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About the venue

Press release #1

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Kenya set to host Africa’s first ever cross-cultural summit for CEOs

Kenya is set to host the first of its kind summit in Africa targeting CEOs, Managing Directors and heads of public institutions in East Africa with a view to addressing the intercultural question in the workplace at a time when globalization is posing new challenges to the 21st-century leaders.

Dubbed the Intercultural Agility Summit, the forum, slated for March 3 and 4, is timely, coming at a time when movement of human capital across East Africa, coupled with the entry of multinationals in the region and transfer of human resource has introduced diversity dynamics in the workplaces dictating new leadership approaches. According to the 2016 Africa Regional Integration Index Report by UN Economic Commission for Africa, UNECA, the East African Community is the top performer in integration in Africa, with factors such as increased free movement of labour in the region contributing to the success of the integration. But this transfer has also meant cultural shock for the majority of workers operating away from home and an even tougher call for heads of businesses to manage this diverse workforce.

“In an increasingly globalized world where boundaries no longer hold, leading across cultures can still be quite challenging for even the most seasoned leader,” says Lex Lindeman, the co-organizer of the summit and Managing partner at HRBoosters, a  training and management consultancy company in Africa.

Facilitated by seasoned cross-cultural expert and founder of Clever Culture Communication, Sheriff Abligeh, the summit’s approach will provide a balance of structured input and discussion of case studies, critical incidents and scenarios relevant to participants’ own particular contexts. The summit is a follow-up of similar successful ones that have been held in Europe and Asia.

“This summit is about story telling. There will be no lectures or presentations. It will be about getting success factors as far as intercultural relations in the offices and handling them by executives is concerned while also sharing the hiccups that the leaders face,” Lex added.

Key among the topics to be explored in the summit include why modern day executives need intercultural skills, Culture clashes in the workplace and the way towards an effective resolution, the perceived nexus between culture, training and performance and personal experiences by different heads on dealing with different cultures in the workplace.

“This Intercultural Agility Summit focuses on assisting leaders to address diversity dynamics in multicultural workplaces as well as cross-cultural interactions and to demonstrate how to use both methods and approaches to foster a rich working environment and embrace diversity as an advantage as a 21st century executive,”  says Erick Ngala, the co-organizer of the summit and Managing partners at Priority Activator Consulting, a consortium of specialists who offer human capital, management advisory services and training and development.

According to a 2014 study by the University of London that interviewed 28 global CEO’s spanning 12 countries and leading companies ranging from less than 10 employees to over 200,000 employees. Training CEO’s on intercultural competencies had a potential impact in key areas of their companies including decision making, conflict and negotiation and market entry.

About the Intercultural Agility Summit
The first of its kind summit in Africa will bring together CEOs, Managing Directors and top management from leading organizations and corporates in East Africa. The two half days program will cover key subjects among them Intercultural Reflection through Storytelling, the application of intercultural concepts in the business world and language, culture, communication and collaboration. The summit is slated for March 3 and 4 at the Mara Serena Safari Lodge.

More information about the summit can be accessed at www.leadersafrica.com

About the Organizers
Sheriff Abligeh, the facilitator of the summit is a skilled cross-cultural consultant and an expert on Sub-Saharan African (business) cultures and social protocol. He has extensive experience in working with high-level executives. Sheriff’s training experience includes clients from a range of industries: Oil & Gas, Food & Beverages, Wholesale & Retail, Trading, Security and Manufacturing. His understanding of both Western and African cultures makes him a valuable asset to his clients.

Lex Lindeman a co-organizer of the summit has over 25 years’ experience in management and leadership training. He currently coaches and develops managers, leaders and talent of a myriad of disciplines in both western and non-western cultures from Americas, Far East, Central Asia, Central Europe and now primarily in Africa.

Erick Ngala, a co-organizer of the summit is certified professional trainer, performance management specialist, strategy and business management advisor, leadership and team development expert with over 11 years’ experience in training both in indoor and outdoor environments.

For more information contact:
Mildred Agoya
Media Liaison Officer
+254 723 757 313

Interview Sheriff Aligbeh

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Sheriff Aligbeh,

Sheriff Aligbeh is a Nigerian/Dutch, who has dedicated himself to bridging the cultural gaps that stand in the way of doing business across Sub-Saharan Africa and the West.

His interview with Africa Business Communities:

Would you please introduce Clever Culture Communication?
Clever Culture Communication creates and delivers tailor-made cross-cultural (business) training and consulting to corporate and public sector organizations operating in the Sub-Saharan African region. Our training and consulting programs are designed to help our clients acquire a better understanding of the various Sub-Saharan African cultures and provide them with the necessary skills and flexibility they need to ensure success in that region.

In which industries does Clever Culture Communication operate and who are your clients?
Our clients come from a range of industries including Oil & Gas, Food & Beverages, Trading and Manufacturing, Security, Wholesale & Retail. Multinational firms as Heineken, Addax Petroleum, Vopak Oil, Friesland Campina, G4S, BHP Billiton, Unilever, Owen Corning, Cargill, Continaf and Aker Solutions are some of the companies we do/have done business with.

What are the USP’s of your business?
There is something we say at Clever Culture Communication: Come and benefit from our intimate knowledge of African cultures. Let us open your eyes as to why we behave the way we do! We have a first-hand understanding of the intricacies of moving from one country to another. We do not only have an intimate knowledge of the histories, cultures (implicit & explicit) and behaviors across Sub-Sahara Africa, we also have the expertise and experience to translate and reconcile African and Western cultures.

Why did you start Clever Culture Communication?
I founded this company to help show Africa through African eyes and bridge communication gaps. I strongly believe that effective communication helps build bridges and enhances connections. The field of intercultural communication is still very much dominated by non-Africans training on African cultures. Yes, they know Africa, but I thought it was incomplete. I missed the African passion, I missed the African story. I thought it would be more complete if Africans were a part of the storytelling. To avoid the danger of a one-sided voice and risk a critical misunderstanding of our cultures, I set up Clever Culture Communication.

The need to understand Sub-Saharan African cultures with its many differences and similarities has become even more important today. This region is home to some of the globe’s fastest-growing economies and continues to attract more and more international companies and organizations. Unfortunately, clashes as a result of cultural differences often frustrate communication, continuity, and trust.

What did you do before starting Clever Culture Communication?
I was a communications advisor for many years. Apart from being a board member in various organizations as Sietar Nederland and the Royal Dutch Tropical Institute, I participate in several platforms to create understanding for African cultures. In the past, I acted as a cross-cultural link in the Dutch local politics, in the areas of diversity and inclusion.

What’s the best sell about doing business in/with Africa?
From a cultural perspective, no one culture is better than the other. I do have to say that I have a natural preference for ‘Relationship’ cultures. The natural flow of things makes life sooooo much easier. Also, and I mentioned this before, this region is home to some of the globe’s fastest-growing economies and continues to attract more and more international companies and organizations.

What can you say about the targets, plans and ambitions of Clever Culture Communication for the rest of 2015?
Even though Clever Culture Communication is now a household name, in terms of Africa cultures trainings, we feel there is still a lot to do. Our goal is to reach that point where organizations make these trainings mandatory for all first time (and certainly all accompanied) assignments and then come to us! Our ambition is that organizations see us as their first point of call when they think about Africa and want to provide culture courses for their personnel.

What we’re seeing right now is that companies are realizing more and more that culture/ intercultural competence trainings are no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a ‘need to have’. In other words, companies are investing more in culture. In our view, still not enough! Statistics consistently show that an assignment is most likely to fail due to the inability of the accompanying family members to cope with the new culture and location. An assignment will almost definitely not meet the objectives if the assignee has been distracted and stressed by an unhappy home life.

Do you believe Social Media and the Internet to be a plus to the business environment, as it applies to your industry?
Cultures around the world value their individual traditions, beliefs, and norms that make them unique. Social media is breaking those boundaries and linking people around the world regardless of differences and geographical locations. This is not only helping people become more integrated into the host culture but also providing an easy way to maintain connections to their home countries. Because of internet growth and accessibility, we do not only have to do face to face sessions, we’re also doing webinars, skype, facetime and so on. From a cultural perspective, we are having the time of our lives!!!

Source:  Africa business communities


Intercultural Agility Summit