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George Afeti, PhD Ministry of Education, Ghana Email: gafeti@yahoo.co.uk. ADVANCED SKILLS FOR AFRICA’S DEVELOPMENT: OPPORTUNITIES AND CONSTRAINTS. The socio-economic reality of Africa. Africa is a continent of opportunities and challenges

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george afeti phd ministry of education ghana email gafeti@yahoo co uk
George Afeti, PhD

Ministry of Education, Ghana

Email: gafeti@yahoo.co.uk

ADVANCED SKILLS FOR AFRICA’S DEVELOPMENT: OPPORTUNITIES AND CONSTRAINTS

the socio economic reality of africa
The socio-economic reality of Africa
  • Africa is a continent of opportunities and challenges
  • African countries come in different sizes and shapes
  • Great diversity of cultures, governance structures and socio-economic status
  • Every year, between 7-10 million new job seekers arrive in the labor market
  • Out of a total 200 million young people, 95 million are illiterate or unskilled and either unemployed or in very low-paid jobs
  • 73% have no access to regular supply of electricity
  • 500 million cell phone users
  • Good people with great aspirations

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africa rising more children in school
Africa rising: more children in school

Source: UNESCO 2010

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africa changing more women in power
Africa changing: more women in power

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africa growing some of the fastest growing economies are in africa
Africa growing: some of the fastest growing economies are in Africa

Source: World Bank 2012

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increasing fdi flows into africa
Increasing FDI flows into Africa

Source: IMF 2012

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africa is resource rich
Africa is resource rich
  • Large reserves of crude oil in Nigeria, Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea, etc.
  • Ivory Coast and Ghana are the world’s leading producers of cocoa beans
  • Some of the richest gold mines are in Africa: South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Mali, etc.
  • The source of all energy – the sun – has its home in Africa:
  • Each km2 of the Saharan desert receives solar energy equivalent to 1.5 million barrels of oil

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the skills factor and limitation
The skills factor and limitation
  • Limited national wealth creation due to critical skills gaps and shortages in various sectors of the economy
  • Globalization and unfavorable global trade protocols impact on domestic skills and labor force development as well as employment
  • Poor governance, corruption, punitive tax laws and fiscal regimes suppress skills innovation, enterprise creation and expansion
  • Absence of advanced skills to promote value addition to primary commodities and job creation
  • Failure of education and training systems to deliver advanced employable skills

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skills deficit is a major constraint
Skills deficit is a major constraint

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skills supply gaps and shortages
Skills supply gaps and shortages
  • Agriculture and agro-processing
  • Engineering, science and technology
  • ICT
  • Health and sanitation
  • Environment and natural resources
  • Business management and entrepreneurship
  • Teacher education and training
  • Green skills for green jobs and greening jobs
  • Peace and global citizenship education

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drivers of skills development in africa
Drivers of skills development in Africa
  • The success of UPE fuelling rising social demand for further education and training
  • The notion of skills for employability, poverty reduction and increased productivity
  • The political agenda: assumption that skills can tackle rising youth unemployment
  • The security agenda: youth without skills and jobs, a “time bomb”

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advanced skills needed
Advanced skills needed!

Low Level SKILLS

ADVANCED SKILLS

Acquisition of high level skills

Innovation and quality driven

Responsive to needs of technologically advanced enterprises

Globally competitive workforce

Improves investment climate

Supports socio economic development

Wealth creation and poverty reduction

  • Acquisition of basic skills and competencies
  • Income-generating activities for economic survival
  • Some quality improvement in goods and services
  • Creation of low-performing small businesses and enterprises
  • Marginal stimulation of local economy

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high level skills training matters
High level skills training matters

African economies are driven by natural resources and export of raw materials.

Main reason: Shortage of advanced skills.

Source: World Bank 2007

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advanced skills provision
Advanced skills provision

Higher Education Bachelors

Labor Market

Technical College

Advanced Skills Training

Secondary Education

Primary Education

Informal Sector Training

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skills mismatch negative perception
Skills mismatch & negative perception

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partnerships can help address constraints
Partnerships can help address constraints
  • Education partnerships should be more than “internationalization” or recruitment of students
  • Faculty development, key component of partnerships
  • Development of “dual” teacher competencies: pedagogical and technological
  • Knowledge sharing and collaborative training programs, e.g. EfE being spearheaded in Africa by ACCC
  • Adaptation of best practices and policies in advanced skills provision: policy learning
  • Development of a domestic workforce with global competencies

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importance of partnerships
Importance of partnerships

Constructive partnerships:

  • Produce more outward looking institutions
  • Promote innovation in e.g. research, curriculum design, teaching methods, administrative systems and practices
  • Allow examination of each other’s institutional culture and way of doing things
  • May bring much needed resources to the table
  • May generate new ideas simply by bringing people together
  • May involve a mentor-mentee relationship

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conclusion
Conclusion
  • Despite impressive GDP growth, socioeconomic development and poverty reduction in Africa will require advanced skills
  • Large informal training sector (80 – 90%) unable to connect to technological advances
  • Need to stimulate investment outside the natural resources sector (43% of FDI in oil & gas)
  • Advanced skills necessary to diversify and boost the economies of resource rich African countries
  • Only a skilled and diversified indigenous workforce can sustain Africa’s development and socio-economic progress

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closing thought
Closing thought

“Show me a skilled individual, a skilled company or a skilled country and I will show you an individual, a company or a country that has a chance to be successful. Show me an unskilled individual, company or country and I will show you a failure in the 21st century. In the economy ahead, there is only one source of sustainable competitive advantage – skills. Everything else is available to everyone on a more or less equal access basis” – Lester Thurow, American Economist, 1994

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