From 20 to 27 March, the 15 participants of the PhD in Management and Innovation offered by Uganda Martyrs University with Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and E4Impact, visited the Milan campus of the Cattolica University (Italy).

The absolute novelty of this PhD program is that it allows the academics, coming from different African countries, to take part in the training without leaving their own countries and finally obtain a prestigious title for their academic career. However, the week in Milan is a precious opportunity to promote a constructive face-to-face exchange both among the participants and with the professors of the Cattolica University, in charge of the scientific coordination of the course. 

The inaugural event, held on Monday 20 March at the Cattolica University’s main campus, and moderated by Mario Molteni, CEO of E4Impact,  was opened by Franco Anelli, the Rector of the Università Cattolica, and saw the speeches of Eugenio Anessi Pessina (PhD coordinator), Antonella Occhino (Dean of the Faculty of Economics), Benedetto Cannatelli (Project coordinator for the PhD in Management and Innovation pathway) and Roberto Brambilla (Director of the Postgraduate Training & Research Department of the University).

“The arrival of the 15 African lecturers in Cattolica is a moment that well represents the values we believe in,” said Professor Molteni, adding that “ the spirit of collaboration is in fact one of the elements that fuels our activities, with the aim of supporting the growth of the African entrepreneurial environment both through training and by helping new companies to start up and grow, thanks also to synergies with Italian companies that participate in our foundation”’.

In that occasion, three PhD students spoke about their own experiences in the program and the importance of such PhD for Africa: Peter Lansana, from the University of Makeni, Sierra Leone, Louisa Kemunto Manwari, from Tangaza University College in Nairobi, Kenya, and Robinson Otim, from the University of the Sacred Heart in Gulu, Uganda.

Watch the 3 speeches of the PhD students

The week continued with training sessions, meetings and visits, such as the one on Wednesday 22 at the headquarters of Carvico Spa, a company based in Bergamo that is participant of the E4Impact Foundation. There, the PhD students were welcomed by Filippo Colnaghi, Carvico Group advisor, who told them the extraordinary story of the company, from its establishment in 1962, to the most recent expansion project in Ethiopia. Carvico is today a leader in the production of stretch, warp-knitted fabrics and symbol of the Made in Italy. After the meeting, Dr. Colnaghi accompanied the guests on a tour of the company’s facilities, showing them the technologies that enable Carvico to compete with the world’s biggest competitors.

Finally, on Thursday 23, the students visited the offices of E4Impact where they were welcomed by Frank Cinque, General Director of the Foundation, Fabio Petroni, Directors of Programs and Benedetto Cannatelli, (Project coordinator for the PhD in Management and Innovation track). On this occasion, they were introduced to the activities and other programmes offered by the Foundation and the advantages of joining the E4Impact Alliance.

The Program in ‘Management and innovation’ is one of the two highly prestigious Executive Doctorates (E.D.) for 90 university lecturers from Africa and the Middle East activated by the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in order to address the issue of raising the quality of higher education, which is key to job creation and social and economic development in their countries of origin. 

To carry out initiative, Università Cattolica is collaborating with Uganda Martyrs University, which is in charge of the scientific development of the project,  and E4Impact Foundation, and it’s using the funds made available by the CEI Service for charitable interventions in favour of the Third World.

Currently the PhD has opened the recruitment for the second cohort, which will involve 30 African professors more, interested in the two tracks offered (Management & Innovation, Agrisystems). We hope to have soon another batch of enthusiastic professionals ready to innovate the academic research in their universities with the knowledge acquired in this unique program.