It is only a few weeks until graduation, but one of the things I am going to miss about the MAM program is the awesome MAM Colloquium series. The Colloquium brought many great speakers and leaders from different industries and these speakers have left me with many points to reflect on. This has been a unique learning experience for me.
Of particular interest to me is Saul Kornik’s March 30 presentation. Listening to Saul Kornik, CEO & Co-founder of Africa Health Placements (AHP), brings to mind the concept of social enterprises. It was interesting what the motivation was for a successful finance professional to leave behind his job to start a social profit organization in South Africa, his home country. He pointed out how his formative years during apartheid in South Africa had influenced his consciousness.
In the presentation by this inspiring entrepreneur, I was particularly impressed by the application of commercial business principles to his organization. AHP is structured to run like a commercial business to make an impact in the South African health sector. I consider AHP a social enterprise because the CEO runs it like a real business with the ultimate goal to promote social good health. The organization focuses on workforce planning, staffing and retaining health workers in South African districts that are underserved.
I was surprised to hear how many doctors leave their African home countries after their training to seek greener pastures in developed countries. Saul mentioned a study conducted on nine African countries that estimates a loss of about $2.1 billion to developed countries yearly through the migration of African health workers. AHP appears to be doing some great work in attracting and retaining some of the talents who could have left. It was interesting to hear some of the simple but effective ways they help keep doctors in communities in which they are deployed. These include fixing leaky roofs, ensuring salaries are paid on time or tarring roads in the community.
Saul explained that creating a good work culture where all employee are passionate about the mission of the organization made the difference at AHP. He emphasized how building relationships with stakeholders contributed to the organization being more effective. He has and continues to show passion to lead change in Africa. From a lucrative position as a finance professional to the CEO of a social enterprise, that has been the journey of Saul Kornik.
This leaves much for me to reflect upon, questions like what is next for me, what is my role in shaping the future of Africa?