Yale School of Management recently welcomed to campus its third Global Network African Faculty Fellow, professor Albert Ahenkan from the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS). While at Yale through December 2019, he will be teaching an elective on Green Economy Management at SOM. The Africa focused course will examine the transition to an emerging green economy as a vehicle for sustainable development across the continent.
This visiting faculty fellowship is funded as part of the Yale Africa Initiative’s effort to enhance teaching on Africa at Yale and to deepen connections between Yale and its partners on the continent. According to Eddie Mandhry, Director for Africa and Middle East in Yale University’s Office of International Affairs, “Having professor Ahenkan as visiting faculty at SOM presents an invaluable opportunity for students to learn about the challenges and opportunities faced by African countries in their quest to pursue green economic development models.”
As governments and businesses in Africa face an array of sustainable development expectations -- including energy efficiency, waste as an economic resource, business sustainability, and protection of the environment and human health -- it is increasingly clear that business executives, corporate managers, environmental professionals, and the investment community must better understand these critical business and development challenges. Dr. Ahenkan’s course focuses on the sustainable development of Africa and examines ways in which green economy financing might address climate change-related challenges in Africa through options such as private sector investment opportunities and innovations.
Professor Ahenkan’s connection with SOM began in 2017 when UGBS hosted the GNAM network of students and he was invited to lecture on the Sustainable City concept. He explains, “As Green Economy Management has moved to the center stage of the global development agenda, SOM is enriching and enhancing its teaching and research on the topic.” Collaborations made possible by Yale’s participation in GNAM present a unique opportunity for exchange according to Dr. Ahenkan. “This is truly a shift beyond traditional partnership models of business school collaboration. It demonstrates the importance of the inclusion in business education of new perspectives and strategies to provide global benchmarks and encourage the exploration of sustainability solutions to business challenges everywhere,” he says.
While at Yale, professor Ahenkan is exploring networking and research collaborations that may lead to the strengthening of partnership between UGBS and SOM. He says, “The Global Network African Faculty Fellowship is a gateway to exchanging best practices and enhancing business education across the GNAM network. My visit to SOM is also enriching my intellectual and research endeavors by helping me to forge many lasting professional relationships with Yale faculty and students in the field of green economy, environment and business sustainability. I expect this rich experience will enhance my work at UGBS in Ghana.”
Professor Ahenkan has been connecting with individuals and offices across the university, including the Office of Sustainability, Yale Center for Business and Environment, and Yale Council on African Studies, as well as the African student community. He says, “The SOM Global team is phenomenal, and the faculty team support has been great. I have found the SOM weekly faculty lecture series to be a particularly enriching experience.”
Dr. Ahenkan is an Environment and Sustainable Development expert and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Public Administration at the University of Ghana Business School. He obtained his PhD from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium in 2011, where he previously earned his MPhil in Human Ecology.
The two previous Global Network African Faculty Fellows were Dr. Olawale Ajai and Dr. Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, both from Lagos Business School. Yale SOM plans to host the fourth fellow in the spring of 2020.