By Evelyn Kpadeh Seagbeh
RABAT-Ardent among the major things that wrapped up this year’s Current Business Issues in African Countries (CBIAC) conference were discussions between the authority of Ibn Zohr University and CBIAC Founder of Wagner College, the need for the establishment of a partnership between two institutions, expand to the conference coverage to reach more universities, and the business community.
The Current Business Issues in African Countries Conference was established in 2017 by Wagner College as a result of the discussions that arose from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 14 and UNCTAD15 ) held in Nairobi, Kenya, in July 2016 and in Barbados in October 2021.
The conference which started on April 27th through April 28th, brought together business and NGO Leaders, University Students and Faculties, Researchers, Students, Educators from African Countries, Wagner College, and the local New York City Community to discuss the most pressing issues impacting businesses in African Countries.
The two days of the conference drew more than 200 participants and 55 research presentations were delivered in French and English.
During a high-level meeting held with the Dean of Ibn ZohrUniversity, Mr. Bouaziz Simohamed and his team also proffered the need to increase the number of days for the conference, that the CBIAC considers incorporating other Universities, more business establishers, and business owners from the corporate world and that in subsequent conference presenters be given more time among other things.
“On behalf of the Faculty and Staff of Ibn Zohr, my team and I want to think you for choosing Ibn Zohr to host this year’s conference.”
Recounting the impact of the conference, Mr. Simohamed continued, “This conference has enlightened our students and it was very rewarding, but the two days are not enough. We would recommend that the number of days is increased and the CBIAC encourages more business owners.
CBIAC’s governing board and founder hold a high-level meeting Ibn Zohr University’s Dean and team at the climax of the 2023 CBIAC)
Mr. Bouaziz Simohamed further went on to announce to the CBIA Governing Team that the University is willing to again host the conference next year in Morocco and that the university is opened to jointly searching for potential partners from the business community, public and private sectors to raise funds and other support for next year’s conference.
In response to Ibn Zohr University’s Dean, Current Business Issues in African Countries’ Founder, Dr. Shani Carter welcomed all the recommendations and lauded the Ibn University adding that the conference was a healthy and engaging time that allowed everyone to learn, share their research and impacts, and to network.
She further assured the team that in subsequent times, Wagner College will review all the recommendations and revert to the Team. Dr. Carter was however fast to point out that the need to expand the conference coverage cannot be overly emphasized.
“I am glad that the presenters were eager to share their research with the participants, and it was difficult for us to keep them to a time limit. The attendees were highly interested in the presentations, and the discussion of the topics was lively.”
Dr. Carter went on further to say that “many of the attendees are fluent in French and English, and they moved freely between the French and English Presentations. The faculty and staff of The Faculty of Legal, Economic, and Social Sciences, University of Ibn Zohr, and the Wagner College Team provided a highly-organized and welcoming event and we are grateful all these.” Dr. Carter concluded.
Since the Current Business Issues in African Countries Conference was launched in 2017, this year’s conference saw the highest number of participants and presentations with most of the participants expressing their excitement and takeaways.
She continued, “I would love to know more about creating a business here (in Morocco) to go further into Africa and make people see the real Africa that we all love” Africa Raiss added “is full of love, full of kind, well-educatedpeople that have a lot of potential to move the continent forward.”
Another participant, a first-year master’s student in Human Resource Management at the University of Ibn, Zohr Oumayma El Bilouzi told this paper that the CBIAC’s Conference has further grown her passion for entrepreneurship.
“What I am taking away from this conference is that as a woman and an African, I see myself as a future entrepreneur so this conference has given me that motivation and the push that I needed. We as Africans have many natural resources and organic products and nature so we should just use those natures rationally to benefit the continent.” Oumayma asserted.
At the climax of the conference, the CBIAC founder also announced plans to publish for the publication of a book containing proceedings from this year’s 2023 Conference.
This year’s conference was held under the theme “Management and Resilience of African Organizations in Times of Crisis with COVID-19, sustainable development, supply-Chain, and Entrepreneurship as the thematic areas of discussion during the two days in Morocco.
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