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The African education system has let its people down

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Naumia, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Naumia

    Naumia Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Messages: 78
    Likes Received: 4
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    interview with Erik van Veen.
    He is the Chief Commercial Officer of MTN Uganda one of the continental telco and mobile leaders in Africa. Erik is a member of the mailing list and offered some insight as to why things are the way they currently are from a provider’s perspective.

    A: Any other closing remarks?[/COLOR]

    Erik: We have a major skills shortage, especially in management depth, in Uganda and across the continent. Even South Africa has an acute shortage in this regard. The African education system has let its people down.

    This is the single biggest challenge we have in my opinion and we need to be honest about it – lets not fool ourselves and say we have all the people here that can do the job – I have heard several politicians tow this popular line. It is not true and we need to put in systems that are going to address this. Just imagine, for probably the first time in Africa’s history, we have all these opportunities upon our door step, brought about by better political systems, semblances of democracy, better governance and macro-economic stability. But where are the skills, both technical and management, going to come from to leverage these opportunities?

    We need major investment in training and tertiary education institutions need to be sorted out. We must not close our markets to the inflow of foreign skills – Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong embraced open employment policies which has been the backbone to their economic success. We need to attract skills here and not take a short term view that it is taking away jobs. Injection of skills grows businesses, and in turn generates new employment. I have begun to notice many African countries, Uganda included, placing stricter rules on foreigners gaining employment. That is the last thing we need!

    Mbeki may have had his faults, but his notion of an ‘African Renaissance’ was insightful and timely and needs to be taken seriously! Many of us tend to dismiss it too easily