On the 9th of July 2020, the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship (DoME) at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), hosted the weekly Covid, Business, and Society Seminar (COBUSS) via zoom. The seminar intended to address issues resulting from the global pandemic, with a focus on marketing and was conducted by Professor Justice Bawole, the Dean of UGBS, while Professor Robert Hinson, the head of DoME, welcomed the speakers. The presentations were led by Dr. Nnamdi Madichie, a Professor of Marketing & Entrepreneurship with UNIZIK Business School, Nigeria, and Dr. Emmanuel Mogaji, a Lecturer in Advertising and Marketing Communications with the University of Greenwich.
Dr. Nnamdi Madichie spoke on the theme “African Integration 4.0: What’s COVID-19 got to do with anything?” He started by explaining his background inspiration for the study and how the African Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA) came about, outlining that Africa's path to an integrated continent reached a significant milestone with the entry into force of the AfCFTA, following ratification by 22 States Parties. His presentation centred on the Africa Regional Integration Index Report 2019, where he remarked that the 2019 Africa Regional Integration Index suggests that, overall, the continent's level of integration is weak, with an average score of 0.327, and shows that 20 African countries are performing well while 25 are performing poorly. The speaker added that Africa is poorly integrated into the competitive and infrastructural dimensions, which are key elements that form the foundation on which the other dimensions of regional integration depend. Dr. Madichie concluded by noting that AfCFTA remains a work-in-progress due to the COVID-19 lockdowns and without any assurance that the momentum will be sustained, he advised that policymakers particularly those in ECOWAS (and AfCFTA by extension) need to bear in mind the fragile mechanisms on which the goal of African Integration is based.
Delivering his presentation on the theme "Marketing Higher Education Post Pandemic," Dr. Emmanuel Mogaji began by indicating that the pandemic has redefined the higher education market. Talking about his Research on Universities' Pre-Pandemic Marketing Messages, he stated that location, courses, student experience, credibility and career progression were the key points in most of their marketing messages. He went on to clarify the marketing 7Ps (i.e. product, price, promotion, place, process, people and physical evidence) relating to pre-pandemic higher education. Dr. Mogaji recommended that marketers should be able to better position themselves to attract students post-pandemic. He stressed that there was the need to target the emerging market that considers online education, network, and connection, and also not concerned with face to face interaction. In his closing remarks, Dr. Mogaji stated that the pandemic had changed the market for higher education and all stakeholders should make the necessary changes to adapt and tailored and convey their messages towards the new market.
An engaging Q&A session followed each of the presentations.
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