7-UP Bottling Company is filling a gap it says exists in Nigeria’s workforce by awarding MBA scholarships to qualified Nigerians to attend Harvard Business School, according to a report in VenturesAfrica.
A $100,000, two-year 7-UP Harvard Business School MBA Scholarship award, the third of its kind, was given Mayowa Kuyoro, a mechanical engineer. The grants are intended to provide young and qualified Nigerians with the necessary business and leadership skills to advance the country’s growing economy, the report said.
“One of our problems in this country is leadership,” said 7-UP Executive Director Femi Mikikan. “We want to fill the gap by training young Nigerians in Harvard where they can acquire leadership skills to save our country from future leadership problems.”
Qualified and well-equipped graduates are getting harder to recruit in Africa’s second-largest economy. Plagued with poor infrastructure and low quality teachers, Nigeria’s education system produces graduates who lack the skills needed to improve businesses and are thus tagged “unemployable,” the report said.
The influx of investors and foreign companies setting up business in Nigeria and seeking to develop a local workforce has created an immediate and urgent need to improve business education.
In Nigeria, 7-UP Bottling Company is considered one of the country’s largest manufacturers. With nine manufacturing plants, it produces and distributes soft drinks including Pepsi, Mirinda, 7-UP and Mountain Dew.