New Leadership Course Prepares African Leaders for Knowledge Society Development

ALICT Grad pic for Zunia.org
On Friday, 5th July, in one of the largest African Union Commission (AUC) initiatives in professional development, 213 mid-to-senior level Government and public sector officials from eight African countries graduated from a bespoke leadership course implemented by GESCI (Founded by the UN ICT Task Force) titled African Leadership in ICT (ALICT) and Knowledge Society Development.
The ALICT course, which attracted several hundred applicants from 12 selected countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, is a 7 month professional blended learning course (online and face- to- face) designed and delivered by GESCI (Global e-Schools and Communities’ Initiative). The course is tailored specifically to the professional development needs of Africa’s future architects of the Knowledge Society in the fields of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), and ICT policy making and planning.
“The gap between developed and under developed countries is decreased by the proper proliferation of knowledge. The African Leadership in ICT programme is one of the African Union’s key initiatives contributing to the development of sustainable Knowledge Societies in Africa,” said H.E. Dr. Elham M.A. Ibrahim, Commissioner, Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission.
The programme is based on the African Regional Action Plan for Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE) and it is aligned with the EU-Africa 8th Strategic Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space (EU-Africa P8). Funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland, the programme deals with topics such as futures thinking and leadership for transformational change at national level. It examines the key pillars of knowledge societies – ICT, Science and Technology, Innovation, and Education – and their inter-connectedness in policy making for social and economic development at national level. The programme strengthens career advancement opportunities, enhances policy implementation and planning skills together with a mastery of a leadership toolkit for the knowledge society.
“As world economies are quickly becoming knowledge economies there is an urgency for a new leadership dynamic to drive national policymaking for social and economic development throughout Africa,” said Dr. Jyrki Pulkkinen, Senior Advisor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland.
Jerome Morrissey, CEO of GESCI said, “This programme is building visioning, strategic planning, management, and policy making capacities of future leaders on how ICT can accelerate the growth of inclusive and sustainable Knowledge Societies in Africa.”
John Temba an ALICT Graduate and Head of ICT in Education, Ministry of Education, Science & Technology, Kenya said,
“My professional skills in policy development and implementation have been considerably advanced. The futures thinking dimension will be very valuable in the ever-changing world of technology and its integration in education and in economic development.”
The President of Dublin City University (Ireland), who presided at the graduation ceremony, awarded 130 participants with transcripts of their results for the Graduate Diploma in African Leadership in the Knowledge Society.
“For the first time in recent history, this continent has the means to effect real economic and social improvements for her people.” said Professor Brian McCraith, President of Dublin City University. “This programme will play a central part in these efforts because it is not about transporting a government system from the north to the south. It is not about transferring European ways to Africa, because history has shown us that such an approach does not work. African Leadership in ICT is about equipping public sector leaders with the skills to become change agents within their own ministries, agencies, cultures and norms. They will be able to turn economic growth and the potential of their people into innovation, social and economic progress. DCU is delighted to be accrediting this ground-breaking programme.”
For more information on the ALICT course and on GESCI’s work please go to www.gesci.org and download the ALICT brochure.
The course was officially awarded accreditation by Dublin City University (DCU) as a postgraduate diploma under this leading university’s School of Education. This means that approximately 130 ALICT graduates now have the option of earning a Master’s degree from DCU through a distance education programme.