This month we celebrate Youth Day in South Africa. Youth Day, while not a uniquely South African observance, has a particularly powerful connotation for our nation. It is a day that reminds us of the importance of education and the pressing need to adequately equip and empower the youth as our future leaders.
I’ve always believed that education is the key to resolving most of the socio-economic problems facing Africa. With a sufficiently educated population, the opportunities for this continent are limitless.
Personally, and in my capacity within SYSPRO, I am well aware that the challenges facing education and the resultant skills shortage in Africa cannot be solved overnight. But technology is integral to enabling the solutions and corporations should recognize the role that they can play in shaping the continent’s future.
SYSPRO’s well-developed partnership with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University(NMMU) is one of the ways in which we seize the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the upskilling of our youth. We are specifically involved in projects that harness social media, mobile technology and ERP to deliver training across Africa at a fraction of the usual cost.
In addition, by hosting workshops that bring together IT industry experts and leading academics, aim is to assist in the development of relevant, practical training courses in ICT-related fields. These workshops encourage knowledge transfer and support partnerships between countries as well as businesses and tertiary institutions.
The input of industry partners is crucial as higher education institutes seek to provide education and training that expands the skill set of students in order to satisfy future employee and market demands. It is particularly heartening to see grass-roots projects being developed by students themselves to solve the challenges faced by our educational system.
Technology provides unbounded opportunities for education and it has become glaringly obvious that the responsibility of equipping future generations with the right ICT knowledge should not be limited to educational facilities, it should rest with each and every one of us.