Business skills training organisation the African Management Initiative (AMI) is showing its largesse by opening up several of its online management courses for any and all to use, with an eye to benefiting local start-ups and small businesses.

AMI has partnered with three other African business schools for course content: Kenya’s Strathmore Business School, South Africa’s University of Pretoria Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and Nigeria’s Lagos Business School. Over the next ten years it’s hoping to see a million people graduate through its virtual doors.

Around 3 000 people have already signed up for the first available course, Managing Customers and Markets, which was developed by Strathmore. The course takes approximately 30 hours of study, including a final exam and assignment.

Participants can upgrade to get a personalized certificate upon completion of each course from AMI and its business schools for around R250.

“Our goal is to help African managers and entrepreneurs develop new skills and build their businesses by providing access to world-class learning tools for free or very low-cost,” said Jonathan Cook, Chairman and Co-Founder of AMI. “Our courses are practical and proudly African.  Our platform is easy-to-use, and can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on a computer or mobile phone.”

AMI also provides offline training through Learning Lab training in partnership with organizations and businesses in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa and Ghana.

“AMI’s vision is for 1 million African managers performing effectively and responsibly by 2023. We will achieve this through accessible learning tools that embrace the digital space,” added Cook. “Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) have been used in the US and Europe to provide skills and knowledge.  We are now applying this in Africa.”

Africa is gradually seeing a rise in MOOCs being offered by various institutions, and overseas courses through Coursera and Canvas have been popular here – members of’s own staff have completed several courses through these organisations in the last year. South Africa’s own UCT recently announced it would be offering its own free online courses in 2015, giving students access to video lectures and course materials in an online format and making the institution the first university Africa to offer MOOCs.

Head over to the AMI website to sign up for Managing Customers and Markets and other upcoming courses.

[Source – TechMoran. Image – Shutterstock]