Developing Changemakers: How to Prepare the Next African Generation for Careers of Impact.
*My Reflections on Beyond Education conference held at Kampala, Uganda.
How can Africa produce young leaders and prepare them to address the continent’s most significant challenges? What role can young changemakers from across Africa play in transforming education, healthcare, climate change, governance, infrastructure, urbanisation, and job creation? These questions were part of several items that the conference on Beyond Education was focusing on. The meeting was organised by the African Leadership Academy (ALA) under the theme of “Developing Changemakers: How to Prepare the Next Generation for Careers of Impact.” The event which took place in Kampala Uganda on 9th November 2019 brought together education leaders from around the world, a cohort of young African changemakers under 30, parents, education consultants, teachers, school heads, employers, entrepreneurs, variety of external organisations and senior executives from African Leadership Academy to explore the future of leadership, education and development in Africa.
Participants exhausted the idea of re-inventing African curriculum and innovating network building to help university transition and after graduation life. Currently, curriculums are more theoretical than practical, which students use to pass exams rather than applying their skills in real life. For instance, employers in the African markets complain about the employability of new graduates while the public sector lacks genuine African leaders born out of African education system. Participants also argued about the fact that you cannot keep importing experts in almost every field from outside the continent when you can prepare them from here. We need a sustainable education system that can withstand with the need for local expertise in our economy and political leadership.
To produce and inspire a new wave of skilled and well-educated workers and leaders, we need to embark more on devising a mechanism to shift focus from producing papers for our youth to apply for jobs. We have to focus on traits of leadership which our students are developing in addition to course content. The conference also reflected on ways we can aspire to accelerate the potential of each student, connecting them with their local communities to inspire and propel their growth and to keep them accountable.
Fartun Abdikadir Mohamed