As you all know, last year was a very challenging year for us as a nation and for businesses operating in Nigeria but despite the challenges, we can look forward to 2017 with optimism and confidence in our ability to weather the storm.
Looking back at 2016, it is remarkable to see how much we achieved and I thank everyone who has been supportive of our work. LBS celebrated 25 years of developing responsible managers as well as maintained its FT Ranking in Open Enrolment Education and Custom Executive Education.
The School also proved its high standards in management education by becoming the first institution in West Africa to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), joining only 5% of the world's business schools recognized by the body. The success story did not end there; the International Accreditation Advisory Board of the Association of MBAs (AMBA) endorsed and accredited the MBA programmes of LBS. The School was also admitted as a member of Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), an organization of leading graduate management schools in the world and the owner of the GMAT examinations.
In line with our mission to have a significant impact on the practice of management, LBS with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Digital Financial Services (DFS) State of the Market Report which was aimed at enhancing the policy and regulation, knowledge base, and operation of Digital Financial Services (DFS) in Nigeria.
The dynamics of the business environment and today's talent-driven economy mandates us to continuously refine our curriculum while developing new programmes like the Management Acceleration Programme which will assist organisations to develop promising professionals so as to build sustainable talent pipelines.
We remain committed to providing platforms for you all to continually re-connect and we have listened to your feedback on a desire for affinity groups which should be structured around similar interests in addition to your class sets. I am pleased to inform you that we would be starting with two groups this year and I will encourage you all to sign up and participate if the groups are of interest to you. The Alumni Relations Department will provide more information on this in the course of the year.
I look forward to unprecedented achievements in 2017 as I count on similar collaboration and cooperation from you all this year.
I wish you all a successful 2017!