Education Across Africa – Its Challenges & Solutions

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Education is currently one of the biggest concerns in Africa as most of the nations in the continent have a poor education system which is incapable of creating well trained and knowledgeable graduates who can successfully compete in the global job market. The truth is African education is presently facing a number of challenges like political, social and economic challenges, terrorism, poverty, illiteracy and inadequate infrastructure in schools.

Education In Africa

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Presently, there is a strong need for greatly improving our education system as our students are practically not learning anything useful or gaining any skills which will equip them to build a lucrative career and add to the national economy. Instead, we have developed an ineffectual grading system which promotes rote learning only to secure high scores in exams. As a result our graduates are ill prepared to enter the workforce and lack the knowledge and skills of graduates from other parts of the world.

Now it has become imperative that we raise our academic standards so that our universities can be at par with global institutions and create better graduates so that the African youth has a fighting chance in building better lives for themselves. As per 2011-2012 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, University of Cape Town in South Africa was ranked 103 in the world which was awarded a total score of 53.2%. This goes on to show that we need to focus more on enhancing the education standard in all universities across Africa.

Here are some of the challenges which our African education sector is facing at present –

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Lack Of Trained Educators

 As the education system is weak from the base, we are unable to create skilled and talented educators and teachers who would guide our students and help them prosper. The educators we have don’t know how to offer meaningful and quality education to our learners.

Lack Of Government Initiative

 As the political scenario is greatly influenced by corruption, the governments of different African nations do not take all the necessary steps to boost education. All several measures have been undertaken, but none have proved fruitful due to lack of funding and government support.

Poor Infrastructure In Schools 

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Most primary and tertiary institutes across the continent do not have the right equipments, study materials or even buildings to teach students. As digital learning is slowly taking over the education sphere, African schools find themselves ill-equipped to provide students the best learning experience.

Apart from these, there are various other hindrances and challenges which we need to overcome to create an ideal education system. But the main question which arises now is how do we overcome these obstacles?

Here are some probable solutions to improve the state of our education system…

Sufficient Government Investment

All the governments of African nations must unite to drastically improve the education scenario. The governments must decide on enhanced investment in education schemes which will allow institutions to but the necessary equipment and build more schools across various regions.

Teacher Training

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It is also important that we create skilled, well trained motivated and ethical teachers who will help our students to learn the right way and prepare for the global employment market. Our universities should launch programmes that will enable aspiring teachers to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge.

Online Learning

Today online study has become an integral part of education which allows students to learn what they want, when they want and how they want. Online education has the power to expand the reach of institutions and reach learners even in the remote parts of Africa. Our school must embrace the latest technology and offer affordable online learning opportunities to our students.

What do you think? Feel free to share your own opinions and thoughts with us on how we can improve education in Africa.

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7 Great Ways To Start A Business In Africa

Business In Africa

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Thinking about starting a business in Africa? Then it is undeniably a great idea as Africa provides excellent opportunities in the long run, especially in terms of population. According to UNICEF, it has been estimated that in the coming 35 years, population in the continent will rise by 1.8 billion. The prospects and opportunities for business expansion will keep increasing as several of the fastest growing economies in the world are in the continent.

Here we are listing 7 lucrative business opportunities that you can explore if you are planning to move to Africa and start a business. Take a look…

Trade: Import

Import-export in Africa

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It is a great way to retain business links at your home country while you are managing your new business in Africa. The  key here is to choose the right product that has high demand in your host country, get a worldwide supplier and start your business.

Trade: Export

Exporting goods is another part of the trade if you plan to move to the Africa. It will be ideal for you set the right location in the continent and export locally available resources to your business networks at home. This is a great option as various products like honey, coffee and others cost very cheap in Africa.

Start A School 

Starting A School in Africa


Today education has become a thriving business across the continent as more than one third of the population is under 18 years of age. As the public education system is highly flawed, many parents prefer private schools for their kids. With the knowledge of your own educational system, you can introduce international standards and practices to a community.

Information Technology

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the IT sector in Africa has been identified among the most rapidly growing and potentially most lucrative sectors. The industry offers an excellent opportunity for new businesses at different levels of economy.

Construction Business in Africa

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 Real Estate & Construction

Sub-Sahara Africa is the ideal destination for aspiring entrepreneurs looking for business opportunities in the field of construction. The World Bank estimates that the urbanisation rate in Sub-Sahara Africa is set to rise to 50 per cent from 36 per cent by the year 2030.

International Law Firm

With constantly growing numbers of multinational companies across the continent, especially in East Africa, organisations are bound to face conflicts, disagreements & disputes. Staring a law firm can help you create a strong foothold in the continent.

Financial Services

businessmen in Africa

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Lack of capital is one of the basic reasons why most businesses across Africa fail. Experts claim that even though the economy is growing with billion dollar investments for multinational firms, there is a strong need for micro-investments for small & medium businesses. Hence, this is another area you can consider. It is not necessary for you to provide the funding yourself; instead you can offer legitimate access to genuine investors & capital by setting up a financial services firm.

Do You Have What It Takes?

Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are many other areas where you start your business in Africa and experience growth. However, if you wish to succeed in your endeavour then it is imperative that you possess the right business and management skills. This is especially important if you are an aspiring entrepreneur. One of the most effective ways to gain the necessary skills is to pursue an online business diploma . Why?

Firstly, online business programmes are very flexible and convenient. Thus, you an choose to study at any time you want and focus on your new business at the same time. You can smartly balance your education work and family commitments as there are no fixed classes. Secondly, online business diploma programmes are highly affordable and does not require you to take out a heavy student loan. You can acquire crucial management skills that will empower you to lead your business forward and accomplish your goals successfully.

So if you are thinking about going to Africa and starting a new business, then this is the best time for you to get started, provided you have acquired the require skills, abilities and knowledge.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts and views below in the comments section.

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Why We Need To Invest In Children To Better Africa’s Future

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In spite of accomplishing noteworthy progress in the last 10 years, the development of Africa is still hampered due to high levels of political corruption, disease, poverty and a poor education system. However, there is still hope as the continent’s claim to greatness depends on the untapped potential of the African children. I believe Africa will create it’s place in the list of prominent countries not through it’s diamond, gold, gas or oil reserves, but through the potential of it’s children. How we educate and raise our children now will help us shape the future of our continent for years to come.

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  Need For “Education For All”

The fact is 16 out of the 20 nations judged by UNESCO to have the least possibility to meet the Education for All goals are situated in sub-Saharan Africa. As per data available from UNESCO, not even one African nation accomplished the target of universal primary education, which refers to all African children successfully completing primary school education. It is believed that more than 30 million children in the primary school age in Africa were out of school during 2012. In Kenya, over 2 million primary school age kids were out of school last year. Moreover, about 40% of kids in Africa are stunted, which means the children suffer discernible and irrevocable cognitive impairment. These type of kids have high probability to drop out of school & repeat grades.

Dr. Alex O. Awiti , director of the East African Institute & assistant professor at Aga Khan University, recently wrote in an article,

“The psycho-social and economic effects of stunting and cognitive impairment endure into adulthood and can be transmitted from parents to children. Stunted children will earn less. They will most likely not to live out their full potential and contribute less to their communities.” He added “Education is no longer about the African child. Education is now about the reputation of the school and the school head teachers.”

Enabling Children To Learn 

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Form an early age, African children are told to learn by rote without the need for understanding or thinking and execute unimportant facts in memory to succeed in national standardised tests. We have effectively developed “grade factories” in place of schools and colleges and the scenario is not about to change any time soon. Awiti wrote “More than anything else, children must learn how to learn, unlearn and re-learn. Our education is about the curriculum and content. It is not about the child. One of my professors told me many years ago that half of what he was teaching would be out of date before I graduated. The problem is that he did not know which half it was.”

I believe that development of human capital can be achieved through sufficient investment in education and will eventually lead to long term economic growth. It is important that the African Development Bank invests in our children, the most crucial aspect of Africa’s future. It is only by providing a fair and good life to our children, we can empower them to breakaway from the chains of illiteracy, poverty, disease and corruption.

What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts and views with us by commenting below. We would love to hear from you.

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Fast Track Your Way To Successful Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship in Africa with Fast Track MBA

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Entrepreneurship is becoming more popular among the youths of Africa as a career which can allow them to boost both their personal and professional lives. As there is a prominent lack of employment opportunities, teamed with political disturbances and socio-economic challenges across the continent, deciding to become an entrepreneur can actually prove beneficial for you. However, becoming an African entrepreneur would mean that you develop all the necessary business skills and knowledge. Moreover, you need to be prepared to drive your business through the constantly evolving market and the socio-political challenges in Africa. Let us take a look at what you can do to become a successful business leader….

Being An Entrepreneur In Africa

Entrepreneurship in Africa with Fast Track MBA

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Africa is presently going through different problems like illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, terrorism and political turmoil. However, the scenario can be changed when the African youth take up entrepreneurship to enhance the capacity of the nation and create more jobs. Effective entrepreneurs can drive industrial as well as national development. But there are too many obstacles which discourage most aspiring entrepreneurs to get started.

Ashish Thakkar, who survived the Rwandan genocide, launched his own computer business after completing high school in Uganda. Now his business, the Mara Group, has expanded a lot and has become one of the most reputed conglomerates in Africa. Thakkar now leads a group of businesses with over 7,000 employees and functions in more than 19 African nations across different industries, such as agriculture, manufacturing, information technology, real estate etc.

Need For Promoting Entrepreneurship

Ashish Thakkar of The Mara Group

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Regarding encouraging entrepreneurship in Africa, Thakkar said,

“We focus primarily on young entrepreneurs. I know from experience that when you are young, the concept of networking is very alien and you don’t know how to go about raising capital. Learning the hard way, on the job, helped me understand why unemployment is such a big issue in Africa and globally. According to our government, the answer to unemployment is foreign direct investment. But I don’t believe that’s the only option, we should also look to nurturing Africa’s small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).”

He further added,

“On average, SMEs provide 65% of private-sector employment in Africa… I frequently meet with entrepreneurs all over Africa, and my first question is always, “Look, what can I do for you?” They never tell me that money is their primary need, what they are really looking for is guidance. Many young African entrepreneurs are the children of civil servants or farmers. They don’t come from business backgrounds, so where can they turn for advice?”

How You Can Be An Entrepreneur

This is where the need for business education comes in, if you ask me. Nowadays, it has become imperative that you pursue an MBA to gain the necessary entrepreneurship skills, especially if you don’t have much knowledge about the business world. But as studying at a traditional business school can be highly expensive these days and result in a heavy student debt, it is better to pursue a fast track MBA online programme. Studying a fast track MBA will help you learn about the various facets of business and boost your leadership and managerial skills in the most affordable way. This will surely make you more prepared to launch your startup and become a successful manager and business leader.

Be An Entrepreneur with Fast Track MBA

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As online courses are flexible, you will be able to gain relevant work experience while studying and get a deeper understanding about the industry and market. Moreover, you can advance your fast track degree to the final year of an accredited MBA degree programme from an associated university. A fast track MBA degree online will make sure that you acquire the right skills which will enable you to not only start your business but also to manage your company effectively.

How do you plan to become an entrepreneur? Feel free share your views and add to the discussion by commenting below.

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How Science & Technology Can Help Nigeria To Prosper In To A Wealthy Nation

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Given the challenges Nigeria is facing currently regarding politics, terrorism, poverty, unemployment and poor education, can the nation make a fresh new start in the field of science? Let’s take a look…

Developing Science & Technology – A New Era In Nigeria

In October 2004, UNESCO established a global advisory board to restore and renovate the state of technology, innovation system and science in the country, at a request of the Nigerian Government. One of the main activities of the reform programme is to conduct a joint review of innovation, industry and investment in the nation involving WIPO, UNIDO, UNCTAD and UNESCO.

The review is equally financed by Japan Funds-in-Trust, UNESCO and the Government of Nigeria to an amount of US $1 million. It is incorporated as a part of the preparatory work for a donors’ conference Nigeria which the country is gearing up to request to fund implementation of a long term plan of action on innovation, technology and science. Some of the other global agencies who are set to take part in the reform programme include the International Association of Universities, the World Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Making A New Start

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 In fact, there is a pretty good chance that science is about to make a fresh start across Nigeria. From the shift to civilian rule back in 1999, which was consolidated with the election of the second Obasanjo government later in 2003, the country has definitely showed some strong signals of revived interest in science and technology.

Nigeria launched a low Earth orbit remote-sensing micro-satellite in October 2003 in order to analyze the environment and offer valuable data for substantial infrastructure development. This dexterity and readiness has empowered Nigeria to participate in a Disaster Monitoring Constellation with the United Kingdom, China, Vietnam and Algeria.

Since then, President Obasanjo has declared Nigeria is developing a Nigeria Special Funds-in-Trust for Science by investing US $1 million within UNESCO. The Special Fund will prove to be of great benefit to the country and also support various other African nations in creating and developing project proposals for reforming the state of national science systems in those regions. It will also aid in boosting managerial capacities, according to a 2004 statement by Professor Turner T. Isoun, Minister of Science and Technology.

Nigeria Is A Wealthy Nation 

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The truth is Nigeria has significant human potential and also includes 65 research institutes, 44 polytechnics institutes and 60 universities for the 133 million population. But there are some severe problems and challenges as well which need to be dealt with such as, poor management, inadequate funding of research and development, insufficient macro-level co-ordination and serious dearth of associations between universities or research institutions and industry.

Right now there is a strong need for reform of education & other aspects, which has become apparent after 40 years for military domination highlighted by rising foreign debt and state corruption, since the independence in the year 1960. The reform has started in perhaps the most ideal time as the country has experienced a GDP growth of almost 10% in 2003 and is driven by agricultural growth of around 7% and noticeable oil receipts. The benefits of the reform could eventually spell excellent rewards for Nigeria as it can certainly become a wealthy nation when properly utilized and exploited.

What do you think? Feel free to share your opinions and views on this topic by commenting below.

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How Can Online Learning Help Healthcare Professionals ?

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In today’s world, it has become imperative that you constantly keep updating your skills and knowledge to keep yourself relevant in this rapidly changing economy. If you are a professional in the health care industry, then you need stay updated and follow latest developments. You must also keep training yourself with the latest technologies. This is especially important if you are a medical professionals.

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Online learning in Health Care 

Nowadays, constant medical training is just not an option, it is mandatory for people employed in the healthcare sector. Your skills and knowledge will not only be maintained, but they will also be updated and expanded regularly. In fact, in many countries, medical professionals need to take various course credits each year to keep their practitioner status active, as required by law. If you are wondering how you can keep your skills up-to-date, then studying online is probably one of the best options you have. Online health care courses enable you to acquire the necessary skills in a flexible, convenient and affordable way.

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Benefits of learning online

Colin McEwen, account manager at eCom Scotland, said “One of the major benefits is the flexibility e-learning offers. This can help ensure learning is more accessible and is not overlooked. There are also benefits when it comes to managing compliance and continual professional development, both from an individual and organizational perspective. There can also be budgetary and time saving benefits for the organisation.”

Emily Newlands, development and support manager at National Skills Academy for Health, also shares similar feelings regarding online learning for health care professionals. She said “E-learning can be cost effective, time efficient and a flexible way to access training. In a sector like the health sector where people can be quickly pulled away, it is something you can dip out of and go back to – you aren’t locked into a classroom.”

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Limitations of online learning 

However, there are some specific topics where you will only obtain the basic knowledge and will not be able to gain a deeper understanding with online courses. Online education now offers significant diversity training; however, some experts believe that it does not enable you to explore different concepts by interacting with others and accomplish real understanding. The fact is online education should not be considered as a totality of the training process. But it is really unfortunate that it is perhaps the only option to learn for many clinicians, especially due to time and finance issues.

Beth Britton, campaigner, consultant and blogger said “Well thought out e-learning is fine for some aspects of education, particularly theoretical elements. However, I don’t think it is suitable for aspects that require  a far more sensitive, personalised approach, for example dementia care.” He added “Also, I have severe reservations about any e-learning programme that offers obvious multiple choice answers to questions. This is not learning- it’s box ticking.”


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Online Courses help you Learn

Given the obvious limitations of eLearning, the fact remains that online education enables you to learn what you want, when you want and how you want. Dr Dirk Pilat, medical director for e-learning at Royal College of Gps, said “E-learning can save costs on infrastructure and personnel which can be reinvested in patient services. Just imagine the carbon footprint a whole course can create if all members have to travel to a venue, have to be kept warm/cold and fed instead of sitting at home or in the workplace, learning online.”

What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions with us by commenting below. We would love to hear from you.


These Female Business Leaders Are Changing The Face Of African Business

The 5 Most Inspiring Woman Business Leaders in Africa

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   Are you planning to become a successful woman entrepreneur in Africa? It’s true that achieving success as a business leader is much more challenging for women than men. But the fact remains that an increasing number of women have started to make their mark on the business world in Africa. Not only these women are running successful businesses, but they are also significantly adding to the economy.

If you are looking for some inspiration to become the next successful woman business leader in Africa, then here are some inspiring women who you can make your role models in achieving your goals-

Maria Ramos, Chief Executive of Barclays Africa Group

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  Maria Ramos, Chief Executive of Barclays Africa Group

Maria Ramos is the Group Chief Executive of the Barclays Africa Group, previously known as the Absa group, which is the largest bank in South Africa. The 53-year-old South African supervises the integration of the African units of Absa and Barclays in order to achieve their “One Bank in Africa” business strategy and improve regional growth. She became a part of the Absa group in 2009 after enjoying a noteworthy career in the public sector, and acting as the Group CEO of the state-owned rail and pipeline agency Transnet Limited.


Siza Mzimela, Executive Chairperson at Blue Crane Aviation   

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Mzimela is the Executive Chairperson and founder of Blue Crane Aviation, which is  an aviation services firm that focuses on African airlines. Her company offers expert aircraft management services, airline consulting and aviation legal services. In 2010, she was appointed as the first woman Chief Executive Officer of the South African Airways (SAA), the leading airline in Africa. Mzimela is a board member of SA Tourism and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita, Former Chief Executive of ArcelorMittal Limited

Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita, Former Chief Executive of ArcelorMittal Limited

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 She acted as the Chief Executive Officer of ArcelorMittal South Africa Limited. Nyembezi-Heita started her career as an engineer at Research Triangle Park (IBM) in North Carolina. Later she worked at IBM in Dallas and eventually was placed at the South African office of the company. She also acted as the head of Alliance Capital Management, a financial services group, and joined as the head of Mergers and Acquisition division at Vodacom.

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Nombulelo “Pinky” Moholi, Director of Companies  

She is the Non-Executive Director of Anglo American Platinum Limited as well as Old Mutual Emerging Markets (OMEM). Pinky Moholi also the Independent Non-Executive Director at Woolworths Holdings Limited. Earlier she acted as the Chief Executive Officer of Telkom SA Limited, from April 2011 to April 2013. Moholi was honoured as the Top 20 Most Powerful Women in Africa by Forbes in October 2011

Bridgette Radebe, Executive Chairperson of Mmakau Mining

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  Radebe is the founder and Executive Chairperson of Mmakau Mining, a highly successful mining company with assets in platinum, gold, uranium, chrome, coal etc. She also acts as an Independent Non-Executive Director for Sappi Limited, from May 2004; and as the Chairperson of Nabera Mining (Pty) Ltd , from 1999. Radebe has made significant contribution in developing and improving the Mining Charter and the South African Mineral & Petroleum Resources Development Act. She was honoured with the “International Businessperson of the Year Award” by the Global Foundation for Democracy in May 2008.

Are you ready to become the next female business leader in Africa? What do you think? Share your opinion with us by leaving your comments below.

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