Interview with Dr. Samir Ayoub, Director-General of the ESSCA Group
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us about ESSCA?
Ecole Supérieur des Sciences Commerciales d’Angers (ESSCA) is a renowned business school in France that was founded in 1909. It offers a variety of courses in marketing, finance, human resource management, digital management and consultancy at the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels.
For my part, I took over as Dean and CEO of the ESSCA Group in September 2017. I am a product of the Saint-Joseph University in Beirut where I studied Business Management. In 2007, I obtained a doctorate degree in Management Studies from the Paris II Pantheon-Assas University where I taught Finance and Management control before lecturing in these same specialisations at ESSCA.
Currently, as CEO of the group, my objective is to oversee ESSCA’s continuous development to the fullest possible capacity, within the framework of the institution’s 2014-2019 development plan. This involves consolidating our newly established campuses in Lyon, Bordeaux and Aix-en-Provence and to progressively creating a global brand that will be influential internationally. We also plan to diversify and expand our portfolio of study programmes.
What is your view of the relations between France and Africa, and Ghana in particular?
Today, French business Schools have a different perspective of Africa and are all beginning to embrace a common vision - that of supporting Africa’s speedy growth through the education and training of its youth.
For ESSCA, Africa is at the heart of our strategic 5 year plan. We are an international multi-campus school, with two branches in Central Europe and Asia and we have been working with Cameroon since 2012, as well as looking to extend our reach to North Africa.
Ghana, buoyed by its economic and demographic development is clearly a country with huge potential. Although as an Anglophone nation, it has historically been predisposed to American and British higher education, I believe that France and ESSCA have what it takes to compete with the best Anglophone universities, which have up until now been the preference of the Ghanaian youth. Indeed, ESSCA is an institution that possesses the best international accreditations, offers a large portfolio of programmes in English and gives many opportunities for job placement in France and abroad so that young Ghanaians can gather professional experience before returning to their home country. In view of Brexit and the uncertainties surrounding the admission of African students into the United States, we are likely to be able to attract Ghanaian families, especially as this promises very substantial returns on investments.
Please tell us about your future plans in Ghana?
Ghana has an educational system of very good repute and level. ESSCA would thus become the first French school planning to set up a campus here and the success of this idea can only be realised in two stages. First of all, a strategic partnership would have to be signed with a local institution to facilitate possibilities of student exchanges and dual degree programmes. Based on the success of this first step, the establishment of a campus with a dedicated teaching staff could then be considered. Our intentions have been well received and encouraged by the French Embassy in Accra and I would like to take this opportunity to thank His Excellency the Ambassador and his staff for their support and commitment to this cause.