||Can You Teach a Lion to Roar? Selected African Skills Development and Capacity Building Perspectives: Breaking Down Old Paradigms and Creating New Opportunities
2016-04-25 , Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University
Revised in Apr. 2016
This research paper explores selected sub-Saharan African skills development and capacity building priorities needed for the sub-continent to achieve its growth targets and development objectives. There are multiple and diverse African skills challenges across this region. There is a growing urgency for the provision of practical skills and capacity solutions across different sectors. If sub-Saharan African governments, public institutions, and the region's international counterparts, are to achieve their desired development objectives, Africans from all walks of life must be empowered with new sets of skills and mind-sets. The best start is with the provision of skills required to plan ahead in line with the AU's Vision 2063, while managing current development efforts strategically to lay solid foundations for future success across the continent. The demographic dividend of a large pool of African youth is a powerful long-term advantage that few regions around the world can boast of. This critical advantage comes loaded with its own clear skills development challenges and potential risks. It requires targeted and courageous skills investments to yield the anticipated results from the dividend. The paper addresses the question of how strategic partnerships such as those among African DFIs (such as the AfDB, DBSA, and IDC), with international partners such as Japan's JICA, especially the ABE programme, together with African multi-lateral institutions such as the African Union and Nepad, and all interested and well-meaning African partners, can leverage on the current positive macro-economic trends to finally achieve sustainable African development. The paper concludes by inviting and urging local stakeholders and partners to collaborate in skills development initiatives in order to take advantage of the current growth momentum. IMPORTANT: The reader will note that this paper provides more of a ‘practitioner-perspective' and is not philosophical, or theory-based, research paper.