News & Highlights

  • APRIL 2022

Global Opportunity Fellowship | GO: AFRICA

Thanks to generous alumni support, the Global Opportunity Fellowship | GO: AFRICA supports graduating HBS students and recent alumni who are making a difference working in Africa. The GO Fellowship is awarded to a limited number of students who accept a full-time post-HBS job in Africa, or are a founder of a new venture in Africa, with total guaranteed annual compensation of less than $120,000 USD. Award amounts are designed to bridge the gap between the fellowship recipient’s annual salary and $120,000 USD, with a maximum initial award of up to $50,000 USD. Beginning with graduates from the MBA Class of 2018, alumni are eligible for the GO Fellowship for 5 years after graduation. The Application deadline for both alumni and graduating second-year students is April 25, 2023 (the online application is available beginning April 1, 2023). For more information, please contact Phillip Andrews, Corporate Relations Director, HBS Career & Professional Development, 617-495-6086,
  • November 2022
  • Event

Virtual Event with Professor Deborah Spar

This November, the Africa Research Center hosted a virtual discussion with Professor Debora Spar on the challenges of evolving capitalism and starting a conversation in Africa. Professor Spar is currently spearheading efforts at HBS to create a new Institute for the Study of Business in Global Society (BiGS), of which she is the Senior Associate Dean. By gathering a community of scholars, students, and practitioners, BiGS aims to re-examine how capitalism is functioning today, and what responsibilities—and opportunities—business has to make it work better. Professor Spar is currently writing two cases on African firms: one on Afrigen Biologics, based in Cape Town, and the other on Equity Bank of Kenya. These cases will be an integral part of the School’s new Institute. Professor Spar has done extensive work in Africa and South Africa over the years. During her dialogue with our HBS and Harvard alumni, she shared plans for BiGS but also her thoughts on how Africa and African firms can help tackle some of society’s greatest challenges.
  • November 2022
  • MBA Experience

MBA Admissions Events in Africa

In November, Chad Losee, Managing Director, MBA Admissions and Financial Aid, hosted four events in Africa. Two of these events were in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa while the other two were in Abuja and Lagos, Nigeria. These events were designed for prospective applicants to learn more about the MBA Program and life at HBS through the voices of alumni and other community members. The events gathered more than 100 attendees.
  • November 2022

Virtual Book Discussion with Professor Jeremy Friedman

Professor Jeremy Friedman gave his insights from his new book, Ripe for Revolution: Building Socialism in the Third World. The book seeks to tell the story of the global evolution of the socialist project during the Cold War through an iterative process of trial and error. The book explores how socialists sought to build a model of socialism that would fit the conditions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, then referred to as the “Third World,” and now more often called the “Global South.” This event was co-hosted by the Middle East and North Africa Research Center with nearly 50 HBS alumni and community members attending the virtual event.
  • September 2022
  • Event

Virtual Conversation with Professor George Serafeim

The Africa Research Center and Middle East and North Africa Research Center co-hosted a virtual event with Professor George Serafeim. With his new book Purpose and Profit: How Business Can Lift Up the World, Professor Serafeim provided answers to the following questions: Are purpose and profit in conflict, or can both be achieved simultaneously with the right mindset and tools? What are the forces that are reshaping the relationship between the two? What can we all do to strengthen the relationship between purpose and profit as entrepreneurs, managers, employees, consumers, and investors? Approximately 50 HBS alumni and community members attended the event.

New Research on the Region

  • March 2023
  • Case

Doing Business in Kigali, Rwanda

By: Andy Zelleke, A. Zelleke, Leonard A. Schlesinger, Leonard A. Schlesinger, Pippa Tubman Armerding and Wale Lawal

This case examines the challenges and opportunities of doing business in Rwanda. It highlights Rwanda's economic transformation in the decades leading up to 2023 in the context of its history, culture, and politics. The case gives an overview of some of the main obstacles faced by businesses operating in the country, high transportation costs, some of the most expensive electricity tariffs in sub-Saharan Africa and high levels of government bureaucracy, contrasting these with the efforts undertaken by the government to improve the country's business climate. This is illustrated through the discussion of a business dilemma in which e-mobility startup Ampersand has to assess the extent to which Rwanda's high openness could mean a high threat of competition or plenty opportunities for growth partnerships.

  • March 2023
  • Teaching Material

The Social Purpose of the Firm

By: Debora L. Spar and Julia Comeau

The Social Purpose of the Firm (SPF) is a short module designed to explore how, and under what circumstances, business leaders can harness the power of capitalism and markets to “make a difference in the world” – that is, to address a significant societal problem as a commercial endeavor. This Module Note summarizes the cases and themes discussed in SPF. Together, the cases are designed to study entrepreneurs and business leaders who are tackling some of the world’s most complex problems and understand 1) how to identify the problems or challenges that have both commercial potential and a positive impact on society; 2) the opportunities and limitations of the private sector’s role in systems change; and 3) how to collaborate with other societal entities to operate most successfully in a cross-sectoral fashion.

  • March 2023
  • Teaching Material

Afrigen Biologics: Vaccines for the Global South

By: Debora L. Spar and Julia Comeau

See more research

Johannesburg Staff

Pippa Tubman Armerding
Executive Director
Tafadzwa Choruma
Administrative, Research and Program Assistant
Anna Ngarachu
Senior Researcher

Lagos Staff

Wale Lawal
Senior Researcher

Nairobi Staff

Kuria Kamau
Senior Researcher