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16th Edition of International Academy of African Business Development Conference

Strathmore University School of Management and Commerce (SMC) proudly held the 16th International Academy of African Business Development (IAABD) conference, from 13th to 16th May 2015. The conference that was highly attended by various delegates from across the globe, was keen on tackling the gap between formal and informal businesses in the world. Key sponsors of the event included; Gulf Energy, CFA Institute U.S.A, Taylor and Francis Group, and Emerald Insight.


The objective of the IAABD is to foster functional education; to broaden and deepen global understanding of the various challenges facing development of African business, and to advance alternative solutions to Africa’s business and economic challenges. The IAABD President Prof. Kofi Dadzie, while giving his opening remarks, thanked Strathmore for hosting this year’s Conference and giving IAABD an opportunity to come to Nairobi which is a truly global business city. He observed that previous conferences had been held in Florida, London, Edmonton -Canada, and Strathmore University’s hosting of the Conference in 2015 confirms Nairobi’s status as a global business hub.


The annual conferences of the IAABD are open to scholars, professionals, and graduate students of any nationality who are interested or actively engaged in the research and performance or administration of business and economic development issues as they relate to Africa.  These conferences aim at facilitating multidisciplinary research on Africa’s related issues, stimulating collaborations between Africa based researchers and their counterparts around the world, broadening and deepening global understanding of the various challenges facing African business and development, as well as advancing alternative solutions to Africa’s business and development challenges.


Dr. Wang’ombe, Dean SMC, explained how the 2015 Conference focuses on the formalization and integration of the African informal economy to mainstream activities in African business and development. Strathmore stands committed to enhancing research in this area in pursuit of the University’s vision to become a leading out- come driven entrepreneurial research University by translating our excellence into major contribution to culture, economic well-being and quality of life. This Conference provides the opportunity for academics, professionals and government regulators to share scholarly work and experience, in an effort to bridge the gap between formal and informal business. The deliberations are founded on the conviction that informal business have a significant role to play in development of Africa.


In his welcoming remarks, Prof. Izael Da Silva welcomed the delegates to Strathmore University, highlighting the benefits and rich culture the university has. Prof. Izael spoke of the vision Strathmore has in impacting the society, highlighting that such conferences are in line with the university’s vision, something the school is proud of.


Africa is currently experiencing continuous economic growth and this has prompted analysts to identify the continent as the focus of economic development in the 21st century. This was greatly highlighted during the panel discussion dubbed business – business. Delegates discussed key issues affecting businesses such as why companies are not choosing to list their companies in the market share among other issues. The panelists during this session represented companies such as; Gulf Energy, KAM Industries, Serena Hotels, Capital Markets Authority, Kenya Tourism Federation, KCB and the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development.


After an intense three day session at the university, the delegates were treated to an exciting excursion giving them a chance to enjoy Kenya and its environs.