Insights on ways to efficiently improve skills for Africa’s industrialisation development.
As an advocate for corporate social responsibility and profit-oriented sustainability programs, I believe we can tackle global issues such as the excessive migration flow, climate change and so forth through education and training.
There are a number of effective ways to promote industrialisation development through capacity building in the Sub-Saharan region. Here I focus on three:
1. Integrate entrepreneurship in the school curriculum.
Necessity is a main driver of innovation. Teaching school children the principles of entrepreneurship would eventually transform the social and economic landscape. The rise of EduTech is on the path of overturning under-financed and archaic education system.
You are on the right track if you have come up with a concept to deliver education content through mobile SMS. Most of the population in low-income countries do not have smartphones…
Challenge: an underfinanced education system; relatively few companies within and beyond borders allocate resources to act socially responsible specifically for the education and training sector.
Outcome: an increased chance for local small-medium sized enterprises to trade globally, a vast pool of a skilled and emerging workforce, attract international business and foreign direct investments.
Do you know of the Integrated Entrepreneurship Education (IEE)?
The IEE covers the teaching of knowledge and skills that will enable the individual student to plan, start and run his/her business, delivered as an integrated part of the curriculum at an acknowledged education and training institution within the national education system. It’s an initiative funded by and supported by enterprises and organisations.
The IEE is constantly on a mission to upgrade school curriculum with a focus on entrepreneurship as one of the subjects of instructions. Botswana, Kenya and Uganda have already successfully integrated entrepreneurship and skills development in their school curriculum with a focus on administration, ICT, engineering and agribusiness.
2. Prioritise training programmes and apprenticeships to match skills with jobs on a global scale.
The misfortune of others is fortunate for another. Acute skills shortages in leadership, marketing, sales and artisan work present as a great business opportunity and philanthropic deed for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Consultancies, artisan associations, multinational organisations and educational institutions that are willing and able to supply training programmes to match demands in Africa are in the chance to cater for the rising number of affluent consumers.
Challenge: low capacity in leadership, marketing, sales and artisan work in many Subsaharan countries.
Outcome: Match skills demand and supply of industry and education. Develop the capacity to manage and solve problems; drive the performance of individuals, businesses and the society as a whole.
There is no such thing as a useless university degree. In fact, each countries priorities lie in different companies. Occupations in health and manufacturing, such as mechanics, welders and electricians are high in Africa’s demand. Perhaps you can supply?
The apprenticeship system within the DACH region is world renown and often regarded as the potential model for developing countries. Apprenticeship brings some benefits including self-employment, adequate job security, and skill development for those with no education. On the flip side, apprenticeship systems can carry risks if not standardised, which leads to limited skill transfers or underpaid employment.
Have you heard of the Green industrialisation?
It’s another coined description of becoming industrial to meet energy demands and preserve the environment. Renewable energies, financial and education technologies present great opportunities for Africa’s youth to drive green industrialisation forward. All it takes is an investment, private sector involvement and the right policies to drive training and apprenticeship programs forward.
3. Engage private sector to help shape skills development policies
Capacity building and skills development are both a means and an end.
Challenge: Competition poaches trained workers after all the invested efforts of training. This misfortune happens across all sectors and corners of the business world.
Outcome: Develop skills of the local workforce to match international standards. Partnerships with enterprises, business, industry, craft associations, unions, and other formal and informal stakeholders to make training more relevant to the labour market (AfDB/OECD, 2017).
Today’s global marketplace increasingly explores opportunities to trade with Africa’s emerging markets through profitable sustainability programs and corporate social responsibility programmes.
Complex questions have arisen on how to execute international corporate social responsibility programmes without relieving the public sector from its duties. Who is responsible for solving today’s pressing issues? What role does technology play in launching a sustainability program? What are the benefits and pitfalls?
Frontiers of Dialogue, part of an event series started in Vienna, is a vigorous discussion among a distinguished panel and audience to address these questions and more. On September 7th, 2017, a distinguished panel and audience discuss Corporate Social Responsibility Across Borders in view of Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Click here for more info.