Africa: Academics Urged to Transform Africa

AFRICAN intellectuals have been called upon to move aptly to revolutionise the continent by ensuring improvement in economies and make people lead better lives.

Stakeholders to the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI) underlined the need for the African continent to get the best out of its graduates.

Eswatini Minister of Education, Lady Howard Mabuza, said here over the weekend that graduates from the intergovernmental regional management development centre and other academies should purposely use the gained knowledge to lift the living standards of the people.

"Make a positive impact all around you. To purpose to use the knowledge you have acquired, to bring results in your organisation and countries that lift the lives of our people.

But all this may not be possible unless you are willing to begin with yourselves," said Ms Mabuza who was the guest of honour at the 11th graduation ceremony that took place at Njiro campus.

She called on the graduates to get prepared to step out, take risks and push their boundaries and refuse to be constrained to their past experience and the familiar.

She noted that there was no alternative but to embrace change and go into unexplored territories, with their knowledge and skills as a platform for transition.

"Charity begins with you. True, lasting transformation change always starts with individuals. The more the uncertainty the future looks the more change-ready we should be as individuals. We must retain an agile mind. We must not let others define us," she stressed.

Ms Mabuza warned that the future will never be anything like the past; hence academics should be adept at cultural intelligence, emotional intelligence, creativity, adaptability and flexibility with critical thinking or objective evaluation.

She said people must quickly come to terms with tools like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality, robotics and block chain technology.

"These are some of the realities we must navigate. All this calls for a mind that is set to change; a change-mindset! Avoid creating comfort zones.

The qualifications you have acquired should not become a comfort zone either ... be ready to scale the next summit, to adapt, to transition and continuously weave the legacy of your lives," urged the minister.

The Executive Director of Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa (TRAPCA), Mr Peter Kiuluku, said intellectuals should use their profession effectively to bring about much sought socio-economic changes. Intellectuals should change with times so as to bring positive change, he said.

The centre that has 10 branches in Africa has been preparing graduates from 21 countries in a special way and Mr Kiuluku was optimistic that they will be good ambassadors when they go back to their home countries.

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Director, Mr Leon Malisa for his side, said the outgoing students were trained on how to design projects as well as set strategies in business initiation.

"We do not train them so that they go to seek employment, but how to start their own businesses. We have changed a lot of them and we are happy as we receive positive feedback from time to time," said Mr Malisa. Some 140 students graduated with diploma and degrees at the centre

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