Thought leaders with impact: Wits Business School leads research in areas critical to the continent’s sustainability

Developing impactful leadership is at the heart of the School’s mission and the golden thread that runs through its programmes, whether academic or executive short courses.

New leadership, a new strategy and international accreditation – Wits Business School (WBS) is consolidating its position as a leading African business school. Almost three years after Professor Maurice Radebe took the helm as Director and Head of WBS, the School is experiencing a turnaround, as evidenced by the growing number of corporate clients and students.

For Radebe, a former energy executive at Sasol Oil, leading the turnaround at WBS was an opportunity for him to give back, not only to WBS, his alma mater, but to society. “When the opportunity arose, I realised this is very much in line with my purpose, which is to develop the next generation of leaders who are ethical, and who have a passion to make a difference.”

Professor Maurice Radebe, Director and Head of WBS.

Developing impactful leadership is at the heart of the School’s mission and the golden thread that runs through its programmes, whether academic or executive short courses.

The MBA programme at WBS is centred around a ‘Leadership Quest’, an independent study component which challenges the students to reflect on their leadership style and beliefs and identify the gaps that need to be closed to become a great leader.

“Our country and continent are rich with young talent. As business schools, we need to tap into this talent and develop it. We need to invest in the next generation of leaders who can take Africa into an inclusive and sustainable future. This means leading with purpose, integrity and accountability, while at the same time developing an entrepreneurial and innovative mindset,” says Radebe.

To this end, WBS has established three centres of excellence which focus on developing the latest research in areas critical to Africa’s future. These include Energy Leadership, Digital Business and African Philanthropy and Resource Mobilisation. The school recently announced a new MBA in the field of Healthcare Leadership, launching in March 2024, which seeks to address the many challenges facing the healthcare sector, both locally and globally.

WBS has also announced the imminent launch of a new Centre for Entrepreneurship, the result of a collaboration with the private sector which seeks to sustain the economic revitalisation of South African cities and townships.

In the Executive Education division at WBS impactful leadership means providing delegates with the tools to adapt to change and disruption through soft skills, such as agility and resilience, along with hard skills, such as digital business.  Programmes are taught by both academics and industry experts.

“We get people from business to teach business and in this way, we embrace the concept of ‘pracademia’ to ensure real-world impact,” says Leoni Grobler, Director of Executive Education at WBS.

In the past twelve months, WBS has attained accreditation with the Association of African Business Schools (AABS) and re-accreditation with AMBA. The school is now shifting its focus to achieving American and European accreditation through AACSB and EQUIS, respectively.

“WBS is on an exciting journey to becoming globally recognised as an African thought leader, using our reputation for academic excellence as a foundation for delivering programmes that are strongly research-based and relevant to our context and our collective future as Africans,” says Radebe.