Faced with challenges that are a result of a growing economy, Diane Karusisi, Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Kigali, emerged from the Senior Executive Programme—Africa (SEPA) with powerful ideas and insights—from both her fellow participants as well as Harvard Business School faculty.

Q. Why is this programme so important for Africa?

This programme is very timely. Africa is growing, but with this growth comes challenges and constraints. It's great to be here and discuss how we can work together to make things better. Sharing ideas with my colleagues from other countries gave me more hope for the future of the continent. In fact, I am already doing business with one of my fellow participants!

Q. What did you learn that you were able to take back and apply to your job?

I always thought innovation came from outside the organization or from young people. So for me, the big takeaway revolved around the technique and science of innovation, which I found mindboggling. After going through this program, I now have new ideas for improving our processes, internal/work experience, and our customer experience.

I also learned how important it is to develop sustainable strategies that work for the majority of our people in Africa. Because only 2 percent of Africa's population is high income, any strategy we develop must work for the majority.

Q. What did you think of the programme's modular format?

I liked the modular format, as most of us would not have the time to do a three-month or longer course. Also, having time in between the two modules was invaluable—enabling me to apply some of the techniques to my business. When we came together again, we were able to share how we’d applied what we learned in the classes to our business challenges, which has been really helpful.

Q. What would you tell someone who is considering applying to the programme?

I would say that it's an incredible opportunity to look at your business from a different perspective, to learn important strategies, and to network with colleagues from across the continent.

Source : https://www.exed.hbs.edu/assets/testimonials/Pages/senior-executive-program-africa-diane-karusisi.aspx

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