The African Business Club at Columbia Business School

The African Business Club (ABC) works to advance social and economic issues related to Africa and promote an understanding of Africa at Columbia Business School.

The ABC also co-hosts the African Economic Forum in the spring along with other Columbia University graduate schools. The Forum is the largest African focused event at Columbia Business School.

The conference engages attendees in fruitful discussion regarding challenges and opportunities in Africa.

Our Mission

Ensure the success of its members at CBS by providing various types of support including career resources, tutoring and help adjusting to the New York social and cultural environment

Increase networking opportunities for members with the corporate community of Africa and serve as a support system throughout the recruiting process for students interested in building careers in or related to Africa

Provide opportunities for business school students to explore the many facets that comprise the African culture through social cultural events.

Support the Admissions Office in recruiting African Students; and work with prospective students during the admissions process

Promote the development and involvement in Africa with activities that enhance the understanding of the region

Bolster the bond between current students and CBS alumni who share an interest in Africa

ABC Leadership Directory

Achenyo Otigba


Eric McCarthy


Segun Odutola

VP, Speakers & Events

Chi Achebe

VP, Partnerships & Memberships

Thaiza Alvim

VP, Finance

Fola Olusoga

VP, Conference

Laura Rodgers

VP, Marketing

Prospective Students

We are excited that you are considering Columbia Business School and hope that the resources here will help answer any questions you may have. Our 60 club members have gained exposure to engaging speakers, prestigious companies, inspiring faculty, and supportive peers. We encourage you to visit the campus and ask any questions you may have about our experience both at CBS and as students interested in great continent of Africa. Good luck!

Curriculum Highlights

Catching Growth Waves in Emerging Markets

The term emerging markets encompasses a plethora of countries with more than half the world’s population, an enormous variety of cultures, climates and levels of development, from the BRICs to Sub-Saharan Africa. After decades and even centuries of lackluster economic performance, they are now the fastest growing markets in the world.

Every relevant player in the business world is striving to capture this growth. Defining a strategy for where, when and how to invest is a major challenge in the complex and fast moving world of emerging markets.

International Emerging Markets Project Finance

This International Emerging Markets Project Finance (IPF) course will provide students with a strong practical and theoretical framework to be able to analyze complex international projects from first principles, and will cover both the structuring aspects of this financial discipline (commercial and legal frameworks, key risk and mitigants, financial modelling) as well as real-world project finance case studies.

Social Entrepreneurship: Global Perspective

This course introduces students to social entrepreneurs and their organizations around the world. What do these individuals and their organizations have in common, no matter where they are spawned?

How does context influence the problems they choose to address, the organizational and business models they decide to pursue, and their growth options? When and how do they pursue partnerships with one another and with the business or public sectors, and what are the outcomes of such partnerships?

Global Immersion: Doing Business in North Africa

The North African region is going through profound changes following the initial upheaval of the Arab Spring. But there are many questions that await. Will these countries transition to democracy? Will they be able to create a business environment that is attractive to investors?

If so, what investment opportunities exist in the region? What are the risks involved and the future challenges? And, how best to enter such a market? The course will explore these questions and other issues related to doing business in North Africa.

Global Immersion: New Growth and Business Opportunities in East Africa

Parts of Africa are now one of the most exciting regions of the world for business. 10 – 20 African countries have achieved steady, high growth rates during the last few decades.  A wide range of sectors in these “lion” economies – commodities, tourism, agribusiness, eCommerce, oil and gas, retail, etc – are buzzing with activity and attention from foreign investors and multinationals.

But how can companies and investors enter and operate efficiently in African countries still characterized by weak institutions? What challenges characterize the private sector in Africa, how do they vary with context, and what strategies can firms and organizations adopt to overcome them? Where can new MBAs interested in Africa add the most value? East Africa is the perfect region to address and explore these questions.

Key Programs

Africa Matters Series

Every semester, the African Business Club and the Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Globus Business present “Africa Matters.” Africa Matters is an opportunity for students and other members of the CBS community to present to their peers and classmates about an African country and why it matters to them most.

African Economic Forum

We are excited to announce the 15th annual African Economic Forum (AEF) at Columbia University. We look forward to having you join us and our distinguished speakers while we explore this year’s theme — African Innovation: Leveraging the Present to Shape the Future.

This year’s conference will build upon last year’s theme of Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers: Harnessing the Power of an Open Africa, providing an opportunity to consider new perspectives and growth initiatives within the African continent and the diaspora.

The 2018 theme touches on many timely issues including technology, energy, and the continent’s fast-growing youth population. Our goal for this year’s conference is to examine the potential opportunities and hurdles facing African countries as innovation becomes increasingly central to the economy, development, and policymaking. This year’s conference will provide a lively space to consider the ways in which innovative and transformative ideas can be successfully leveraged to positively shape the future for Africans.

Through candid and holistic conversations, we hope to showcase how African stakeholders have already begun to deploy unexpected and entrepreneurial solutions to solve a number of issues facing the continent. By bringing together an expert and diverse range of panelists and keynote speakers, we aim to ensure that AEF continues to provide a forum for meaningful engagement. We anticipate that participants will leave this year’s conference with a renewed sense of what a successful future may look like for Africa and what role they may be able to play in the continent’s development.

Contact Us

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

We are looking forward to hearing from you.
General Inquiries:

Prospective Students:

For all other inquiries, please feel free to get in touch via the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.