The challenges of taking an MBA as an African


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The Independent Online

It was funny how it took me longer time coming from Sudan to South Africa than it took my colleagues coming from other continents. I guess this could be another reminder (and a metaphor) of how much work we need to do as African to bridge the gaps between us and stop functioning like a big messed up family.

Despite reaching Cape Town in an exhausted state, I was extremely excited to finally be in South Africa. This country has and will always be a great symbol of the African struggle against inequality and oppression. The taxi driver who picked me from the airport was a very vibrant guy who talked to me all the way about how positive thinking and hope will attract great things towards me (well ma be I looked a bit desperate as I was too tired at that point). I was largely impressed by his spirit and view of life, however, that driver was no exception from the spirit of almost all the South Africans I met during the visit including the inhabitants of the township and slums we stopped by. Hope was simply all over the place.

The positive atmosphere and strong flavour of hope were also extended to the conference room as well. I was genuinely inspired by the participants of the conference being Global AMBAssadors, speakers or organizers as well. I was particularly impressed by the strong ethics and sense of responsibility that was shared in that conference room.

The few days of the conference were a great opportunity for some purpose-driven networking. The group of AMBAssadors and speakers were of different nationalities, gender, age group and career path. However, we could quickly bond with each other being a group of like-minded, highly energetic with a strong determination to make the world a better place.

On my way back to the airport, I couldn’t help but reflecting on the huge gap on the state of infrastructure development between Cape Town and Khartoum (my home town). I guess for Sudan to be able to move on, we need to learn a lot from the South African experience of forgiveness, hope and moving on beyond sorrows and the shadows of conflict.

I am grateful for AMBA for giving me the opportunity to take part in the Global Leadership Conference. In my few days in South Africa I managed to meet amazing people, see amazing places, had amazing food and got to charge my inspiration battery for long time to come: what more can a man ask for from a short trip.

Husam is an MBA graduate from Lancaster University Management School and is The Independent/AMBA’s MBA Student of the Year. He graduated with his MBA in 2012 and his now Senior Project Manager at the strategy team of DAL Group in Sudan. He was a speaker on a panel discussing responsible and sustainable leadership at AMBA’s Global Leadership Conference hosted by the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.