The 39 Country Initiative and Africa

Paul W. Beamish*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Management education in Africa’s poorest countries suffers from the greatest resource constraints of any continent on earth. At least three major challenges exist: lack of current teaching material; very expensive books/photocopies, making an insufficient quantity of materials available; and too few qualified faculty. In 2010, the Ivey Business School at Western University in Canada established a three-pronged strategy to help improve management education in 39 of the world’s poorest countries. Of these, 32 are in Africa. The primary purpose of its approach is poverty reduction. It is premised on the belief that if managers and entrepreneurs can make more sound business decisions, failures will decline, and prosperity will increase. The viability of all three elements of the strategy has been proved in various Ivey initiatives over the past 20 years in different geographies. This article reviews the history of the 39 Country Initiative to date in relation to Africa, provides some ideas about the way forward, and some personal observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-123
Number of pages13
JournalAfrica Journal of Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


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