“It’s been a fabulous and unforgettable seven week. Great thanks to all those who made this Course a reality.” Francis Oguaju

We’ve just finished the final week of Digital Africa strategy, management and innovation course (cohort 2), delivered by the Centre of Global Entrepreneurship (CGE), where more than 700 students across 27 countries enrolled.

The programme has enabled participants from managers, entrepreneurs, academics to students to learn the principles of building and managing digital platforms and improve their skills in a rapidly changing business environment where new leadership capabilities are needed.

The 5-week curriculum, which in fact lasted seven weeks, culminated with 5-minute presentations pitched by six teams selected by their peers, through likes and comments on the final project submissions. The selected teams exemplified the most creative and original application of the course material. What a worthwhile journey!

As co-Head Teaching Assistant, I was fortunate to work with a team of world-class academics and digital platform practitioners Dr David Olayinka from Lagos Business School, Geoffrey Parker from Dartmouth College and co-author of Platform Revolution, Dr Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga from MIT, David Rogers from Colombia university and author of The Digital Transformation Playbook, Ira Sager and Amy Millette from the Centre for Global Entrepreneurship, and my buddy Timothy Aluko, from Lagos Business School.

It was also a real pleasure to work with four dedicated teaching assistants Chris Makaal, Rafael Ette, Oyodemi Ayobami and Glory Enyinnaya as well as Andrew Linford at Novoed, the e-learning platform that has enabled such a great learning experience.

But most importantly, I was inspired by the motivated and enthusiastic men and women in the course, who defied all kind of technical limitations to make it to the end of the course and diligently watched the pre-recorded lectures, read the extra-materials, participated with eagerness in the live weekly sessions and engaged actively in the forums sharing local platform news and other insights from the course.

 “This course is one of the best thing that would happen to me this year; very insightful, engaging and of course expository”. Olawale Faniyi

Here are my 10 key takeaways:

1.        The digital platform business model map, that is now part of my toolbox when helping businesses to create value in a digital age

2.        Digital platform is not just about the technology. Strategy and business models are crucial elements for success

3.        Delivering an experiential eLearning program to hundreds of learners is all about planning and perfect execution

4.        A dedicated, proactive and reactive teaching team makes engaged learners

“A truly impactful and eye-opening course so far. Kudos to the faculty and support staff.” Funmi Oluduro

5.        Discussing how building trust in exchanges will drive the adoption of digital platforms by consumers in Africa

6.        Having an entrepreneurial mindset doesn’t necessarily mean to start a business; you can join forces with a team that is working on problems that you are care about

7.        Playing a key role in the digital economy is possible even if you are not a techy. All skills are needed

8.        Don’t wait for the perfect solution to start solving problems, a low fi version is good enough to start

“It is very motivating to be part of this course and think about how to address local needs.” Dilankumar Jivanji

9.        Boosting creativity and ability to spot and solve problems is a valuable skill to develop to succeed in the digital economy

10.   The final projects submissions were so good that it was hard to pick the top five to make a live presentation; so we pick the top six

“It was a wonderful learning experience. had a great time. Thank you CGE for this great opportunity. The Academy is just wonderful.” Vinah S. Kehinde

The Digital Africa Alumni network has now increased with a few more hundreds of knowledgeable individuals in digital platforms businesses. The most entrepreneurial minds have joined the Digital Africa Club to further explore ideas and create real digital solutions for Africa problems. All passionate are welcomed to join.

Happy holidays and best wishes for 2017 where we will bring you fresh news about some of the exciting projects in the making.

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About Francine Beleyi

Francine Beleyi is bilingual French-English, international digital and change consultant, entrepreneurial journalist & speaker who helps corporate executives, entrepreneurs and organisations, to adapt and thrive in the digital age.

Francine spends her days speaking with and studying the most successful entrepreneurs and leaders in the new economy, and sharing her findings with her clients and those who want to understand and master the new rules for business growth.

She has worked across EMEA, for major corporations like TOTAL, BNPPARIBAS, AXA and also for not for profit organisations and small businesses. She holds a Master’s degree in organisation consulting and change management, a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance, a degree in computer science and an NCTJ diploma in multimedia journalism.

Need help to create an innovative business model for an existing company or a new venture? Book a complimentary Strategic session with Francine to discuss your objectives.

Visit |nucleusofchange | @FrancineBeleyi.