Africa has the potential for real progress. It has natural resources in abundance and a young expanding population. Foreign investment is on the rise. But Africa’s economic growth, among the fastest in the world, is rapidly draining the pool of local managers. These are the very people who are vital for translating opportunities into tangible results, increased competitiveness and a better life for all.
This report by the African Management Initiative – formed by the Association of African Business Schools, the Global Business School Network, the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the Lundin Foundation – draws on interviews with over 50 experts and employers, and dozens of secondary resources, to understand the management gap from an individual and organisational perspective. It maps Africa’s existing education and training landscape and identifies pockets of excellence. It illustrates that the current management development ecosystem is insufficient to meet the requirements of Africa’s buoyant economies, and presents ideas for intervention and recommendations for next steps.
Organisations typically employ one manager for every 10 workers. On that basis, we estimate that Africa’s formal
labour force of 111 million includes approximately 11 million managers. To entrench the practice of good management, we need to ensure that at least 1 in 10 of them – over 1 million managers – are fully equipped with the knowledge needed to drive the continent’s next phase of development. According to employers, we are far from reaching this goal. Our interviews on the demand side show that only a minority of African managers, particularly
at mid and lower levels, are well-trained. Large businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, NGOs, educators, training providers and consultants from across the continent speak of poor management, of a disconnect between theoretical knowledge and on-the-job behaviour, of companies struggling to find the people to launch their brands in new markets, of entrepreneurs battling to identify the employees to help them grow. They all cite an acute shortage
of quality managers as a major bottleneck for growth. The research indicates that the biggest need is in the middle of the organisational pyramid. Interviewees cite a huge gap between senior executives, who enjoy the benefits of international business schools and work experience, and a much less able engine room of middle and lower level managers. This gap leads to execution problems. We clearly need more programmes and institutions addressing this segment of the market.
Read more of the insights in the Full Report – Click here to download the Full Report.
You can also read the summarised report- Click here to download the Summarised Report.