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Whitman School receives federal grant to create Africa Business Program

May 02, 2008

Amy Mehringer
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Amy Mehringer

The Kiebach Center for International Business Studies in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University is the recipient of a two-year, $177,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education's International Business and Education program that will go toward promoting doing business with Sub-Saharan Africa.

The new Africa Business Program in the Kiebach Center at Whitman will work with businesses in Central New York to make a significant connection to the business possibilities in many African countries. The program will also work with the faculty and students of the Whitman School to explore the marketplace potential in Africa. The program will be directed by Peter Koveos, director of the Kiebach Center and the Kiebach Chair in International Business Studies, and managed by Pierre Yourougou, associate director of the Kiebach Center and visiting associate professor of finance.

"Many U.S. investors misunderstand the potential of the marketplace in Africa," says Koveos. "The new Africa Business Program at Whitman aims to reveal the business opportunities that exist in many African countries and to raise awareness of Africa as an environment ripe with economic possibilities. The special challenges that are encountered when doing business with Africa will also be examined."

The Africa Business Program will guide CNY businesses toward creating a presence in Africa and assist them in developing business models for successful access to the African marketplace.

The long term goal is the creation of the African Business Institute (ABI). The ABI will serve as a connection between CNY businesses and the African marketplace, aiding in the economic growth of Africa and CNY, and creating an alliance between the Kiebach Center, CNY businesses and African businesses. The ABI will also help in the development of an Africa business-related curriculum for the Whitman School.

"The new Africa Business Program is a great way for Whitman faculty, students and local businesses to establish an alliance with an `undiscovered' marketplace," says Melvin T. Stith, dean of the Whitman School of Management. "Africa is an overlooked continent with a wealth of opportunity. The Whitman School is excited about the establishment of this new program, and we are fully confident that under Professor Koveos and Professor Yourougou, it will be a great success."

The program will be the joint responsibility of the Kiebach Center, the Central New York Technology Development Organization (CNYTDO) and the Central New York International Business Alliance (CNYIBA). It is also supported by the County of Onondaga Division of Economic Development and the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce.

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