On March 18 in Khartoum, Sudan, a ceremony was held at the University of Medical Sciences & Technology-USMT for the graduation of 36 students enrolled in the first edition of the MBA in Global Entrepreneurship. The MBA is organized by the USMT in collaboration with the E4Impact Foundation of the Catholic University of Milan and it is sponsored by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), the Italian Embassy in Khartoum, and Italian companies VueTel and Gruppo CTC.
The MBA aims at sustaining young aspiring Sudanese entrepreneurs to start up or scale-up businesses that combine economic profitability with high social and environmental impact, by offering them specialized courses, coaching and business incubation services. The project is in line with the values of the Catholic University, that through the E4Impact Foundation aims at promoting in 11 African countries an inclusive idea of entrepreneurship focused on sustainable development of emerging economies and the need for entrepreneurs who are conscious of the environmental and social impact of their businesses.
As Italian Ambassador in Sudan, Gianluigi Vassallo, said at the launching of the first edition of the MBA, in November 2019, “The 1-year MBA – implemented between Khartoum and Milan – is based on two main cornerstones. On the one hand it boosts a generation of new entrepreneurs through the development of trainings, incubators, and coaching activities, on the other it supports Sudanese entrepreneurs to be key actors of their future and to support their own country through new ideas and the promotion of social inclusion of the most vulnerable. What is not inclusive is not sustainable”.
During the graduation ceremony, Vincenzo Racalbuto, Director of AICS – Khartoum, highlighted how the MBA is made more inclusive by eight scholarship, six reserved for women and two for people with disabilities, financed by the Italian Cooperation system through the TADMEEN program. By offering these scholarships AICS concretely supports the promotion of inclusive and equitable quality education, sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Sudan is a “priority country” for the Italian Cooperation system. AICS – Khartoum focuses in particular on fighting poverty and improving the social and health conditions of the population. Moreover, particular attention is given to social inclusion and gender aspects such as the empowerment of women.
Sudan is crucial for Italian and European interests in the North African region. On one side, its geographical position makes of it a necessary place of transit for migrants coming from the Horn of Africa. On the other side, the country is going through a delicate process of transition to democracy, started in 2019 with the fall of Omar al -Bashir’s autocratic regime and the establishment of a democratic government led by former UN official Abdalla Hamdok.
The transition process brought about positive developments, such as the peace deal signed that the Hamdok government signed with the rebel forces active in the southern part of the country. However, the country remains fragile, and it still needs the support of the international community.