ALGERIA: New business schools to boost competitiveness

The government is planning to set up five new business schools to improve Algeria's management skills, as part of its industrial strategy to increase competitiveness and raise public and private businesses to international standards, reported La Tribune of Algiers.

Abderrahmane Moufek, director of Inped, the National Institute of Productivity and Industrial Development which is overseeing the project, announced the first school would be in the coastal town Boumerdès, about 50 kilometres east of Algiers, with the second and third in Sétif and Oran. No details were given about other sites in the Tribune report.

The newspaper said it was planned first to set up an 'embryonic' institution in Boumerdès between now and 2010 with an initial intake of 50 students a year before establishment of the permanent institution by 2011.

Courses would include administration, finance and logistics, and a selection process would aim to give students the best chances of success in order to maximise cost-effectiveness and avoid high failure rates, said the paper. Courses would be divided into two parts, a common curriculum followed by specialisation.

Sixty percent of lecturers would be foreign, and 40% Algerian; a programme of 110 hours of business English would be given to management students.

La Tribune reported that Inped would itself be turned into a management school and had called on international expertise for assistance. Business schools in France and Spain had responded favourably to approaches, it said.

Moufek said future business leaders who wanted to enter the international domain "must equip themselves with the necessary tools to take decisions at the right moment, with the inherent risks and degree of uncertainty".

The quality of decision-making "depends on the quality of the person who is in charge and the quality of the training given. For managers risk finding themselves confronted with new problems that they are not used to dealing with, especially in the context of the progressive opening up of Algeria internationally."

Cross-cultural problems were one example of difficulties to overcome, said Moufek. With foreign partners it was essential to be able to communicate and share the same ideas, which was not always obvious, La Tribune quoted him as saying.