The African Management Initiative (AMI) has launched the first in a series of free online courses developed with top business schools, aimed at reaching 1 million African managers and entrepreneurs in the next decade.
The first course, Managing Customers and Markets, is available on AMI's new online learning platform. It was developed with Strathmore Business School in Kenya.
AMI, a social enterprise established in 2012 to tackle Africa's management capacity gap, leverages technology to empower African managers and entrepreneurs through practical, accessible and locally relevant learning tools.
Free learning tools
"Our goal is to help African managers and entrepreneurs develop new skills and build their businesses by providing access to world-class learning tools for free or very low-cost," said Jonathan Cook, chairman and co-Founder of AMI. "Our courses are practical and proudly African. Our platform is easy-to-use, and can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on a computer or mobile phone."
AMI has partnered with Africa's most prestigious business schools, including leading business schools; Strathmore Business School in Kenya, the University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in South Africa and Lagos Business School in Nigeria. AMI has already trained over 1,000 managers in 25 countries.
The AMI course is free, and participants can upgrade to gain a personalised certificate on completion from AMI and its business schools for $25. Participants access engaging video lessons, supported by local case studies, practical exercises, interactive quizzes and an innovative peer support system.
The course takes approximately 30 hours of study, including a final exam and assignment. More than 800 people from across Africa have already signed up.
Offline Learning Lab
AMI also provides training via offline Learning Lab workshops in partnership with organisations and businesses in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa and Ghana. AMI's platform and content is developed with mobile in mind and for an environment where bandwidth is often constrained.
"AMI's vision is for 1 million African managers performing effectively and responsibly by 2023. We will achieve this through accessible learning tools that embrace the digital space," added Cook. "Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) have been used in the US and Europe to provide skills and knowledge. We are now applying this in Africa."
AMI recently secured an investment worth $750,000 investment from the Lundin Foundation and Isibindi Trust. The investment is in the form of convertible debt, and provided AMI with funding to build the web and mobile platform and to fund operational expenses as it scales up to reach 20,000 managers in 2014 and 1 million by 2023.
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