What really matters for African business: A pressing new focus

The Dunning Africa Centre (DAC) at Henley Business School Africa has launched a new webinar series for leaders in Africa, which will tap the continent into an international research agenda and aims to unlock more global opportunities for African business.

Our second virtual event will offer insight on the dimensions and implications of the AfCFTA. Join our monthly event, which will take place every month on the first Thursday.

Borderless Africa:
A sceptics guide to the African Continental Free Trade Area

Thursday 2 June 2022

17h30 to 19h00 SAST (GMT/UTC +2)

The Dunning Africa Webinar Series

The DAC isn’t a place, it’s a continent-wide conversation for leaders. This series allows Africa’s top business minds and global experts to debate and discuss contemporary issues affecting African business. More than this, it allows you to join-in the conversation.

The Dunning Africa Centre, which is affiliated to the prestigious John H. Dunning Centre for International Business in the UK, will energise collaboration between top African scholars, business leaders and other experts. Together, this will drive enquiry into the impact of globalisation on international business from an African perspective. It will also seek to reposition African business as a significant and dynamic global player.

It is time for Africa to reclaim its identity and make authentic, assertive inroads into the global business market. Africans do business like no-one else. We have a unique outlook and hard-won experience in one of the most challenging and complex business environments on the planet.

Our topics have been sourced from African business people across the continent, and cover the pressing questions facing African businesses today:

● How should African businesses establish their identity in international markets?
● What are the challenges and opportunities we face when securing investments overseas?
● How should African businesses engage with large, inward investors?

An essential element of the DAC webinar is that business people from across Africa can offer their unique insights and perspectives. We have designed the platform so that the conversation can expand across industries and provide a unified path forward. Every voice counts.

Africa is in your hands. Listen or
participate from anywhere.

The second of many good debates

Thursday, 2 June | 17:30 - 19:00 SAST (GMT/UTC +2)

Borderless Africa:
A sceptics guide to the African Continental Free Trade Area

Despite the strong degree of political support behind the AfCFTA, in some quarters there is still a considerable degree of scepticism regarding whether the ambitious continental agenda can achieve its goals. There are also growing concerns about the slow pace of implementation. Francis Mangeni and Andrew Mold are authors of a forthcoming book that makes the case for why the concerns are misplaced and why the AfCFTA must deliver on its commitments to achieve deeper regional integration.


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Prof. Rajneesh Narula, OBE

Chair, Director, Dunning Africa Centre Professor of International Business Regulation Henley Business School, University of Reading

Rajneesh Narula OBE, is the director of both the Dunning Africa Centre and the John Dunning Centre for international business. He is Professor of International Business Regulation at the Henley Business School. He has published over 100 articles and chapters, and is considered be one of the world’s leading experts in international Business. Raised and educated in Nigeria, he is passionate about improving the development outcomes from foreign investment across Africa, and is currently an advisor to the Nigerian government in this area. He also regularly acts as a consultant and advisor to the European Commission, UNIDO, UNCTAD and the OECD, World Bank, as well as a variety of other international organisations, governments, and consulting firms. He holds honorary appointments at United Nations University-MERIT, Norwegian School of Business, Oxford University, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Urbino. In 2017, he was appointed an Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE). The honour is in recognition of his Services to Business Research. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (FRSA) in 2015. He is a regular commentator on business and economics issues on BBC World News, Sky News, TRT World, CGTN, as well as a variety of print and online publications.

Jon Foster-Pedley

Co-chair, Director and Dean of Henley Business School Africa

Jon is an innovative businessperson, academic and expert in curriculum design who has built and directs the only quadruple-internationally-accredited business school in Africa, Henley Africa. Dean and director Jonathan Foster-Pedley has worked in six continents and has over forty years of international working experience. He is a former airline pilot and senior executive in the European aerospace industry. He has been an academic or leader in business schools, specialising in strategy and learning, for nearly thirty years. He has guided and facilitated international and local multicultural sales, marketing and management teams. He is also a consultant, coach (working as a visiting professor in Strategy, Creativity and Innovation), and a writer and speaker. He’s the former Vice Chair for the South Africa Business Schools Association and a board member for the Association of African Business Schools. He is currently the Chairman of the British Chamber of Business for Southern Africa.

Special guests

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Dr Francis Mangeni

Senior Fellow, Nelson Mandela School of Public Administration

Dr. Francis Mangeni has worked and consulted extensively on the multilateral trade system and African economic integration. He has been Senior Fellow with the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at the University of Cape Town, Head of Programs with the African Continental Free Trade Area, and Director of Trade Customs and Monetary Affairs with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. He was Advisor to the Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Government of Malawi; the Senior Economist at the Permanent Delegation of the African Union to the United Nations and other International Organization based at Geneva, Switzerland; and was the Regional Trade Policy Advisor at the Commission of the African Union. He has been consultant for various international and regional organisations, such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the International Labour Organisation, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the South Centre, the East African Community, the Southern Africa Development Community, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.

His key publication is: Francis Mangeni and Calestous Juma, 2018, Emergent Africa – Evolution of Regional Economic Integration, Headline Books. This publication was a Runner Up at the London Book Festival in the Best Business Book Category in 2019, freely available at https://issuu.com/headlinebooksinc/docs/emergent_africa and on Amazon;

Dr Andrew Mold

Chief - Regional Integration and AfCFTA, Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Africa, UNECA

I am currently Chief, Regional Integration and the AfCFTA Cluster, with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, based at their Kigali office. I have a Masters in Economics and Politics of Development from Cambridge University, and a Ph.D. in Economics from the Complutense University of Madrid. From 1997-2004 I was a university lecturer based in Madrid, working as the Co-Director of a Masters Programme on Development, and Vice-General Secretary of the International University of Menendez Pelayo. I have previously worked for the UN Secretariat in Chile and in Addis Ababa, and also for UNICEF in Costa Rica. I worked from 2008-2011 at the OECD Development Centre in Paris, where he was a Senior Economist and in charge of their flagship publication ‘Perspectives on Global Development: Shifting Wealth’. From 2004-2009 I was editor of the European Journal of Development Research. Author of ‘EU Development Policy in a Changing World – Challenges for the 21st Century’ (Amsterdam/Chicago University Press), and ‘Policy Ownership and Aid Conditionality in the Light of the Financial Crisis – A Critical Review’ (OECD, Paris), I have published in a wide number of journals, including the Journal of International Development, the CEPAL Review, the African Development Review, the Journal of Common Market Studies, and the Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Who We Are

Dunning Africa Centre

Established in 2021, the Dunning Africa Centre seeks to act as a ‘virtual hub’ to promote collaboration between research institutions, universities, and businesses to study the impact of globalisation and international business. We connect researchers outside the continent interested in engaging with Africa-based actors.

John H Dunning Centre UK

Research in the Centre straddles the fields of international business, strategic management, innovation, development, and human resource management, and balances the necessity of a deep theoretical grounding with the added value of a strong applied focus. With our network of partners, we address both management- and policy-related real-world challenges, working with firms, NGOs, and international organizations. 

The Centre was renamed in honour of the late Professor John H Dunning. Internationally-renowned members of the Centre include Professor Mark CassonProfessor Rajneesh NarulaProfessor Alain Verbeke and Prof Chris Brewster.

Henley Business School

More than just a business school – Henley offers the opportunity to live, breathe, practice and create business. Course participants don’t just learn a list of facts and a handful of theories. They develop and apply their learning to real life situations, examining issues around ethics and sustainability and building a holistic understanding of the global impact of businesses on society. We create future leaders who have strong business acumen, are driven by responsibility, and have been equipped with a wider perspective.

Henley has a rich heritage in innovation – from rebuilding Britain after the Second World War, to pioneering distance learning, to the innovative syndicate learning method and more, Henley has always provided the tools needed to face contemporary business challenges. Henley has sites across the world, with its Johannesburg campus consistently ranked as the No. 1 MBA Business School in South Africa (PMR Awards). With more than 84,000 alumni in 160 countries, we are truly global business community.

Upcoming Webinars in this Series

Revolutionising anglophone Africa: Unique francophone insights into African business

Thursday 7 July 2022

17h30 to 19h00 SAST (GMT/UTC +2)

The untapped potential of Africa's creative industries

Thursday 4 August 2022

17h30 to 19h00 SAST (GMT/UTC +2)

How SME's can harness the power of AcFTA

Thursday 1 September 2022

17h30 to 19h00 SAST (GMT/UTC +2)

Sustainable development goals and Africa: a conversation with Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations

Thursday 6 October 2022

17h30 to 19h00 SAST (GMT/UTC +2)

Universal African healthcare: A pipe dream, or untapped potential?

Thursday 3 November 2022

17h30 to 19h00 SAST (GMT/UTC +2)