Conservation management in Kenya and Africa at large continues to face numerous challenges; protection of Eco habitats and ecosystems, destructive commercial activities i.e. poaching, human – wildlife conflict and harsh climatic conditions. The task of overcoming these challenges heavily lies on the success of grooming and nurturing effective leaders in the conservation sector.
Strathmore Business School, University of Stellenbosch Business School and the Global School of Business Networks are developing a pilot leadership and management program for mid-level managers of conservancies as well as a program for policy makers aimed at creating awareness on the role of policy in protecting conservancies in Kenya and Africa. The pilot project is set to kick off at the end of 2017.
“We are delighted to be part of such a transformational project that is addressing rural poverty, creating opportunities for sustainable livelihoods and playing an essential part in tackling wildlife poaching and trafficking” Said Grace Kariuki, the Ag Director in charge of the Business School’s Special projects department that will be hosting the program. The course has been designed to be delivered by two business schools in partnership, providing participants with regional specificity and international best practice in their training and coaching. The initial pilot would be developed with a cohort focusing on Southern and Eastern Africa, including one week in residence at a business school campus in each region, bridged by a practical action-learning project that will develop participants’ on-the-job skills and strengthen their conservancies.
To better define the scope of the program, the three partner institutions convened key stakeholders in conservation management in a roundtable to address the management and leadership skills gaps in the wildlife conservation sector.
The discussions of the round table identified opportunities and challenges in the wildlife conservation sector, providing great insights on the following thematic areas:
How can business schools be relevant in nurturing management capacities to boost the longevity and sustainability of the ecosystem? Dr. Vincent Ogutu, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Development) talked of the role of industry relevant research and the role of business schools in collaborating with industry players in impacting the sectors in which they work in.
Dr. Manu Chandaria, former GBSN advisor and former IFAR board member, encouraged the participants to work with the private sector to help them understand that conservation provides them with more than “social responsibility” and to play a role in making a change. “We must commit to action,” he said.
Bringing the round table to a close, Guy Pfeffermann, CEO Global Business School Network gave a summary of the stakeholder analysis, making the following remarks: “this stakeholder roundtable has been invaluable. Insights shared on the value of industry relevant knowledge, community participation, enterprise development, sustainability as a business strategy in conservation management and the need to engage with challenges by providing practical solutions, will be pivotal in the design of the program.
Strathmore Business School is a member institution of the Global Business Schools Network. The network endeavors to provide locally- relevant leadership and management skills that can advance development. This aligns perfectly with Strathmore Business School’s mission of service to society through imparting transformative management and leadership skills.