Oxford Saïd Africa Initiative


Africa is projected to be the world’s second fastest-growing economy. With that comes a need for leaders who can navigate challenges and opportunities

Africa and Oxford Saïd

Investing in Africa and supporting the next generation of African leaders.

We have made a pledge to continue to invest in Africa and support the next generation of African leaders. We understand the impact that the youth can have in driving the opportunities in Africa and we advocate for companies both in Africa and abroad to recognise the value in investing in job-creating industries in Africa. Our aim is to support young, inspiring Africans looking to leave their mark on the continent and to understand the role big business plays in driving economic growth.

As a community we are investing in talented African students to provide them with the means and opportunities to choose to study at Oxford Saïd. We support future and current entrepreneurs in accessing and scaling their ideas to drive change and have an impact in Africa; and we are expanding teaching and research on African business to encourage business leaders to understand the opportunities that exist on the continent.

We want investors and business leaders to share our view of Africa and we believe that driving research and engagement on the continent within a global market will stimulate, sustain and grow investments and entrepreneurship on the continent. 

Beyond recruitment we have embedded Africa-focused activities into the curriculum and co-curriculum within our degree programmes, including case-studies, Africa business electives and hosting African thought-leaders to share their insights with our students and alumni.

Our aim is to be a part of the positive change in the region, by cultivating talented African students while educating the whole of our student body about Africa’s intellectual wealth and economic potential. The diversity of our students, whose broad range of experience and background stimulates and strengthens the classroom discussions, is a key factor of the success of our programmes.

African Scholarship recipient

As Africans we all share a common goal: the economic emancipation of Africans. In my view, from there flows access to opportunities, in particular access to education.

Peter Links

MBA 2016/17

Investing in talent

Leading the way in supporting and recruiting students from Africa.

On average, only 2% of full-time MBA students in international programmes are from Africa. A commitment was made by the former Dean, Professor Peter Tufano at the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa to have at least 10% of our MBA students from the African continent. Since the MBA class of 2016, we are proud to have had over 11% of each MBA cohort hailing from the continent.

Our African students provide direct insight into a range of exciting emerging economies that will become increasingly influential in the global marketplace. By increasing our efforts to support more African students onto our MBA and other programmes they, and our African alumni, become a powerful force in educating our community about the opportunities on the continent. We encourage talented individuals from across Africa to have the self-assurance to apply for a programme at Oxford. Frequent School-led information and recruitment events are hosted in many African countries by faculty and senior School leaders – allowing us to connect with and support talented individuals. We also identify excellent candidates by working closely with organisations and networks that align with our mission.

We are proactive about increasing access for quality candidates who may not have considered studying at Oxford Saïd. We have implemented additional support for our African candidates such as providing funded GMAT preparation courses, profile assessments, alumni mentoring and application guidance.

I was attracted by the theoretical and practical approach of the MBA programme itself. The programme imparts skills to develop a business concept and implement it, all with a holistic view of business on an interlinked world stage.

Harriet Okwi Asiyo

MBA 2016/17

Oxford Africa Business Alliance


The Alliance was created to formalise and strengthen our Africa initiative and to stimulate action in addition to generating ideas. The Alliance provides a platform to stimulate a vigorous dialogue about business, investment and entrepreneurship in Africa. Through our students and alumni members, we are able to incorporate both practitioner and academic perspectives on how to do business on the continent and the opportunities that exist. Our students and alumni join as members and the Alliance is jointly led by a School and student leadership committee. Members engage in and support the many African-related activities throughout the year and continue to support our vision as alumni.

Oxford Africa Business Forum


This annual forum supports our commitment to creating meaningful networks and opportunities within Africa. To better understand and explore Africa’s challenges and opportunities, the Oxford Africa Business Forum draws on the experience of leaders and experts working in and across the continent to share learnings from the past, present successes, future ideas and initiatives for Africa. It is also an opportunity for us to develop new, and strengthen existing relationships with individuals and organisations who share our vision.

Academic visiting programme

Supporting African academic institutions through faculties and fostering novel research, teaching, and publishing collaborations.

This Visiting Programme attracts a range of individuals from within business, academia, and government from across Africa to share insights and networks with the Oxford Saïd community. Strengthening our existing academic offerings related to Africa and driving engagement with our faculty to diversify their research and focus activities on the continent, this programme will add significant value to the development of the Fellows and the African business community. It will grant researchers unparalleled access to faculty across the University to support their work, while giving practitioners a unique opportunity to gain key market insights before returning to the field.

  • Oxford Saïd-Africa Academic Fellowship: An opportunity for junior and senior academics to work with Oxford Saïd for a period of one to three terms to contribute towards significant research capacity building in Africa.
  • Oxford Saïd-Africa Practitioner Fellowship: Intended for mid to senior African professionals, the Practitioner Fellowship will allow thought-leaders from a range of fields on the continent to share their on-the-ground experience with students, faculty, and researchers.

Mentoring Programme


In partnership with the Oxford Africa Business Alliance, the Invest Africa Business Mentoring Programme was developed out of the desire to make use of the extensive business expertise that lies within the Invest Africa membership and network, coupled with the aspiration to support business students who want to work in the African market. Part of Invest Africa’s vision is to be a central and influential driver in Africa’s economic growth, and this mentoring programme will help support some of Africa’s future business leaders.

This programme is open to our Oxford MBA students who form part of the Oxford Africa Business Alliance and will be used to help mentees develop their careers or business paths through personal and professional development.


Doing Business in Africa

Our annual international Africa elective for our MBA student cohort is held in South Africa each year, and is supported by companies that have successfully expanded across the continent. The aim is for students to understand what the long-term drivers of change in Africa are, and the variety of business opportunities. Students that attend are interested in working in Africa in the future, and therefore this elective is key in highlighting the opportunities that students can take up post-MBA, ultimately allowing them to contribute to the Africa-growth story.

Inclusive Business in Africa

Held in Cape Town, the module looks into the realities of doing business Africa. Our Executive-MBA students are able to explore the use of innovation, inclusivity and social responsiveness in emerging markets. The module helps participants understand the landscape in which businesses operate to be able to mitigate risks and seize opportunities worldwide.

Politics, Economics and the Context of Business in Africa

This elective for our MBA students provides them with an understanding of some of the key challenges and opportunities that managers, investors, entrepreneurs, and policymakers face on the continent, as well as to offer tools to analyse this complicated environment. The course uses a systematic approach to analyse and address some of the most common challenges managers face in Africa: obtaining financing; managing human capital constraints; dealing with infrastructural and institutional inadequacies; finding and analysing data; and understanding the political context. The objective is not only to help students see new opportunities, but to provide them with models and strategies for managing the challenges created by this complex environment.

Scholarships and funding

View scholar profiles

We recognise that funding can be an economic barrier to obtaining further education and provide scholarships for talented African students.

Our commitment to supporting talented African students has led to the creation of several scholarship and funding opportunities.  The majority are awarded to Africans with outstanding leadership abilities who can demonstrate a commitment to the African continent via personal mentorship or community involvement. 

Candidates applying to join one of our programmes may be interested in viewing details of the funding available to candidates who are nationals of or ordinarily resident in Africa:  

Africa Dean's scholar

It is truly an honour to have been selected as one of the Dean’s Scholars for Africa. To me, this represents a positive reflection of the Dean’s and Oxford Saïd’s recognition and commitment in driving growth and development in Africa.

Stephanie Mambo

MBA 2017

Sign up for our newsletter

You can sign up to our mailing list to receive our newsletters, invitations to events and information on other Africa related activities.


Innovative finance in Africa - exploring the emerging impact investment industry in Africa.

The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship collaborated to create twelve teaching case studies on Innovative Finance in Africa. The cases feature eighteen impact enterprises and sixteen funds from eleven countries across the continent.

These cases represent the largest body of academic work focused on Africa that explores this emerging investment industry.

African networks

We are expanding the community of individuals and organisations working with us to connect our students and alumni to opportunities across the African continent.

Africa Oxford Initiative

AfOx is a cross-university platform for academic and research collaborations between the University of Oxford and African researchers and institutions. The Initiative supports the work of universities and research institutions across Africa and facilitates the development of equitable and extensive collaborations between Oxford and African institutions.

African Studies Centre

This acts as a focal point for graduate level work and faculty. The MSc in African Studies is already recognised as Europe’s most prestigious and successful training programme in its field. This MSc is a popular choice in our 1+1 MBA programme, which combines the MBA with a selected Masters programme across the University.

We work closely with the Africa Studies Centre on a range of activities including guest speakers, masterclass sessions, research and peer-support.

The Oxford University Africa Society

For over 50 years this has provided thought-leadership, and a platform for discussion and engagement with contemporary African issues. The Society hosts speakers across disciplines, artists, film screenings, discussions and social events centred on Africa and its diaspora. Many of our MBA students are part of the Africa society and as a school we support joint activities and initiatives.

Invest Africa

This network is a platform for business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs to gain insight into doing sustainable business in Africa. It connects us, our alumni and students with over 350 members made up of global organisations, private investors, institutions, fund managers, family offices, policy makers and entrepreneurs.

AFSIC – Investing in Africa

We are a partner and academic sponsor of the conference, where Africa investors, dealmakers and business leaders come together to discuss issues affecting their sectors. More than 250 companies attend, representing 34 African countries plus 32 other countries that have supported the School in making career connections for our students and alumni.

Expanding our Africa initiative

Supporting long-term success and development requires vision, leadership, networks, and resources. We invite you to partner with us by providing advice, networks, and financial contributions.

Recruit our students

To recruit students, our partners use various engagement strategies, from online job postings to dedicated campus events. Our careers team offers support and advice, so recruiting top-class talent from the School is straightforward and consultative. We can arrange events on site, giving you the chance to meet our students in person through presentation and networking sessions, and conferences or talks. 

We also can arrange for students to visit your business as part of internships, projects or ‘company treks’.

Funding research

Funding research or case studies will assist us to addresses major topics and challenges in business and society in Africa. You can help us to continue attracting leading experts by funding new posts in academic areas where we are expanding our teaching and research. Support can take many forms, from endowing new posts to funding researchers and career development fellows.

Degree programmes

One-year MBA

Our MBA programme provides you with a solid foundation in core business principles while developing a broadened mindset and understanding of the role of business in society. You will be challenged to delve deep into the areas that interest you most and gain the strategic skills and insight to lead a successful, purposeful career.

Executive Degree portfolio

Includes the Oxford Executive MBA, the MSc in Major Programme Management and the Oxford Diplomas in Strategic Management. These programme enable current and future leaders to make a difference in their chosen field. Designed to be both intellectually challenging and practical, the programme consists of part-time modules that to fit alongside your work commitments.

Custom Executive Education

Transformational learning to drive business success.

Along with many opportunities, African countries face a particular array of economic, political and social environments that create unique business challenges. Exceptional leaders are needed by organisations to gain a competitive advantage and our custom programmes are designed to enhance the skills and leadership abilities of your future leaders within your organisation. We are able to combine your knowledge of local and regional markets with our practitioner expertise.

Open programmes

An exceptional learning experience.

Our range of Open programmes are beneficial for experienced senior executives in African companies who have significant responsibility in strategic decision-making. These programmes are designed to assist business executives to navigate rapid change within Africa's dynamic markets and support high-performance teams, so that you will be ready to drive growth within your organisation.