• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Expert calls for collaboration within African education ecosystem to foster leadership excellence

Expert calls for collaboration within African education ecosystem to foster leadership excellence

…as Nigeria hosts inaugural West Africa Hub Convening

Patrick Awuah, the president of Ashesi University, Ghana has called on African education ecosystem to collaborate to enthrone leadership excellence in the region in order to be able to tackle the challenge of development confronting the continent.

Awuah in his keynote address at the inaugural of the West Africa Hub Convening held at Marriott Hotel, Lagos where he discussed the crucial role of education collaborative network in advancing quality higher education in Africa within the context of Africa Union’s sub-regional theme.

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He highlighted the urgent need for effective leadership in the West African region and stressed the importance of higher education institutions to foster a culture of excellence in leadership.

“Development in Africa is a flourishing Africa, and to achieve this requires leadership excellence. Africa has the youngest population on earth; and we require leadership excellence to harness its human capital.

“The best leaders are those who help others to be more successful. Leadership excellence is about mindset, skills, strong workforce and global connections, among others,” he noted.

He advocated for involvement of the academia in driving policy conscience in African countries as is obtainable in many advanced countries of the world.

He maintained that leadership in the African region must need cooperate with universities by having active dialogues with educators to shape the direction of what they do.

Moreover, Awuah reiterated that the people leading the various countries in Africa passed through the education system, and that those who would lead the continent in many years to come are in the education ecosystem. All of these are the business of education.

To overcome the huge challenge this poses to Africa, he said it will take collaborations of education stakeholders to achieve.

“We have to teach excellence, work excellence in what we do, so that we can inculcate excellence in our leaders,” he stated.

Peter Bamkole, the chief operating officer at Pan-Atlantic University, and the chair of West Africa Hub Strategic committee in his address said the idea for WAHConvening was conceived about a year ago, when the strategic committee fashioned out what they want to achieve through the convening.

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He called on participants to ensure that they redefine their outputs through the convening.

“Let us raise the bar, who says we can’t do better? Let us not leave this event without challenging ourselves to do better,” he said.

Temitope Falade, communication manager at Pan-Atlantic University, speaking on the education collaborative initiative maintained that it is very important for institutions across Africa to work together, and that the collaborative provides a forum for different institutions in for sub-Sahara- Africa to discuss on how to ensure their graduates are equipped with the right skills.

“This will help us to overcome the problem of unemployment such that by the time graduates complete the different programmes from within their various institutions they are already equipped with the right kind of skills that help them to much more employable and not just as job seekers but even job creators,” she said.

On how the convening will help to change earning narrative in sub- Saharan -Africa, Falade said; “Keys that are discussed during the convening are entrepreneurship, how to also foster employability of students, and career development, among others.

“So when we deliberate on these issues, we are able to come up with different solutions that are custom- made for different institutions as well as the environment in which they exist.

“We have people who have tried different models or different things to enhance the employability of their students come to share their experience with others from different institutions.

“This benefits every other institutions looking forward to how they can improve their curriculum to ensure that their students are employable and have the capacity to even earn while they are students and makes it easier for them to be much more lucrative at the end of their academic programmes within the universities.”

Ajibade Ayodeji, the director of entrepreneurship development centre at Babcock University thinks the education collaborative initiative would definitely change Africa’s learning narrative and that it is achievable by the member institutions replicating ideas gotten from the collaborating institutions.

“Different institutions that come to the programme of the education collaborative rub minds together and we learn from each others, and then go back to our various institutions to replicate lessons we have learnt,” he said.

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Furthermore, Ayodeji said; “Also, the education collaborative provide some form of funding to institutions through grants, which help the beneficiary institutions to scale or implement new impactful projects.

At Babcock University, we were a beneficiary of this fund last year and as a result of that grant, we now have a programme we run annually which really impacts the lives of people in my university community.”

The West Africa Hub started in June 2022 to bring together institutions based in West Africa to collaborate, share ideas and inspire one another to achieve excellent student outcomes for the sub-region.

The mandate of the hub is to drive West African-centred and context-specific engagement within the Education Collaborative.