African markets bring more than natural resources to the table, despite stereotypical images of oil, diamonds and gold. A lot of interesting work is going on there, in sectors including consumer goods, education, financial services and healthcare. Take Abdou Akkari, director of corporate finance at Tunisie Valeurs. He helped a Dubai-based private equity firm build and integrate North Africa’s largest private hospital platform. Akkari, a 2005 graduate of Robinson’s Master of International Business program, considers that his biggest professional accomplishment to date.
“The network covers specialties across Tunisia and Egypt,” Akkari says. “These hospitals are at the forefront of procurement and training, and operate efficiently in terms of profitability and cost.”
Akkari relocated to Atlanta from Tunisia to pursue his master’s. He scored a position as an investment analyst at AXA Advisors in Atlanta, staying in that role for two years before moving home. He always has considered his background an advantage; the more diverse his environment is, the more interesting discussions he can have.
“Working with people from all over the place enables me to discover new ways to solve problems, leverage others’ experiences and ultimately avoid mistakes,” he says. “We cannot afford to live in confined walls.”