Afren Leads the Way in Responsible Management Education

Training the future business leaders of Africa

LONDON, United-Kingdom, July 10, 2013/ The University of Exeter Business School ( is delighted to announce its continued relationship with Afren Plc.  Following the success of the Afren One Planet MBA Scholarship in 2012, Afren has committed to funding an annual scholarship on the One Planet MBA for the next five years.

Unique to Exeter, the One Planet MBA is a joint venture between the University of Exeter Business School and WWF International, the world’s largest environmental organisation.

The innovative programme aims to produce future business leaders and decision makers with hard-edged business skills rooted in a “one planet” mind set, which recognises that we live on a resource-constrained planet.  At its core is the principle of “sustainability”.  Already, the One Planet MBA has been recognised for its distinctive approach to sustainability by the Aspen Institute’s ‘Beyond Grey Pinstripes’ ranking (2nd in the UK, 9th in Europe, 47th in the world) and by winning a ‘Green Gown Award’.

Galib Virani, Director at Afren East Africa Exploration, said: “the Afren One Planet MBA Scholarship Programme is part of our commitment to support the development of managerial talent in the countries in which we operate, as well as encouraging a sustainable business framework and promoting awareness of the environmental challenges and potential solutions to energy exploration and production around the world. “

Afren is a leading energy company – listed on London’s Main Market, and a constituent of the FTSE 250 – with a diversified portfolio of production, development and exploration assets in 12 countries. Maintaining strong relationships with indigenous companies and suppliers are top Afren priorities, as are ambitious Corporate Social Responsibility and ethical policies that ensure significant resources re-enter local economies.  Together, these unique factors have contributed to Afren’s strong positioning in the exploration and production sector.

Malcolm Kirkup, Director of MBA programmes at Exeter, said: “Afren’s forward-thinking approach should be admired by the industry – it is training the future business leaders of Africa to consider how to resolve the potential conflicts of corporate success and the need to manage environmental resources responsibly.  We are delighted that Afren has committed to a long-term relationship as this is the best way to ensure that we can make a beneficial impact on the countries our students come from.”

The first Afren One Planet MBA scholar is Karen Adu from Nigeria.  She is currently working with Afren on her consultancy project, exploring how the business can engage even more effectively with local communities.  She said: “The One Planet MBA at Exeter has opened up even more opportunities than I expected.  Everything about it drives you to change – your perceptions, the way you think and the actions you consider.  I feel that I’m learning so much – and in just one year!  It was my dream to study abroad, and Afren’s financial support has given my dream wings.”

The scholarships cover the full One Planet MBA tuition fee, as well as a contribution towards accommodation and living expenses.  Eligible candidates will need to meet the full entry requirements for the One Planet MBA; have a background or demonstrable interest in the oil and gas sector; and be a resident of one of the following countries/regions: Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Iraqi Kurdistan, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Seychelles, Tanzania.  Scholarships are available for 2013/14 and beyond.  The deadline for applications for 2013/14 is 15th July 2013.  For further information on the One Planet MBA and for the Afren scholarship, visit this website:

Afren plc

Afren is an independent upstream oil and gas exploration and production company listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange and a constituent of the Financial Times Stock Exchange Index of the leading 250 UK listed companies. Afren has a portfolio of assets spanning the full cycle E&P value chain.  Afren is currently producing from its assets in Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and the Kurdistan region of Iraq and holds further exploration interests in Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Congo Brazzaville, the Joint Development Zone of Nigeria – São Tomé & Príncipe, Kenya, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Seychelles, Tanzania and South Africa.  For more information please refer to

The University of Exeter

The University of Exeter ( is Sunday Times ‘University of the Year’ 2012/13. It is one of the UK’s top 10 universities and has recently joined the prestigious Russell Group, which represents the leading research-intensive universities in the UK.

Exeter combines internationally excellent research with exceptionally high levels of student satisfaction, a combination that has helped make it one of Britain’s most popular and successful universities.  Its campuses in Exeter, Devon, and near Falmouth, Cornwall, provide some of the UK’s most beautiful, stimulating and creative learning environments for 18,000 students.  Project offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Bangalore underline its international outlook.

The University of Exeter Business School

The University of Exeter Business School is amongst the UK’s top business schools and was shortlisted for the Times Higher Education ‘Business School of the Year’ award 2012.

The School’s mission is “to deliver outstanding and innovative business education and research that address some of the major challenges confronting businesses and society.” Nationally, all of its main taught subject areas rank in the top 10 – one of only three UK business schools to achieve this.  In 2012, academics successfully secured research grant funding totalling more than £8 million over five years.

The School has doubled in size since 2008.  It currently has an annual turnover of £42 million, employs 155 academic and 76 administrative staff, and has in the region of 3,500 students.  The next phase of the School’s development seeks to strengthen even further this national standing and build the School’s international profile.

The One Planet MBA is one of the School’s flagship Masters programmes, which also include: the MSc in International Management and the MSc in Financial Analysis & Fund Management.


University of Exeter Business School

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