Syracuse University

SU News

Whitman School hosts 'Entrepreneurship in Africa' Conference April 2-3

March 26, 2010

Amy Schmitz
(315) 443-3834

The Africa Business Program, part of the Kiebach Center for International Business in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, will host the inaugural “Entrepreneurship in Africa” conference April 2-3 with scholars from across the globe leading discussions on entrepreneurship as it relates to business and investment opportunities on the continent. Through paper presentations, panel discussions and keynotes addresses, the conference will seek to create an understanding of the pivotal role of entrepreneurship in Africa’s economic development.

The conference, spearheaded by Pierre Yourougou, clinical associate professor of finance in the Whitman School, begins at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, April 2, with introductory remarks by Melvin T. Stith, dean of the Whitman School, and Peter Koveos, the Kiebach Chair in International Business Studies, followed by a keynote address on “Competitive Africa” by Marilou Uy, director of financial and private sector development for the Africa region of the World Bank.

Panel discussions will follow on “Doing Business 2010: Findings Relevant to African Countries,” by Allen Dennis of the World Bank, and “Opportunities and Challenges Faced by African Entrepreneurs.” Morning sessions will include “Cross-Country Comparisons of Entrepreneurship and Global Experiences” and “Women and Entrepreneurship.”

Lunch on Friday will include a keynote address on “African Financial Systems” by Lemma M. Senbet, the William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance in the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. The afternoon panel discussion will cover “The Social and Economic Impact of Microfinance Institutions on Underprivileged Communities in Africa,” by Warren Byabashaija of the Makerere University Business School in Uganda. Afternoon sessions will include topics on “Financing Entrepreneurship in Africa,” “Fostering Entrepreneurship through Public Policies” and “Social Networks and Entrepreneurship.”

The Saturday, April 3, activities begin with a panel discussion on “Diaspora Investment in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges,” led by Liesl A. Riddle, co-director of the George Washington University Diaspora Program in GW’s Elliot School of International Affairs. Other topics to be discussed include “The Informal Sector,” “Fostering Entrepreneurship through Education and Public Policies” and “African Case Studies of Entrepreneurship.” The conference concludes with a panel discussion on “The Impact of the World Cup on Venture Creation in South Africa and the Implications Beyond,” led by Craig Watters, assistant professor of entrepreneurial practice in the Whitman School.

“The Whitman School and its new Africa Business Program are dedicated to investigating issues related to emerging markets, including many on the continent of Africa,” says Stith. “We are pleased that so many scholars from around the globe have joined us here in Syracuse to discuss this growing and as yet untapped market. Such renowned thinkers coming together around this topic at Whitman will only further enhance our program and will certainly support further business development in Africa.”

For more information about the conference, visit or To register, contact Agnes Magnarelli, administrator of research centers at the Whitman School, at (315) 443-1383 or

Recent News