For experts in human capital development and management, quality manpower remains the livewire of every establishment. In essence, the quality of manpower available to either a private or public corporation determines its productivity level as well as its survival. Invariably, no business can survive in the absence of competent and experienced employees who are rightly equipped to tackle the challenges of a changing world.
Interestingly, Africa’s ambition for industrialisation has seen the continent centre its development strategy on investment. In its drive to attract sector by sector investment, the continent has also shown considerable commitment in building capacity. Today, a lot of emphases is being laid on the need to develop more capacities so as to propel the continent’s self-sufficiency in manpower supply. This is especially as Nigeria and other African countries are confronted with the rising challenge of youth unemployment.
In Nigeria, both government and the private sector operators have come to the realization that human capital development is the basis for economic development. This understanding has also prompted a number of programmes, partnerships and even legal provisions targeted at ensuring the availability of quality manpower. In one of such moves, the Federal Government through the instrumentality of law – the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act of 2010 provided the guideline for the building of indigenous capacity. This piece of law has its focus on deepening Nigerian Content in the nation’s oil and gas value chain through capacity building.
Taking cognizance of the fact that true, beneficial and sustainable industrialisation is built on the back of strong manpower base, founders of Zurich Elite Business School (ZEBS) has indicated its interest to support Nigeria’s industrialization ambition with a ‘Real-World-Skills MBA for Nigerian youths. The Real World-Skills MBA according to the founder and President of ZEBS, Adonis-Emmanouil Fragkakis offers leadership and strategy, entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability, blockchain/AI, among others to its students.
Fragkakis noted that with what seems like a paradigm shift in the pattern of demand for manpower by employers, the need for real-world skills through job-training techniques has become inevitable. This is coming on the heels of the observation that Human Resources (HR) experts now lay more emphasis on skills than degrees.
According to him, a US survey showed that the majority of 750 HR leaders undertake an effort to de-emphasize degrees and prioritise skills. “A two-third of the HR leaders also believe that online credentials are of generally equal quality to those completed in-person.
The don stated that major employers now hire candidates who don’t have traditional degrees. “They are looking primarily for job-related skills sets and not just theoretical knowledge.” He added that some of the fortune 500 companies, such as Google, Apple, Starbucks and IBM, among others no longer require candidates to have a four-year degree.
“The aforementioned demonstrates not just the future but also the present of the job market. Employees have to acquire during their business education, real-world skills through job-training techniques in order to be successful. This is exactly what we teach our students at the Real-World Skills MBA, he said.
Speaking further, Fragkakis, said, “We aim to educate future African leaders and entrepreneurs and prepare African talents through their acquired business know-how to transform the African continent, create innovations and successful, sustainable businesses, which will lead Africa to a brighter future!”
Also, Fragkakis stated that the RWS MBA students from Africa would also become part of the fastest growing business community. “Networking in Africa in a way like never before! RWS MBA students meet, exchange business ideas and network in regional and transnational communities with other executives and entrepreneurs in the entire African continent.”
Speaking on what propelled the extension of its vision of RWS MBA to Nigerian students, the ZEBS founder said that in the last years, he has come across many young African managers whose dream to embark on further training in their field has been hampered by lack of money and time. “I realised that with many International MBAs being too expensive, non-flexible, requiring qualification from top universities and extensive work experiences, the huge opportunities and potentials of the African youth could not be realised.
“This is when I said to myself: “This, we have to change!” Why should people in the rest of the world have better chances than people in Africa? So I called my old friend, educational expert and entrepreneur.
In his word, Director Africa, ZEBS, Dr. Akanimo Odon, said he responded to the clarion call by saying, “we have to do something for the African youth. Let us join forces and design based on our global experience a unique MBA programme that will give access to the top modern business education models and tools to every student in Africa regardless of his/her wealth, ethnic origin, race and education status! Let us revolutionise and transform business education in Africa!
Continuing, he said, “The result is the RWS Real-World Skills MBA for the Future of Africa. After consulting and advising several international universities, I can categorically say that ZEBS Real-World Skills MBA is exactly what Africa needs. In an environment where challenges abound, an MBA that empowers you to be innovative and to align with the current industry needs is crucial for your professional success,” Odon said.
He further stated that in the Real-World-Skills MBA for the Future of Africa, participants learn all the practical business skills required in the real business world in order to become successful managers and outperform as entrepreneurs.
“We also offer the unique ZEBS African Entrepreneurship Fellowship, a first of its kind training dedicated to our students and designed to help African entrepreneurs to maximize their chances of success through mentorship, provide access to industry experts and seed capital. On what makes ZEBS MBA unique, the founder stated that contrary to the conventional and popular practice of knowledge transfer through theoretical courses and case studies, ZEBS offers practical and hands-on business education. Adding that “it is the real alternative to the typical MBA with no degree or prior experience required. It will boost your career in high-growth career fields and lead you to the path of prosperity.”
According to him, the ZEBS’ RWS MBA is not the conventional or national MBA programme. He described the scope of its network to be about the biggest network that has ever been created with no borders in Africa. “RWS MBA students will meet, exchange business ideas and network in regional and transnational communities with other executives and entrepreneurs in the entire African continent.
Sharing his experience, the Site Reliability Engineering Manager, Google, Vasilis Kazazakis, “It is all about your skills, not your degrees! When it came to my MBA decision, accreditations and rankings didn’t really matter; it was all about the best learning experience from top industry experts.
“The Real-World-Skills MBA for the Future of Africa teaches you top-class, real-world skills, the ones the best companies ask for. Here, you will learn how to be a successful manager or entrepreneur. The high quality of the program practically guarantees immediate employment in the job market.”
On his part, the Quality Management, BMW & Rolls Royce, Christoph Pilgram added that “The MBA program at ZEBS was the right step forward to elevate my career path in the premium segment of the automobile industry. The same will be the RWS MBA for the Future of Africa for your career.”
The Founder & CEO Brandmind, Christina Hoffmann, stressed that “Building a successful career has many similarities with creating a successful brand. The Real-World-Skills MBA for the Future of Africa enables you to build a unique and successful “career brand” and achieve your professional goals.”
According to Roland Schurig, Senior Manager Strategy, MAN Truck & Bus SE, in the world of business, leadership makes the difference. “Great leadership enables employees, teams and in consequence companies to achieve results which truly matters. The Real-World Skills MBA for the Future of Africa teaches you exactly what you need to make a difference in the real cooperate life.”