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
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
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.
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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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
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
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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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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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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At present, the Nigerian education sector is seriously affected due to poor and unstable governments and declining budgets. Several experts believe that education in Nigeria will keep suffering as long as the current conditions persist. It is perhaps for this reason that more and more learners in Nigeria are now opting for online programmes like MOOCS.
In this digital era, online education has become one of the most affordable and effective ways of learning and earning a qualification. This is especially helpful for those students who cannot access traditional on-campus education for various reasons. In fact, several educators and recruiters are now accepting and promoting online learning as it offers some great benefits to students not just in Nigeria, but across the world.
Age of digital learning
In the last few years, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have gained much popularity among young and adult learners across Africa. These open online learning courses offer a new platform which expands the reach of education and makes it easily available to learners worldwide in just one click. The fact is, many developing countries like Nigeria have a large number of students who are keen on pursuing higher education. But as there is a lack of proper educational opprotunities, most of them are turning to MOOCs and other online courses. MOOCs offer advanced and helpful online study tools which allows students to study what they want, when they want and how they want.
Need for online education
In Nigeria, around 1.7 million applicants took part in UTME 2013 with only 520,000 admission places left available. Last year, UTME 2014 saw around 1.6 million registrations with just around the same number of admission places left available. As a result, more than one million applicants were left out without any hope of getting admitted. The truth is, the rejection rate in most universities across Nigeria is more than 90 per cent.
This is a serious issue which need a lot of attention and those in charge need to take the right action to improve the national education system. However, for now MOOCs are offering a practical solutions to aspiring learners. I have no doubt that it is better alternative to the failing traditional education system as it offers more options and opportunities to the learners.
You can find many world-class MOOC platforms that offer quality education and relevant courses conducted by leading professors and educators. Leading MOOC platforms like Edx, Udacity and Coursera offer both young and adult learners a feasible opportunity to accomplish their academic goals so that they can advance their careers. With constant technological developments, online learning has become more effective and accessible. You can even choose to interact with your fellow learners and instructors through instant messaging, online forums and social media to further enrich your learning experience.
The Bottom Line
MOOCs and other online courses provide students an excellent opportunity pursue higher education in an affordable yet flexible way and enables you to earn an accredited academic qualification. It will not only help you acquire the required skills and knowledge, but also boost your employability and help you start a lucrative career.
What do you think? Share your thoughts and opinions with us by commenting below. We would love to hear from you.
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Do you wish to build a thriving career? With the rising rate of unemployment in Nigeria, it will be surely challenging for you to achieve your professional goals even if you earn a degree. In this scenario, more and more Nigerian youths are opting to become entrepreneurs and starting their own business. Take a look….
Unemployment Is Affecting Nigerian Youths
With growing volume of youthful population in Africa, several challenges have emerged, both social and economic. However, the number of jobs must increase to compensate the growing population. When adequate jobs will not be created, most of the youths will end up unemployed. According to data from the International Labor Organization, 3 out of 5 unemployed individual in Africa are youths.
A 2008 World Bank Report, entitled ‘Youth Employment in Africa: the potential, the problem and the promise’, reveals that youth employment is particularly prominent in urban regions. Due to poor conditions in rural regions, most people migrate towards the cities which lead to increasing challenges related to unemployment in the urban areas. As a result of this, numerous candidates are applying to limited vacancies and jobs which is creating further problems. Hence, now more youths are deciding to be entrepreneurs and taking necessary steps to not only to build their own careers, but also to create jobs and add substantially to the economy.
Nigeria Needs More Entrepreneurs
Several entrepreneurs believe that encouraging entrepreneurial thinking among Nigerian youths will be crucial for the economic development of the nation. Moreover, the government is also taking steps to support youth development initiatives and aspiring entrepreneurs. Fashogbon Abiodun David, the CEO of the marketing company Fizzie Republic and the fashion boutique Fashi Fizzie, in Ibadan, southwestern Nigeria, says “The strength of a nation is the power of individual characters. America is what it is because of world-class entrepreneurs that are there: Bill Gate[s] of Microsoft, Steve Jobs of Apple and Larry Ellison of Oracle, Diddy of Sean John.”
David started his entrepreneurial venture in 2001 with just $20 USD and has faced several challenges in order to move his business forward. He says “I started with 2,650 naira [NGN ($16.65 USD)]. I ventured into business to conquer poverty.” He adds that achieving success was a daunting task due to the pressure and intimidation from larger businesses who almost compelled him to close down. He adds “The sharks are the big existing businesses that frowns at competition. I was beaten up by a fellow businessman because he was afraid I will take up the business. The trauma was so much I wanted to close my doors.”
But he says he pressed forward and didn’t even report his assailants because he was more concerned about the future and moving forward. David has successfully established himself as successful Nigerian entrepreneur since 2001 and has effectively expanded his business. Just like several other young entrepreneurs in the country, he is convinced that entrepreneurship is the right solution for dealing with poverty and unemployment in Nigeria.
How To Be A Successful Entrepreneur
So if you tackle unemployment and build a lucrative career for yourself, then embracing entrepreneurship will empower you to accomplish your goals. However, it is imperative that you acquire the necessary skills and knowledge before you make an investment and start your business.
As a successful entrepreneur, you will need to be an expert in your field and have a clear understanding about the industry and the latest market trends. Moreover, you should also know how to effectively manage your business and lead your team.
Pursuing a business programme can help you to gain all the necessary knowledge and develop various skills like leadership skills, management skills, communication skills etc. However, if you want to be an entrepreneur, then a full time MBA programme will not be the most suitable option for you due to the need for heavy investment of time and money. Then what should you do?
Study Fast Track MBA Online
Pursuing an online fast track MBA will allow you to learn what you need and acquire the required skills without the need for investing huge amounts of time and money. You will learn about the core management concepts and understand how to apply them effectively in your business. You will also develop business and entrepreneurial skills that will allow you to steer your startup towards success.
One of the biggest advantages of studying an online MBA is that you will be able to work and study at the same time. As these courses offer excellent flexibility, you can easily choose to gather relevant work experience or work on your start up while studying and earning an recognised qualification. Moreover, with an online fast track MBA programme, you will have the opportunity to advance your qualification to the final year of an accredited MBA programme and earn a master’s degree in business management.
Pursuing a quality fast track MBA programme will enable you to become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria and boost your business to create more jobs in the country and add to the national economy.
How do you plan on becoming an entrepreneur? Feel free to share your ideas and views with us by commenting below.
Article Sources – bit.ly/1HNYYPk, bit.ly/1HNZ0XA
Among the many grave challenges that Nigeria is facing currently, preparing the young generation to add value to the national economy in the future seems to be the hardest. Since that last few years, the nation has been steeped in corruption, terrorist attacks, political uncertainty, high unemployment rates and poor educational opportunities. This creates a huge pressure not only on the society but also on the youths.
Challenges For Nigerian Youths
With constantly growing rate of unemployment, it is believed that around 75 per cent of Nigerian youths are ill-equipped to cope the international job market, recession and the global economy. This raises various other issues such as easy access to financial support for start-ups along with other challenges in development. Many experts and youth forums highlight the necessity of quality education as well as practical strategies that will enable young people to deal with specific needs and prepare them to deal with challenges in future. Mass poverty is one of the most menacing challenges in Nigeria and represents a big fraction of the overall national population. Most Nigerian youths face much difficulty in getting a job and starting their careers or even their own business.
Unemployment: The Biggest Challenge
Unemployment is a basic reality for almost all youths, which is even higher than adult unemployment rate. This clearly denotes an improper utilisation of our human capital resources, especially of the Nigerian youth. This also goes to show that most employers do not trust the skills, knowledge and experience of fresh graduates. Young people who get the chance to attend school education are compelled to stay in education for a longer duration by pursuing a masters degree programme. Employment opportunities are becoming more scarce with decreasing salaries and unstable careers.
Those youths who are unable to access higher education opportunities, tend to move away from the school system due to various factors like financial struggles, political disturbances etc. These people are often overlooked by the corporate sector and receive only menial jobs with minimal pay, mostly due to lack of skill and experience. According to statistics, more than 3 million youths in the state of Lagos are still unemployed. With over 2 million people under skilled for employment. Moreover, numerous others are forced to work in temporary jobs are usually taken advantage of by employment agencies with minimal pay and no benefits. Due to all these problems, youths in Nigeria are taking interest in unproductive activities like drug abuse, internet fraud, violent behavior, prostitution, criminal activities, repeated riots etc.
Offering Quality Education
A reputed English Professor said “The biggest problem Nigeria has with empowering her youth is the fact that they throw temporal solutions to permanent problem and never address issues from the grassroots”.
In the past few years, many NGOs have come forward with excellent processes, strategies and concepts that help the youth to access quality higher education and help them to develop skills that are essential for the workplace. The organisations have a clear understanding of the challenges faced by the Nigerian youth and know how these can be dealt with. Hence, they develop targeted solutions that will enable our youths to face various challenges and uncertainties and move closer towards economic independence.
Article Source: bit.ly/1M4dimi