News & Highlights

  • APRIL 2022

Global Opportunity Fellowship | GO: AFRICA

Thanks to generous alumni support, the Global Opportunity Fellowship | GO: AFRICA supports graduating HBS students and recent alumni who are making a difference working in Africa. The GO Fellowship is awarded to a limited number of students who accept a full-time post-HBS job in Africa, or are a founder of a new venture in Africa, with total guaranteed annual compensation of less than $120,000 USD. Award amounts are designed to bridge the gap between the fellowship recipient’s annual salary and $120,000 USD, with a maximum initial award of up to $50,000 USD. Beginning with graduates from the MBA Class of 2018, alumni are eligible for the GO Fellowship for 5 years after graduation. The Application deadline for both alumni and graduating second-year students is April 25, 2023 (the online application is available beginning April 1, 2023). For more information, please contact Phillip Andrews, Corporate Relations Director, HBS Career & Professional Development, 617-495-6086,
  • November 2022
  • Event

Virtual Event with Professor Deborah Spar

This November, the Africa Research Center hosted a virtual discussion with Professor Debora Spar on the challenges of evolving capitalism and starting a conversation in Africa. Professor Spar is currently spearheading efforts at HBS to create a new Institute for the Study of Business in Global Society (BiGS), of which she is the Senior Associate Dean. By gathering a community of scholars, students, and practitioners, BiGS aims to re-examine how capitalism is functioning today, and what responsibilities—and opportunities—business has to make it work better. Professor Spar is currently writing two cases on African firms: one on Afrigen Biologics, based in Cape Town, and the other on Equity Bank of Kenya. These cases will be an integral part of the School’s new Institute. Professor Spar has done extensive work in Africa and South Africa over the years. During her dialogue with our HBS and Harvard alumni, she shared plans for BiGS but also her thoughts on how Africa and African firms can help tackle some of society’s greatest challenges.
  • November 2022
  • MBA Experience

MBA Admissions Events in Africa

In November, Chad Losee, Managing Director, MBA Admissions and Financial Aid, hosted four events in Africa. Two of these events were in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa while the other two were in Abuja and Lagos, Nigeria. These events were designed for prospective applicants to learn more about the MBA Program and life at HBS through the voices of alumni and other community members. The events gathered more than 100 attendees.
  • November 2022

Virtual Book Discussion with Professor Jeremy Friedman

Professor Jeremy Friedman gave his insights from his new book, Ripe for Revolution: Building Socialism in the Third World. The book seeks to tell the story of the global evolution of the socialist project during the Cold War through an iterative process of trial and error. The book explores how socialists sought to build a model of socialism that would fit the conditions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, then referred to as the “Third World,” and now more often called the “Global South.” This event was co-hosted by the Middle East and North Africa Research Center with nearly 50 HBS alumni and community members attending the virtual event.
  • September 2022
  • Event

Virtual Conversation with Professor George Serafeim

The Africa Research Center and Middle East and North Africa Research Center co-hosted a virtual event with Professor George Serafeim. With his new book Purpose and Profit: How Business Can Lift Up the World, Professor Serafeim provided answers to the following questions: Are purpose and profit in conflict, or can both be achieved simultaneously with the right mindset and tools? What are the forces that are reshaping the relationship between the two? What can we all do to strengthen the relationship between purpose and profit as entrepreneurs, managers, employees, consumers, and investors? Approximately 50 HBS alumni and community members attended the event.

New Research on the Region

  • May 2023
  • Teaching Material

Sian Flowers: Fresher by Sea - Video Supplement

The setting for this case is the Sian Flowers, a company headquartered in Kitengela, Kenya that exports roses to predominantly Europe. Because cut flowers have a limited shelf life and consumers want them to retain their appearance for as long as possible, Sian or its distributors used international air cargo to transport them to Amsterdam, where they were sold at auction or trucked to markets across Europe. The Covid-19 pandemic caused huge increases in the cost of shipping, so Sian launched experiments to ship roses by ocean using refrigerated containers. Chris Kulei, the Executive Director, was interested in not only the potential costs savings, but whether he could also market the reduced carbon footprint.

  • April 2023
  • Teaching Material

Netflix’s Culture: Binge or Cringe?

By: Hubert Joly, Leonard A. Schlesinger, James Barnett and Stacy Straaberg

In April 2022, streaming entertainment company Netflix lost customers for the first time in more than 10 years. Once a first mover in the streaming landscape, Netflix was facing competition from Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, and others. A key component of Netflix’s prior success was its unique “freedom and responsibility” culture, in which the company eschewed hierarchical decision-making, performance reviews, and vacation and expense policies, and employees were expected to maintain high performance or else get cut from the “dream team.” While some employees reported appreciation for Netflix’s culture, others described it as “cutthroat.” Given the company’s performance in spring 2022, was Netflix’s “no rules rules” culture still an asset or was it now a liability?

  • March 2023
  • Case

Pratham 2.0: Sustaining Innovation

By: Brian Trelstad, Samantha Webster and Malini Sen

Pratham is a Mumbai-based nonprofit, which focuses on high-quality, low-cost, and replicable interventions to address gaps in India’s education system. From inception, it has pioneered innovation, from early childhood learning centers to adaptive literacy programs, to national surveys on basic education performance that informed national education policy.  As Pratham reflects on its track record of influence on the Indian education system, the leadership team wonders whether Pratham could extend its programs within India to fill some of the gaps that existed between early childhood education, formal schooling, and vocational training. And whether the nonprofit could explore new innovations, which could help it achieve its mission of ‘Every Child in School & Learning Well.’ After more than 25 years of meaningful impact, how would they determine the future of Pratham? And who would lead that future?

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Johannesburg Staff

Pippa Tubman Armerding
Executive Director
Tafadzwa Choruma
Administrative, Research and Program Assistant
Anna Ngarachu
Senior Researcher

Lagos Staff

Wale Lawal
Senior Researcher

Nairobi Staff

Kuria Kamau
Senior Researcher