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Q&A with François Collin, Associate Dean, International Development

François Collin, Directeur délégué, Développement international - HEC Paris

The end of the year promises to be rich with new programs at the Regional Office in Abidjan. What are the dates to remember?

On the 15th of November, following a Masterclass by Bernard Ramanantsoa, the SBUM Certificate – Strategic Business Unit Management - will be awarded to the 2019 intake. The next SBUM program is scheduled for the 15th of January 2020. Additionally, now that the AGORA CAP2020 program, which has trained senior executives, managers and staff of eleven Ivorian ministries, has come to its conclusion, the Abidjan Office is preparing to host the second module of a new program in January 2020. Designed for Africa, it is called LeadCampus - Sustainable Leadership in Africa.

Can you tell us more about LeadCampus - Sustainable Leadership in Africa?

It is a program that consists of five one-week modules that will run from November 2019 to June 2020: in Morocco (25 November), Ivory Coast (13 January), Kenya (2 March), South Africa (13 April) with a conclusion on the HEC Paris campus (22 June). Supported by the AFD (Agence Française de développement), it will be delivered in partnership with the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Morocco, Investors & Partners (I&P) in Ivory Coast, the University of Cape Town in South Africa and Kenya.

As a course, it focuses on the themes of leadership, general and corporate management (see below for interview with Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot and Christelle Bitouzet, academic directors). Built taking into account the specific needs of the African continent, LeadCampus is our first fully "Pan-African" program designed to bring together the talents and realize the combined potential of Francophone and Anglophone Africa.

Can we say that the month of October was marked by the growing commitment of HEC Paris to the African continent?

Absolutely. This month, Africa Connections welcomed a new arrival at the Regional Office of Abidjan: Charles Fayolle, VIE (French international internship program). He joins Alexis John-Ahyee and Chantal Moulod. He is in charge of setting up the African Talent Accompaniment Program - PACT Africa - for students wishing to prepare for the international admission exam at the HEC Paris Grande Ecole. This program, which will eventually be deployed across the continent for the benefit of young Africans, will be implemented in collaboration with the National Polytechnic Institute of Yamoussoukro, thanks to the visionary commitment of its Director General, Mr. Koffi N'Guessan.

In May 2017, as HEC Paris launched the first edition of AfricaDays on its campus, the School, with INP-HB, signed its first double degree agreement with an African university. This took place in the presence of HE Mr. Daniel Kablan Duncan, Vice -President of the Republic of Ivory Coast. In September 2019, the first three INP-HB students admitted to the double degree program were welcomed onto the HEC campus in France. A new phase of this strategic partnership is now being set up: within the framework of the Franco-Ivorian Education Hub, HEC Paris is conducting a feasibility study on the creation of a Master for Entrepreneurs, which will be delivered by the INP-HB. This will also be complemented by the launch of a start-up incubator.

Finally, what will be the event not to be missed at the beginning of 2020?

On January 25th, we are organizing the first regional HEC Paris Gala to be held in Abidjan. Our Ivorian, Central and West African alumni are invited to save the date. This gala is intended to acknowledge the commitment and loyalty of our African alumni who, over time, have helped to consolidate the prestige and visibility of our institution on the continent, while participating in the development of Africa. The Résidence de France will host this gala, which will be held under the patronage of HE Ambassador Gilles Huberson, in the presence of Peter Todd, the Dean of HEC Paris, and the highest representatives of the Ivorian and French authorities.