HomeNews5 African Leadership varsities take off in Nigeria

5 African Leadership varsities take off in Nigeria

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1>>Five of the continent-wide African Leadership
Universities,
ALU, meant to train and develop thousands of young
Africans who will develop the continent technologically,
economically and educationally have been earmarked to be
located in Nigeria.
This was revealed in Lagos by the first Education Minister of
Mozambique, Graça Machel, and serial entrepreneur, Fred
Swaniker, when they disclosed their vision to make Africa the
hub of innovative education models and partnerships.
Graça Machel, who is the Founder of Graça Machel Trust,
intends to achieve this feat by partnering with other
organizations that champion the empowerment of youth,
children and women.
Speaking about the future of education in the continent,
Machel said: “We need to culturally ground students in what
it means to be African. They must graduate thinking about
impacting on a Pan-African level, not just their country.”
Founder, ALU, Fred Swaniker, said his target is to build a
network of varsities that will develop 250,000 young leaders
and entrepreneurs for Africa, with a vision to having five of
those varsities built in Nigeria.
The panel cited a scenario in 2013, where 1.7 million
students competed for 500,000 spaces in Nigeria’s tertiary
institutions. The dearth of higher educational opportunities in
Africa’s largest nation is further worsened by the fact that
university graduates make up 20 percent of youth
unemployment and often remain unemployed for upward of
five years after graduation.
To Swaniker therefore, there is clearly a need in Nigeria and
across the continent for governments and the private sector
to partner and re-think university access, as well as for
universities to dramatically revolutionize how they prepare
students not just for the job market but to become future job
creators.
Swaniker describes ALU as blurring the line between tertiary
education and “the real professional world”. ALU curates the
best courses globally and combines them with Africa-
relevant courses such as Entrepreneurial Leadership and
Employer Courses to prepare students for success as
professional leaders and entrepreneurs. Coupled with
innovative technologies and student-driven learning
techniques, he said ALU is creating an environment where
future leaders of Africa can develop the necessary critical
thinking skills and intrinsic motivation to succeed in jobs that
haven’t even been created yet.
Key stakeholders from across the continent who converged
at the prestigious Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, expressed
optimism on the future of education in Africa. Ngosa Chungu,
an award winning Zambian filmmaker in attendance, asked a
thought-provoking question on how tertiary educational
institutions can strengthen Africa’s creative industry and
alternative careers. In response, Swaniker said that arts and
culture are a vital part of society and that Africa has a great
potential to develop a creative industry. He ,however,
emphasized the need to equip those who study arts with
entrepreneurial skills, so that they can actually make a living
from their craft.

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