The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA’s) Working Group on Higher Education (WGHE) hosted by the AAU is starting a series of Webinars.
The purpose of these Webinars is to address pertinent issues pertaining to higher education in Africa. The presentations are geared towards achieving the major interventions enshrined in the international and continental agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), the Continental Education Strategy (CESA 2016-2025), African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the Science Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024).
The first is slated to come off on August 18th, 2016 on the topic ‘Promoting Entrepreneurship in African Universities‘ at 10:00 GMT | 13:00 EAT | 12:00 South Africa
Speaker – Prof. Rosemond Boohene (Snr Lecturer/ Director, Centre for International Education, University of Cape Coast, Ghana): READ HER BRIEF PROFILE
INFORMATION ON THE WEBINAR PRESENTATION
Date: Thursday, 18th August 2016
Time: 10:00 GMT | 13:00 EAT | 12:00 South Africa (Covert Your Time Zone)
Organizers: This Webinar is organized by the Association for Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) through its Working Group on Higher Education (WGHE), hosted by the Association of African Universities (AAU) and powered by TEDx Accra, Ghana.
Target Audience: The Webinars are open to all – most especially industry players, university scholars, students, youth organizations, academia, young entrepreneurs, small medium enterprises (SMEs), educational policy makers, government officials and others.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
1. Register via: www.aau.org/webinars
2. Live Tweeting and Event Hashtag
Join the conversation following #WGHETalks and share your comments and questions.
3. Follow our webinar via our social media channels:
Webinar Official Twitter handle – @TEDxAccraGH
For any further information please contact the following numbers for assistance. +233-302-774495/ 715588, +233-24329844 or you can contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN AFRICAN UNIVERSITIES
Education is generally accepted as a principal mechanism for fostering economic development and growth. Similarly, it is widely recognized that long-term economic growth in the global economy can only be achieved through investment in a highly skilled workforce while in the context of the knowledge economy, higher education has become particularly critical in this regard. For Africa, where growth is essential if the continent is to climb out of poverty, focused education is indispensable. African Universities have been recognized as key players in the global system due to the fact that they prepare citizens with vital knowledge and skills sets to enable them to contribute to sustainable development at individual, organizational, national and global levels.
Institutions of higher learning in Africa, however, have been criticized as ivory towers because they churn out graduates who are not fit for the job market. The situation is not peculiar to any particular African country as most countries have been accused of producing graduates whose skills are not really needed by industry and as such, many of those graduates end up being unemployed, as industry is not able to absorb them. The World Bank Group (2014) for example, reported that as many as 50% of graduates who leave Ghanaian universities and polytechnics fail to find jobs two years after their national service, and 20% do not find jobs even after three years. The situation is similar in Kenya and Mozambique, where the majority of university graduates rely on work in the informal sector, which is considered vulnerable employment.
Despite the increase in uncertainty in employability mainly brought on by the ever-increasing pace of advancements in various industrial sectors, many calls have been made for African Universities, in particular, to expose their students to the possibilities of creating their own jobs by deepening their entrepreneurial mindset.
The lack of requisite manpower and the incomplete training of graduates to create their own jobs or have the required skills for the job market have led to a number of graduates from institutions of higher learning being unemployed and so use their skills and knowledge in forming radical pressure groups such as: the Association of Unemployed Graduates in Ghana, the Arab spring insurgency in Northern Africa, etc. All these contribute to an unstable and a politically volatile situation, which would need to be appropriately addressed to enable the graduates from Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to use the relevant knowledge, skills and other attributes they possess to create their own jobs or gain and maintain a worthwhile employment instead of joining such pressure groups.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s (GEM) annual comparative international studies, evaluating the importance of entrepreneurship to economies worldwide has over the years argued and presented support on the relationship between the level of entrepreneurial activity and economic growth. This annual research brings to the fore, the role entrepreneurship plays in every economy. Despite the importance of entrepreneurship in the economic development of a nation, African countries have not fully developed strategies to tap this resource. What the countries have, are unsystematic policies, which do not really reflect the significance of entrepreneurship to the development of their respective countries. This trend has fueled the notion that there is the need to promote entrepreneurship in all facets of human endeavours, including institutions of higher learning in this process. Although these institutions are not the only places in which innovation and enterprise can flourish, they have served as a conduit for many governments seeking to stimulate entrepreneurship.
Thus, there appears to exist a consensus among various stakeholders that entrepreneurship education and training has a vital role to play in the development of entrepreneurial attitudes, abilities, and related skills amongst staff and students. It is in this light that the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) through its Working Group on Higher Education (WGHE) -hosted by the Association of African Universities (AAU) – has developed an interactive web seminar to highlight the importance of promoting entrepreneurship in African Higher Institutions.
The objectives of the WGHE webinar on promoting entrepreneurship in African Universities are to:
a) Stimulate entrepreneurial mindset and spirit amongst staff and students in African Universities.
b) Encourage innovation and generate jobs among university graduates.
c) Educate African Universities on the need to commercialize research projects that may contribute to generate revenue and also contribute to the sustainability and progress of the institutions of higher learning.
d) Actively promote entrepreneurship as an attractive and viable career option among Africa’s graduate students.
e) Challenge universities to incorporate entrepreneurship as part of their activities and curriculum.
The expected outcomes of the webinar are:
a) Attitudinal change exhibited by Universities in Africa towards entrepreneurial education.
b) Favorable environment created by stakeholders for entrepreneurship to thrive in African Universities.
c) Entrepreneurship introduced as part of a University curricula by most Universities.
d) Students accept self-employment as a career option (e.g. start-up companies).
e) Institutions encouraged to establish incubators and industrial parks.
The deliverables of the WGHE entrepreneurship webinar are:
a) Presentation on promoting entrepreneurship in African Universities.
b) Interaction with various stakeholders on the presentation.
c) Documented lessons from the presentation as well as questions and answer (Q/A) session.