Top 10 African Business Schools

African Business Schools aim to help their students excel in management and business education in Africa. In fact, these business schools now play a very important role in the country by preparing their students for development in the private sectors early on.

WRITTEN BY ALLICE LANE

1. University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business was voted Best Business School in Africa for a third consecutive year in November 2010 at the Eduniversal Global Convention in Prague, Czech Republic.

The UCT GSB offers one of the most innovative Executive MBA courses in the world andis probably the only African business school that still has a very clear set of values that encapsulate the school’s dreams and commitments. Not only does UCT GSB encourage a passion of learning, but it also encourages a spirit of inquiry and creativity. It also supports and takes great pride in all of its students.

The full-time programme or part-time/modular MBA or the Executive MBA all provide a strong emphasis on personal development and growth, understanding business and leadership in emergent markets and the challenges of transforming organisations to armour students with the key skills needed for elite management jobs.

2. The American University in Cairo

The American University in Cairo’s Business School prides itself on going further than academia, allowing students to broaden their horizons and make the most of their university experience. The AUC School of Business says it has identified three pillars; entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership in the way business programmes are developed, improved and delivered.

3. Strathmore Business School

StrathmoreBusiness Schoolinfluences leadership in the country’s private and public sectors and focuses on giving service to the society. SBS has already significantly developed their leadership and International business management programms with hopes of bringing about more transformative business leaders in the country. This passion for excellence is what makes the school excel in the country and beyond.

4. The University of Nairobi

The University of Nairobi is considered the pioneer institution of African University education. In fact, it was the only higher learning institution in Kenya for a very long time. Established in 1964, its Business School is split into three departments, Finance and Accounting, Business Administration and Management Science.

6. The United States International University

The US International University is actually the oldest private university on Eastern Africa and is based in Nairobi. It provides broad-based and top quality education, which prepares its students for professional schools and beyond. In general, their curriculum helps their students accomplish high levels in their fields of choice and promotes multiculturalism and global understanding overall.

5. The University of Dar es Salaam

The University of Dar es Salaam Business School (UDBS) is one of the leading institutions in business and management research, teaching and consultancy in the sub-Saharan region. It also houses an Entrepreneurship Centre, Institute of Insurance and Risk Management, and the Career Advice Placement and Practical Training Bureau.

6. The Management College of Southern Africa

MANCOSA was established back in 1995. Initially, it was a post-apartheid empowerment school that provided accessible and affordable business management education to people who were denied access to it. To date, it is still the only business school in Africa that is known to have 100 percent black ownership.

7. UNISA

UNISA is the leading distance learning business school in Africa to date and is known to churn out tomorrow’s inspiring leaders. UNISA motivates the future generation and provides qualifications that are accredited internationally, as well as world-class resources. It has also formed a lot of global partnerships with hopes of achieving the dreams of the African people.

8. The American University in Cairo

The American University in Cairo’s Business School prides itself on going further than academia, allowing students to broaden their horizons and make the most of their university experience. The AUC School of Business says it has identified three pillars; entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership in the way business programmes are developed, improved and delivered.

9. Universityof Stellenbosch

The university’s itself is considered to be a centre of hope for the country. In fact, its academic framework is built entirely on the Pedagogy of Hope. The Businessw School places a great deal of emphasis on leadership development and provides its students with global qualifications that can serve them greatly all over the world.

10. Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS)

The University of Pretoria’s GIBS is an ambitious African business school that hopes to be a school from and for the entire business community in the country. As such, it has already made a huge impact in the lives of its students and their careers, proving to be a true place of inspiration, hope, hard work and insight in Africa.

Guest Post by Allice Lane who writes on behalf of w3Toledo, a web design and Toledo SEO firm.

Top 10 Office Gadgets

The office is one place where gadgets have made considerable headway in the past decade, stress-balls, metronomes and Newton’s cradles were once standard, but such decorations have been replaced by tools that make working life more pleasurable, productive and personable. Here is ABR’s Top 10…

WRITTEN BY JOE JOHNSON

1. The Apple iPad

The iPad, in all its iterations is without question the most important office gadget of all time. The tablet computer packs all the power of a laptop device and all the portability of a mobile phone, bridging the gap between these two devices and offering a near-faultless solution where neither fully delivers.

The potentially endless supply of high quality third party applications means that new uses for the iPad can be found all the time, adding value as time goes on, ensuring it makes for a worthy investment. Not only does the iPad function impeccably, it also excels in form stakes, with a super-slim case and a beautiful, easy-to-use interface, making it simple enough to use for all team members.

Although a top office gadget – it is perhaps the iPad’s stunning functionality on-the-go that is one of its most desired attributes, meaning you can carry on working wherever you are.

2. Under-desk exercise bikes

One of the toughest personal challenges facing the modern office worker is keeping fit. Demanding jobs mean that long periods of sitting at the desk and convenient junk food both mean weight gain is difficult to avoid. Enter the under-desk peddle bike, discretely allowing execs to exert themselves while working on that urgent report!

3. Posture enhancing chairs

Keeping the pounds off isn’t the only concern of office workers; most desk chairs are poorly designed and uncomfortable, promoting poor posture. Special posture enhancing chairs have a back rest that ensure the spine maintains a neutral position, and don’t place undue stress on the muscles and bones of the mid-section.

4. Mug-warmers

Nothing kick-starts the morning like a piping hot mug of tea or coffee, perfect for getting the mind engaged and the colleagues on-side. Nothing is more annoying than a stone cold brew however, left to cool when you’re whisked off to an unexpected meeting. Eliminate this risk with a special mug-warmer that will insulate your brew, so it’s still drinkable when you return!

5. Parker Pen

With all the ultra-high tech gadgetry on display in today’s modern office, it may seem churlish to talk about pens. The fact remains however that a good office worker needs a good pen, and Parker produce some of the finest in the world. Invest in a top quality fountain pen and ditch the tens of flimsy, unreliable biros taking up all your draw space.

6. Dropbox membership

This might be an intangible gadget, but it is untouchable for more than one reason. For a small monthly fee you can have access to unlimited cloud storage space for all your documents, files and media artifacts. This totally eliminates the need to carry around external storage devices, since you can access all your files from any internet-enabled device.

7. Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones

Sometimes you just need to be in the zone, whether it’s finishing that report or putting the final touches to a PowerPoint presentation, certain music has been proven to help us work more efficiently. Listen to your favourite tunes through crystal clear Beats headphones.

8. Apple iPhone

Although its younger sibling swipes the number one spot in the list, an iPhone is also undeniably an essential piece of office kit, such a portable piece of hardware that offers so much functionality – and I’m talking about things like notepads, calendars and the ability to view emails – can’t conceivably missed out.

9. Energy saving desk lamp

Weather like it or not, being climate aware is the new ‘cool’ in the workplace and investing in one of the growing breed of energy saving desk lamps boost your green credentials while at the same time illuminating your work space with a warm glow.

10. Mini whiteboard

Admit it, you’ve always wanted to play to role of teacher, scrawling your musings on a whiteboard in various different colours of permanent marker. Well now you can! It may not be particularly high tech, but a whiteboard can help you quickly record important points from phone conversations, to-do lists, and inspired ideas!

Joe is a travel blogger who often works with just the most basic of office equipment. He will be splashing out on a new laptop however when he takes his Dubai holidays.

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The E-reader – 2012’s Must-have Gadget

Why it’s time to shelve your books and instead put one of these in your pocket.

There is no shortage of products on the market to help us complete tasks easier, faster and lighter. With each advance in technology, traditional methods and practices are being displaced by modern alternatives – where we once would have picked up the phone we now send an email, rather than logging onto a computer to browse the internet we surf on smartphones. Pocket-size MP3 players can hold thousands of songs as opposed to having to buy a CD for a single album.

So why should reading be any different? Just as analysts have predicted that digital music downloads will at some point render CDs obsolete; books have also suffered a hit in sales as the popularity of e-readers has sky rocketed. Figures released last year from online retail giant Amazon stated that it sold 105 books for its Kindle e-reader for every 100 hardcover and paperback books.

The benefits of owning an e-reader are obvious. Instead of carrying bulky books around, or finding somewhere to store them, one single device can hold your entire collection to take with you wherever you go.

But with so many on the market, which is the best to go for?

Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G

Price: Around R2,199

Amazon’s own Kindle models are arguably the most well known in the market. The Kindle Keyboard 3G is the only e-reader with text-to-speech, audiobooks and MP3 support and its 3G wireless internet works globally.

At only 8.5 ounces and 1/3 of an inch thin, Kindle Keyboard can be taken almost anywhere and holds 3,500 books. Kindle e-readers also use the latest generation of Electronic Ink (E Ink) technology – E Ink Pearl – to power its screen. This allows for clearer, sharper text on an anti-glare matte screen that makes it similar to a page of actual book.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of this Kindle is the supreme battery life. After a full four hour charge, it claims to last two months (based on the device being used half an hour per day with Wi-Fi off).

The Kindle also uses Whispersync technology, meaning books downloaded to it can be read on your iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac, Android device, and BlackBerry as well as syncing your place across devices, so you can pick up exactly where you left off.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Screen size: 6 inches

Resolution: 600 x 800 pixels

Display: E Ink Pearl

Connectivity: Free 3G + Wi-Fi

Battery life (Wi-Fi off): 2 months

Storage: Approx. 3,500 e-books

Weight: 247 grams

Sony PRS-T1

Price: Around R1,600

This sleek and classy effort from Sony is the lightest e-reader on the market and looks the part, too. However, its desirable weight and width specifications (it is 9.5mm thick) aren’t quite backed up by its usability. A stylus pen comes with each reader to use on its touch screen, although there is actually no place for it to be stored which is less than ideal.

The Sony Reader software runs as a desktop application on a Mac or PC (not available on Linux), and the app is only downloadable on the Android, not the iPhone or iPad, and there is no web version either.

Pages are turned through swiping the screen which enables a pinch to zoom feature for articles and web pages. Supporting 12 different languages, another good addition is an in-built dictionary that looks up any word you hold on. Sony also offers around two million books in its e-store.

The PRS-T1’s design sets it apart from competitors, particularly because it hosts five buttons at the bottom as well as a touch screen, making web browsing easier with home, page back and page forward buttons. Available in white, black or an eye-catching red, if stylish and sleek is your bag this could be the e-reader for you.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Screen size: 6 inches

Resolution: 600 x 800 pixels

Display: E Ink Pearl

Connectivity: Wi-Fi

Battery life: 1 month (wireless off), approx. up to 3 weeks (wireless on)

Storage: Approx. 1,200 e-books

Weight: 168 grams

Elonex 500EB

Price: Around R995

The 500EB model is the smallest of Elonex’s three offerings in the e-reader market and is perfectly suited to those wanting a portable, multimedia device. Its sharp colour TFT screen makes it ideal for not only reading books but also watching movies and scrolling through photographs.

With six buttons (menu, back, adjust font size, page turn, and music) as well as a d-pad for navigation under the screen, its ergonomic design is complimented by a rubber-finished back to make one handed reading easy. The only drawback of its design is a 1.6cm thickness which is considerably more than the competitors.

The main selling point of the 500EB is the screen – yet while other e-readers promote the non-backlight E Ink displays, the advantages of a full colour screen include being able to change text colour. Although Elonex have fitted an anti-glare film the screen still gets affected by sunlight and is not designed for hours of non-stop reading (as the battery life attests).

The device comes pre-loaded with out of copyright books to get you started and thousands of eBooks can be downloaded from e-book stores.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Screen size: 5 inches

Resolution: 800 x 480 pixels

Display: TFT LED Backlit LCD Widescreen – 16:9

Connectivity: Wi-Fi

Battery life: (Book reading) 6 hours

Storage: Approx. 6,000 e-books (SD card slot for expandable memory options up to 16GB)

Weight: 190 grams

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