By Francis Tsawayo WINDHOEK The International University of Management (IUM) in collaboration with the Leeds Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom and the Association of Business Executives are to set up the first ever Regional Business Centre for African Business Development. According to the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the LMU, Frank Griffiths an amount of N$12 million (ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£900 000) has been allocated to the project which is to be up and running by the end of the year. Also accompanying the Deputy Vice Chancellor is the Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Leeds Business School, Prof. Stephen Parkinson who said the centre would be recognised for world class excellence and would focus on programmes and curricula development consultancy, research and scholarly activity. Professor Parkinson elaborated on the programme, saying that it would provide support for Small and Medium Entrepreneurs through capacity building and development of staff teaching enterprise such that development of new innovative teaching skills to empower and inspire entrepreneurship. Management training programmes highlighted are to be tailored to develop key management and leadership skills as well as focus on skills development, he added. Describing Namibia as a country that benefits a great deal from Tourism, Prof Parkinson told that it created an opportunity for the centre to strongly support curriculum development in sustainable tourism for both undergraduate programmes and for capacity building in tourism and hospitality management. The opportunities to develop a curriculum and capacity building would extend to topical issues of governance and international procurement, Parkinson revealed. Most of all Parkinson noted that the centre would offer and focus on research on social and business enterprise, appropriate technology transfer, business creation and internationalisation of business opportunity. Vice Chancellor of IUM Dr. David Namwandi said the aim of the centre is to develop the given resources in Africa and assured that the project is viable. “Africa spends a lot of money in corporate training, sending people to Europe and the Americas, the Centre will give equal opportunity and cut expenses as well. “We are looking at the continent at large and not Namibia alone,” he said. Frank Griffiths also assured success as he revealed that this was not the first project that he had introduced but also had previous experiences in Tanzania with the road construction and maintance training project as well as a nursing project in Zambia. Griffths also told that a representative from Leeds Met would be arriving in the country in a few weeks time to mobiles the project and conduct the necessary research to make the project a success as well as set up the foundation for the project to take off before the year ends. Prior to the partnership Leeds Met representatives had previously met with the Prime Minister and promised to establish the centre at (IUM), Griffiths informed. Griffiths also noted the Vision 2030 as an impressive commitment , to the economic transformation of the country and that the Centre would complement the achievements of the set goals.
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