The Africa Internship Academy has organized its maiden Future of Work in Africa 2018 event last Saturday.
The event themed ‘Enhancing Partnerships for 21st Century Skills: Youths as JOB CREATORS not JOB SEEKERS, brought together influential personalities such as the UNESCO Country Director, Tirso Dos Santos, CEO of 3Ps Solutions, Mami Serwaa Amoakohene, Founder of Zaacoal Energy, Abubakar Amin Sulley, Founder of School Farms, Alfred Adjabeng, – CEO of Sesil Consult Emmanuel E.K Awumee, and Founder of Soronko Academy & Soronko Solutions, Regina Honu.
The program, moderated by TV personality and News Anchor of GhOne, Patrick Stephenson commenced with poetry from Makafui Awuku, followed by an opening address by the Africa Regional Research and Strategy Manager for Africa Internship Academy, Emmanuel Leslie Addae. He congratulated the 5th and 6th cohorts for reaching an important milestone in their lives. ‘Congratulations to our 5th and 6th cohorts for reaching this important milestone in their lives. This month, we marked AIA’s 2nd anniversary. A journey we started in September 2016 with the hope to reduce unemployment on our continent by giving young people the needed skills to overcome employment barriers. Today, apart from discussing what and how the future of work in Africa will be, about 28 people will be graduating from our work Integrated Learning program. He said.
Various presentations were made by the speakers, all drumming home the need for youths to build capacity, set the pace, and empower young people to develop sustainable and inclusive solutions to challenges confronting their various societies. They urged young people not to consider only formal sectors when it comes to work or career, but also focus on agriculture, learning and developing employable skills, creating businesses, and capitalizing on technology. The speakers again called for youths to be ‘solutionists’ and urged them to be innovative, sensitive to opportunities in Africa and create their own social enterprises that could earn them sustainable financial freedom through career in the future.
A special presentation given by the keynote speaker, Tirso Dos Santos on the theme, ’21st Century Skills, Youths as Job Creators and not Job Seekers exposed participants to the reality of work in the future following the current and past trend of socio-political development. With much emphasis on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he stated that policies need to change in order to accommodate and create space for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). He called on all stakeholders to explore the potential of culture and heritage to promote local and international ecotourism. Tirso Dos Santos also stressed on the fact that ‘white collar’ jobs do not necessarily create wealth. ‘We need to understand that ‘white collar’ jobs do not create wealth. We have to re-shape Education by prioritizing policies that promote skills development in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. He said.
According to Tirso Dos Santos, unemployment, corruption, climate change, and the advent of 4th revolution with rapid technological changes and looming artificial intelligence could be well managed to produce opportunities. Concluding his presentation, he outlined some ideas for sustainable paradigm shifts; reshaping educational systems, exploring the potential of labour intensive green economies, exploring the potential of the African cultural heritage to promote local and international ecotourism, promoting culture to develop a wide range of approaches for creative arts, and adopting policies that create space for SMEs to safeguard the future of work in Africa.
The event was climaxed with a beautiful graduation ceremony for the 5th and 6th cohorts who have successfully completed a two months internship course. After receiving their certificates, they shared their experiences, impact and opportunities they have gained through their internship with the academy. They presented a beautiful citation, artwork as well as a cake to the academy, appreciating them for the good work done.
The event ended with a networking session where participants networked extensively and took memorable pictures with speakers and friends. ‘Item 13′ as usual was not taken out, participants enjoyed their ‘chops’ over cool bottle of drinks as they shared beautiful moments with their new friends and colleagues.