartered Insurance Institute of Ghana) in 1970.  The Institute was then formally inaugurated in 1972 and incorporated into a company limited by guarantee in 1980 under the companies’ code 1963, Act 179.

The CIIG has three key objectives, namely:

  • To promote the development of the Insurance Profession and practice
  • To ensure the integrity of insurance management in the country.
  • Ensure insurance practice and services are of the highest possible standards and conform to internationally accepted best practices.

The values of CIIG are Professionalism, Integrity, and Excellence.

The Governing Council of the CIIG constitute:

  • National Executive Committee consisting of Six elected members– President, Vice President, General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary, Treasurer, and Public Relations Officer;
  • Four Institutional representatives from the National Insurance Commission (NIC), Ghana Insurance Association (GIA), Insurance  Brokers Association of Ghana(IBAG) and Ghana Insurance College (GIC); and an Ex Officio Member; and
  • Immediate Past President.

 

The Governing Council sees to the operational activities of the Institute with the mandate to promote excellence in professional standards and ethical conduct.

The CIIG is better placed with membership from across the Ghanaian Industries spectrum with a growing number of over 1500 professionally qualified members.

Geraldine seeks to support the President and other Council Members to provide professional and qualitative leadership to advance the cause of the CIIG and the insurance industry as a whole. The Institute would work towards the setting up of a legal/regulatory and advocacy framework for the attainment of Chartered Status for the local Institute which would be the symbol of the highest professional and ethical standards for insurance practitioners in Ghana.

The National Executives have instituted a Defend and Grow strategy that captures nine key objectives for implementation to gain visibility and bring some positive change to the insurance industry and fraternity in particular and Ghana as a whole.

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Alumnus of the Year 2020: Calling for nominations

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Alumnus of the Year 2020: Calling for nominations

  • Feb 22 2021

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Who can be nominated?

Graduates of all USB’s programmes – including its MBA, PhD degrees, other Master’s programmes and Postgraduate Diplomas and graduates of USB-ED’s comprehensive executive development certificate programmes can be nominated.

Alumni who have excelled as responsible leaders in the private or public sector, or in an entrepreneurial venture, who support the values of USB and who act as ambassadors of USB.

Alumni who have achieved visibility during the past 12 to 18 months by, for instance, attracting the attention of the media for achievements in business, management or exceptional entrepreneurial activities, or leadership in business with strong environmental, social and ethical governance.

How do I nominate someone?

Submit you nomination for Alumnus of the Year 2020 to Christélle Cronjé, Alumni and Stakeholder Manager at [email protected] by Thursday, 31 March 2021.

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Alt text: Top View Photo of Girl Watching Through Imac

Living a life of purpose: What the MPhil in Management Coaching has taught me

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Living a life of purpose: What the MPhil in Management Coaching has taught me

Alt text: Top View Photo of Girl Watching Through Imac
Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/top-view-photo-of-girl-watching-through-imac-4144294/

  • August 24, 2020
  • Tags Management Coaching, Awareness, Journey, Alumni, Meaningful impact

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By Christine Wilke

MPhil in Management Coaching student

A few years ago, I made the decision to leave my corporate role and deepening my commitment to a life of purpose. This led to me joining World Vision International, an Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organisation whose vision statement inspires me:

Our vision for every child, life in all its fullness. Our prayer for every heart, the will to make it so.

The shift from corporate to a non-profit organisations (NPO) is a transition story on its own, but the one prevalent theme was the constant level of uncertainty and increasing complexity that the global leaders I coached face. The increased fragility, economic, environmental, and political crises meant that this reality would only become more challenging.

I decided to do the Master of Philosophy in Management Coaching at the USB to improve my leadership coaching skills, as it has an excellent reputation in the international coaching community. The lecturers are international recognised coaches who successfully facilitate a mix of theoretical and practical learning during the course.

I gained an internationally recognised degree, while having the opportunity to reflect on my African roots and practices that are increasing been relevant globally. I believe that this has given me a much deeper perspective and enhanced my unique coaching approach, especially on how to support leaders to navigate uncertainty, complexity, and change.

But I got far more than I expected…

The strong leadership component, the emphasis on self-awareness and reflection, plus the rich dialogue with the lectures and my fellow students showed me my personal and leadership strengths. This was enhanced by the gift of coaching I received as part of the practical component. It was valuable to learn how it felt to be coached and to appreciate how coaching and self-reflection can lead to transformation.

Through learning experience and coaching I have transformed my relationship with myself and others. I have become a more conscious coach and how I have grown as a leader.  I did not expect that I and others in my organisation would be able to confidentially see me, as a global leader and that I would be encouraged to apply for more senior leadership positions.

I have become more resilient as I aware of the impact of emotions, how to understand the neuroscience and need for self-care.

The other unexpected benefit was that through the pressure of balancing a part time course and full-time global role, plus the sage advice throughout the course that I am better able to cope with stress and uncertainty. I have become more resilient as I aware of the impact of emotions, how to understand the neuroscience and need for self-care.

This resilience together with enhanced understanding on how to lead through uncertainty and improved coaching skills could not have come at a more opportune time. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that all leaders have had to deal with an unprecedented uncertainty and change in their personal lives, with their teams and the community they work with. I am more able to lean in and support the leaders on how to practice self-care, supporting others, empower and engage their team, while make the changes required now and for the future.

I am now more confident to lean in and make a meaningful impact globally as a leader and as a coach.

I started this journey wanting to live a life of purpose and to support leaders cope with uncertainty and complexity. Through the MPhil in Management Coaching I have strengthened my coaching, but have also grown as a person, a global leader who is has increasing knowledge, skill and resilience to cope with the increasing uncertain world we live. I am now more confident to lean in and make a meaningful impact globally as a leader and as a coach.

 

About the author

Christine Wilke is the Senior Global Organisation Development and Change Advisor for World Vision International. She is based in Cape Town, South Africa, but supports and coaches leaders and teams virtually and in person across the globe. She is currently completing a thesis on Coaching a Team towards Effectiveness in partial fulfilment for the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Management Coaching at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.  She writes in her own personal capacity and the views in this paper do not reflect those of World Vision.

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