Building a Resilient Innovative Africa in a COVID-19 world

“Since only around 9% of young Africans go to university, there is a need to equip the youth masses in Africa with the skills that enable them to obtain gainful employment, and the right kind of adaptable mindset to become their own job creators. There is also a need for policy to look at the ‘opportunity youth’ – thosewho are 16and abovewho are neither in school nor inwork, and todrive themtowards skills-basedprograms that allowthemto enter theworld of work or start a business. The scale of industrial change demands 21st century skills of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. R&D outcomes must ensure that the formal education provided to the young people across the continent imparts these skills.”

Joseph Nsengimana Director for the Mastercard Foundation’s Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT

One of the primary figures leading the charge to transform higher education towards a collaborative, skills-basedmodel is Luis Lopez, the CEOof Honoris United Universities, which is the first and largest pan-African network of private higher education institutions. Lopez explains that the network has developed a makerspace platform called the iLeadLAB within the Honoris network’s REGENT Business School institution, one of the leading providers of business and management education in South Africa. In settings such as this, students have space to learn, to make courageous choices, adopt different thinking and develop the 21st century workplace skills that they need to succeed in today’s digitalized global economy.

“This is an academic model that asks, ‘Do you want to be right or do you want tobe successful?’ This is a fantasticway for youngpeople to thinkabout success and it enables the individual to build their entrepreneurial capabilities. In tandem, however, must be the implementation of a second track of education– a ‘new formal’ education, which shifts how children are taught and assessed away from repetitive, rigid learning towards a model that engenders ‘mastery’ and creative thinking, away from the qualitative notion of a good or bad grade, away from a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ system and towards one that continuously assesses a student’s progression.”

Luis Lopez CEO, Honoris United Universities


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