Africa Provides Many Rich Learning Environments
Charlottesville, VA, April 27, 2011 — At Accent and TravelMBA, the University Division of WorldStrides, we consistently strive to remain on the cutting edge of international immersion programs for graduate and undergraduate students. By watching market trends and listening to customer interests, we are proud to be the industry leader in opening new markets and providing unique and enriching travel experiences for our client schools.
In particular, the last several years have brought increasing interest in travel to Africa. Emerging markets in Southern and East Africa, in particular, have proved to be ideal learning destinations for students and have created opportunities for interesting new business visits. The following examples outline just a few of the African markets where we work.
As the most developed and well-known African nation, South Africa is a mainstay for academic programs. South Africa is one of only four African nations designated as an upper-middle economy by the World Bank and boasts a wealth of cultural and natural richness, in addition to its sophisticated financial market. Recent programs have integrated study of sports marketing and operations management as South Africa hosted Africa’s first-ever World Cup. Programs also focus on the country’s position as a telecommunications leader, organizational change management in a post-apartheid era, and sustainability strategies with consumer product groups like Massmart.
An increased focus on infrastructure, Information Communication and Technology (ICT), and global competitiveness has catapulted Rwanda to 80th on the list of the world’s largest national economies and number one in the East Africa Community (EAC). International investors and academic programs alike have flocked to Rwanda to experience its booming economy. Several top programs visited Rwanda in January 2011, and all signs point to increased interest in the region. Bralirwa, the nation’s leading beverage company, provides an interesting opportunity for students to interact with company executives and they discuss social, environmental, and ethical responsibilities felt by the organization’s leadership, especially in the area of business conduct.
Traditionally rich natural resources have allowed Tanzania to rely on agriculture and mining as primary income sources, but recent economic reforms have brought substantial private-sector growth and foreign investment. As a result, Tanzania’s GDP per capita rose a staggering 40% from 1998 to 2007, and continues to rise. The majority of Tanzania’s population still remains an agrarian society. Programs have gained a holistic view of development — from government, non-profit, and businesses alike. Some examples include meeting with managers of Mt. Kilimanjaro game lodges, education ministry leaders in Dar Es Salaam, and non-profit Heifer International which provides students a deeper perspective on the intersection of humanitarianism and microfinance.
In addition to South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda, other markets where we have witnessed a growth in programs include Namibia, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia and Mozambique. Working together, we are prepared and excited to open many more African markets to university study in the coming years.