20 years skilling South African youth

2019 marked the twentieth anniversary of the Go for Gold Education-to-Employment programme. For the past 20 years, Go for Gold has boasted the efficacy of public-private partnerships, combining expertise and passion for tangible transformation in South Africa.

The programme culminated in 1999 when founder Shaun Webber, then CEO of NMC Construction noticed the shortage of black technical graduates entering the industry. He identified that students were already disadvantaged at school level, particularly in the poor Maths and Science Bachelor Pass rates and had no post-schooling provisions to support students’ career aspirations to enter the built environment. Originating in the Western Cape, in 2015 the programme expanded to Gauteng and Eastern Cape.

The 4-phased programme was created to act as a skills development pipeline, advancing black students’ performance in Maths and Science at some of South Africa’s poorest schools as identified by one of Go for Gold’s partners, the Department of Education. Qualifying students must express a strong interest in pursuing technical vocations, have adequate Maths and Science marks and be dedicated to joining the industry.

Once enrolled in Phase 1, students receive two years of intensive Maths and Science tuition in Grades 11 and 12, Leadership Development (Life Skills) training and enjoy numerous site visits and presentations by technical professionals from 24 Go for Gold partner companies. Once matriculated, the programme and partner companies sustain post-schooling opportunities for the students through paid internships (Phase 2) that help these young adults determine their course of study, based on practical exposure to the industry prior to entering tertiary institutions (Phase 3), therefore suitably utilizing bursaries at tertiary institutions. Once graduated, partner companies enjoy retaining their investment by employing the students they have supported since Grade 11. Each phase of the programme benefits industry partners whom each year aim to meet their transformational and human capital needs for technical professionals.

Go for Gold, a registered NPO and a structured programme under the Construction and DTI Codes, has received international recognition and numerous awards over the last 20 years. However, the success of the programme would not be possible without the progressive built environment companies who have proven they are passionate about transformation and have partnered with the programme. These include, but not limited to, Martin & East, Stefanutti Stocks, Haw & Inglis, Concor, Civils 2000, PERI Formworks, Sutherland Engineers, dhk Architects, Power Group, Aveng-GrinakerLTA, CSV Construction, Mokwena Surfacing, Triamic Construction, Danoher, Axsys Projects, Amandla Construction, W Unser Construction, Esor Construction, Smart Civils, iKusasa Rail, R&N Master Builders, Kew Maintenance, Grindrod Rail and Burger and Wallace. Education partners include the Department of Education, Star Schools Programme, Kutlwanong Centre for Maths, Science and Technology, Routes to Resilience and all tertiary institutions in the Western Cape and Gauteng regions. The Go for Gold board carries representation by heads of industry from the built environment, alumni and the Department of Education who ensure the organization stays aligned with industry needs and norms.

At a time where South Africa’s youth unemployment problem is still a contentious issue and our President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged the private sector to support youth development, the Go for Gold Education-to-Employment programme is South Africa’s best kept secret. While continuing to provide tangible solutions to numerous Sustainable Development Goals, the future of Go for Gold will entail growing and diversifying the number of partner companies to support hundreds more deserving youth. Go for Gold plans to welcome other industries that require technical professionals, including the manufacturing sector and companies asserting careers in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Source Engineering News

Nigeria: Quality Education Key To Youth Development – Nya-Etok

By Leadership.ng (Ruth Natsa)

Politician and Social Housing crusader, Architect Ezekiel Nya-Etok has stressed the need for Nigeria to restrategize their development plan and focus on quality education in the North

He stressed that this was because quality education is the bedrock of every development.

Architect Nya- Etok said the youth in northern Nigeria are extremely technological and very resourceful stressed the need to harness this resourcefulness and lead them to be part of the sustainable development of the country”

He noted that Northern Youths experience difficulties in getting the education and empowerment they deserved noting that one of the most crucial challenges facing the North was preparing her young for the future.

The Architect cum politician stated this during an award ceremony organised by the Northern Youth Council of Nigeria where he was awarded with the Sir Ahmadu Bello Leadership award in Abuja.

He appealed to the Elders and Leaders of the North to give the youth the Level Of Education and empowerment they deserved.

“On a serous note I think the time has come when we want to look at issues affecting northern Nigeria youth and know that whatever happen to one happen to all calling on all leaders and elders in all over Nigeria North, South, East and West to stand up for the youth.”

“ l want to tell the elders in the north that we respect them but the time has come when you need to realised that the youth have something to offer, the time has come when you’ll believe that the youth are in succession planning, the time has come when you will realise that the youth in the Northern Nigeria do not only belong to you, they all belong to all of us because Nigeria is one country whatever happen to one happen to all .

He stressed that “We will not allow the resourcefulness of the youth of Northern Nigeria to lay on tight we are all going to synergies and network to make sure we bring the resourcefulness of the youth out and together we are going to form a country where there is no diversity because I am sick and tired of religion dividing us we have to come to the realisation that if we want to have one Nigeria, we have it indeed.”

He maintained that people did not understand that the youths are enlightened because they go on social media, read about what is happening to their contemporaries.

Kenya: Youth Survey Shows Perception Of Safety, Police And Educators

By Kpbs.org (Priya Sridhar)

Halima Musa and her cousins are part of a group called City Heights Youth for Change, made up mostly of first generation African refugee students from City Heights. In the past few years, the group has worked to get halal food into San Diego schools so kids could have healthy and culturally appropriate choices. They also worked to get voter registration numbers up in their neighborhood.

Now, the group has completed a survey of 300 City Heights young people to document how they view their community.

Musa and her cousins moved to City Heights from Kenya as young kids. Now, the young women are in college and have made it their mission to be ambassadors of City Heights to the rest of San Diego.

“Most of the time when the media comes into City Heights it’s only to report on stuff that’s bad. But when youth are being involved in political action or being involved in their school nobody’s really there to showcase it and let people know that the youth in City Heights are really invested in their community,” Musa said.

She says they wanted to control the dialogue about where they grew up and let local leaders know what the next generation thinks they need to focus on.

“We felt that as City Heights youth, we are never really at the forefront of telling what City Heights is like. So we wanted to get other input from youth like us and get them to tell us how they feel City Heights can be improved or how it is now,” she said.

Their latest survey took almost two years to complete. The group looked at young people’s feelings towards law enforcement and educators and safety in their community.

They found that as City Heights youth got older, their relationships with law enforcement became more negative. They also found that young men were more likely to have a negative relationship with police than young women.

“Most of the younger kids that were the same age as me, they don’t really trust the police either because of the conflicts that happen between the youth and the police officers,” said Sahra Mkoma, a member of City Heights Youth for Change and Musa’s cousin.

Not all of the findings were negative, Musa says she was surprised by some of the positive perceptions young people had of City Heights, like the way they saw their teachers.

“We found that most students feel like their teachers are really engaged in what they’re learning and they’re really helping them throughout the process in helping them become better students and better people. But they just don’t have the resources to make sure that their students are actually successful,” she said.

The other big takeaway — the young women hope gets the attention of City Heights leaders — is the youth’s perception of safety in their community. They found that as young people got older, they tended to feel less safe. They also found that young people felt the least safe in parks around schools in City Heights.

“People feel like schools, specifically parks surrounded by schools, are the most unsafe parts of the community, which I feel like should change because that’s usually where kids spend their time,” Musa said.

Isha Mkoma, Musa’s other cousin says even though City Heights needs some improvements she wants the rest of San Diego to know how great her neighborhood is.

“It’s a great community to live in, the people are very friendly, it’s very diverse and everybody … once you tell them to come to a place they will all be helpful, they’re very helpful around here,” Mkoma said.

Education: Dubai Cares and Deyaar partner to build community school in Malawi

By Meconstructionnews.com (Gavin David)

Dubai Cares and Deyaar, a Dubai-based property developer, have announced a partnership to improve access to education for children in the south-eastern African country of Malawi.

According to a report by WAM, the two sides signed an agreement that will see the developer work with Dubai Cares to build a community-based school in Malawi. Construction on the project is set to start in 2020, it added.

Deyaar has previously collaborated with Dubai Cares to build schools in Nepal and Senegal.

“We may be a UAE company, but we believe that our responsibility to do good and give back extends beyond the borders of our country,” said Saeed Al Qatami, CEO of Deyaar.

“Dubai Cares has provided us with several opportunities in recent years to make a real difference in the lives of hundreds of families in communities in need of support, and we are honoured to be able to make a positive impact on a Malawian community through this new project.”

As a UAE-based philanthropic organisation, Dubai Cares has played a key role in helping to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning by 2030, by supporting programs in early childhood development, access to quality primary and secondary education and vocational education and training for youths.

To date, the organisation has supported education programs in Afghanistan, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Comoros Islands, Colombia, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe

“We are excited to once again have Deyaar supporting our Adopt a School initiative. The ability to contribute towards changing children and young people’s lives requires collaborative efforts from across the community, and that is why we value the support of companies in the UAE, with Deyaar being one of the most prominent examples,” said Tariq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares.

“I am also confident that this opportunity will offer Deyaar’s volunteers a unique insight into our programs in developing countries and the chance to leave a positive and meaningful impact on underprivileged communities,” he added.

Earlier this month, Deyaar announced its financial results for Q1 2019, ended March 31, 2019. It reported revenues of $47.8 million and a net profit of $4.98 million.

In a statement at the time, Deyaar said that the Q1 2019 revenues were consistent with Q1 2018, which was $48 million. Deyaar’s project pipeline includes several handovers in 2019.

Nigeria: Don canvasses for skills, competency for youth

By Ibrahim Musa Giginyu

The Director, Centre for Gender Studies, Bayero University Kano, Professor Aisha Abdul Isma’il has said the only way to reduce the level of unemployment among youths is through ensuring acquisition of skills, knowledge and competency to enable them make informed decision in their chosen career.

She said this in a paper she presented on ‘Career Guidance for sustainable development in Nigeria: youth employability as the way forward’ which she presented during a roundtable discussion organised by the Centre and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

Professor Aisha stated that there was a need for youth to acquire a life skill training that will equip them to be able to be able to display competency not only in their certificates but also in the job they do as either employers or employees.

“The high level of unemployment especially among the youths in Nigeria can be addressed when youth acquired a life skill training that will equip them to be able to be able to display competency not only in their certificates but also in the job they do,” she said.

Programme Manager, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Nigeria, Ms Angela Odeh said the foundation has been in Africa since 2010 adding that it has been working mostly in the Niger-Delta region.

It is in its pioneering stage of commencing its work in the Norther part of Nigeria adding that the foundation has been delivering critical research on neoliberal capitalism, produces analytic work on political strategy, policy among others.

Source Daily Trust

Preparing Africa’s Graduates For Today’s Jobs

…Experts call for modernising school curricula to match a rapidly changing labour market

By Raphael Obonyo

Many Africans with advanced qualifications are finding their university degrees are just not enough to land a job in the current market.

Ruth Rono graduated from Chuka University, Kenya, in 2015 with first-class honours. Without a job after many years of trying, Ms. Rono was forced to take menial jobs such as working on people’s farms.

Down south, Banji Robert bagged a bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Zambia in 2016 and would have gladly accepted an entry-level job in one of those fields. Two years later, without success, a frustrated Mr. Robert is now a cashier in a grocery store.

“It is not easy to pay bills, let alone start a family,” Mr. Robert, 25, told Africa Renewal. “The pressure is too much when you have education but no job.”

A graduate of development studies, Robert Sunday Ayo, 26, finds himself in a similar situation. “It is sad and very frustrating that it is not possible to find work, even with my kind of résumé,” he says regretfully, adding that he now drives a taxi in Abuja, Nigeria.

Africa Renewal interviewed dozens of young people across the continent who expressed dismay that their education is not propelling them toward their career aspirations.

Basic skills
One of the reasons for graduate unemployment is that “far too many youths across sub-Saharan Africa emerge from school without the basic skills to advance in their lives,” says Siddarth Chatterjee, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kenya. “It means there is something not working regarding investment in education.”

In general, some 60% of Africa’s unemployed are youth, according to the World Bank, and many are resorting to crime, radicalisation, or the often-perilous migration journey across the Mediterranean to Europe in search of greener pastures, says Mr. Chatterjee.

And because of increasing automation, the situation for graduates could worsen in the coming years.

According to the Accra-based African Center for Economic Transformation, a policy think tank, almost 50% of current university graduates in Africa do not get jobs.

The root cause of the problem is a mismatch between the education they are getting and labour market needs, maintains Sarah Anyang Agbor, the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology.

Joseph Odunga, who has taught mathematics in Kenya and Botswana, agrees. “The lessons we used to teach in the 1990s are the same course content we are teaching today,” he says, implying that current education curricula for some subjects are outdated.

That view is shared by Ms. Agbor, who says that, “It is generally true that in most countries [in Africa], education systems have been geared toward getting a qualification rather than acquiring skills and competences that will enhance successful integration into the world of work.”

Promising sectors
While some complain of the difficulty in finding a job, sectors such as construction, manufacturing, digital economy, transport, banking, medical care and engineering continue to need skilled candidates, says Anne-Elvire Esmel, a strategic communications officer with the AfroChampions Initiative, which promotes Africa’s homegrown companies.

The mismatch between labour market needs and the skills of many graduates in Africa is underscored by the Kenyan government’s recent launch of the “Competency-Based Curriculum,” which integrates digital technologies to teach students inclined toward information and communications technology the skills they’ll need to enter the digital apps industry that is expanding rapidly in the country.

Ms. Esmel would like countries to develop “more theoretical courses adapted to problem solving with regards to economic challenges, providing graduates with practical skills for the labour market and investing in STEM—sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics—which is not sufficiently done at present.”

Her organization proposes an Africa-focused infrastructure plan that uses local skills to implement projects.

“We have massive infrastructure needs and ought to provide opportunities to a huge young population over the next decade,” Ms. Esmel says. She stresses the need for competent artisans and technicians in the building and construction industry and in power and energy plants.

The snag, however, is that “technical vocational education and training [TVET] is stigmatized as a second-rate learning track, despite its capacity to promote the acquisition and development of entrepreneurial and innovative skills for self-employment,” laments Mr. Chatterjee.

With adequate allocation of resources, he says “modernizing teaching and learning facilities in TVET institutions, as well as training and continuous professional development of TVET teachers” will be possible.

Overall, sub-Saharan Africa spends 5% of its GDP on education. In 2015, in Incheon, South Korea, the World Education Forum adopted a declaration that requires countries to commit 4%–6% of their GDP or 15%–20% of their public expenditures to education. UNESCO organised the forum with support of other UN entities and the World Bank.

A recent report shows Zimbabwe, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and Senegal have met or surpassed the 6%-of-GDP target, while South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Uganda and Madagascar, among others, spend less than 2.5% of their GDP on education.

Another concern is that a high proportion of education spending (an average of 85%) is recurrent, including 56% expended on wages.

Kenya’s former Cabinet Secretary for Education, Amina Mohammed, is less critical of Africa’s education systems, saying, “Most education systems have inbuilt skill development curricula. That is why over the years most African countries have developed human capital that is driving development agenda.”

In an interview with Africa Renewal, Ms. Mohammed said, “Unemployment itself is not a function of the education systems and skills alone. There are many other factors that lead to unemployment, ranging from sociopolitical stability, economic structures, and global dynamics, together with the general economic growth of the countries.”

Africa needs job creators
Ms. Mohammed suggests Africa mostly needs job creators—namely entrepreneurs. “We need African Silicon Valleys sprouting across the continent. Economies that thrive around the world are built on the foundation of an enabling environment for entrepreneurship to flourish.

“Global multinationals such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and WhatsApp employ hundreds of thousands of people, directly and indirectly,” adds Ms. Mohammed.

Many are looking forward to an African Continental Free Trade Area, a single pan-African market for goods and services expected to go into force in the coming months, which will enable skilled young Africans to move freely within markets in search of jobs.

Still, Aya Chebbi, the AU’s youth envoy, says that without the right skills, the youth may reap little from the continent’s economic integration. She echoes others calling for the continent’s education curricula to be updated to align with the current labour market.

Ms. Chebbi says young people can hone their entrepreneurial skills if they focus on science, technology, engineering, entrepreneurship and mathematics and have access to on-the-job training.

In December 2018, Morocco hosted the first African Forum on Vocational Training. The aim was to create a model of partnership among African countries to promote access to vocational training for youth. The forum signaled that African countries are attaching increasing importance to vocational training.

The private sector must complement governments’ efforts, advises Ms. Esmel.

Ms. Agbor agrees: “The private sector needs to be strongly linked to the education and training systems to meet labour market needs.” He encourages companies to offer young people apprenticeships, internships, mentorships and even skills certification programs.

Source Modern Ghana

Nigeria: Fayemi admonishes youths on good reading culture

The wife of Ekiti Governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi has advised Nigerian youths to develop good reading habit that would stimulate their intellect and thinking faculties.

Fayemi gave the advice on Tuesday at the 2019 World Reading Day in Ado Ekiti.

She told the gathering of youths that sustainable growth and development can only be achieved through adequate and continuous pursuit of knowledge. She, however, decried the negligence of youths towards reading, saying that the behaviour had negatively impacted on Nigeria development process. ‘We have been shown cont

‘We have been shown continuously that girl-child education drives development’

The wife of the governor said it was sad that youths now give prominence to frivolities, rather than engaging in activities capable of sharpening their intelligence and reasoning through reading.

She said the present administration will soon embark on building of public library to support quality education in the state.

Fayemi also advocated for the incorporation of sex education into the country’s school curriculum, saying that this would open up children knowledge on sex and prevent abuse.

She explained that one of the major problems facing Nigeria parents and children was the shame and the secrecy in discussing sex matters.

She said efforts should be geared towards sensitising children on sex education at various ages and what they should expect as it relates to puberty as they grow.

Source Vanguard Nigeria

Students are Algeria’s pride

By Yacine M

On Tuesday the 16th of April, thousands of students braved the streets of Algiers and other cities to demand the fall of the corrupt regime. They are Algeria’s unsung heroes.

Algerians can be proud, very proud of their youth. Despite the repeated attempts by Algeria’s prime minister Noureddine Bedoui, potentially the Mexican cartels’ African connection, as we’ve seen in a recent article and to a large extent Algeria’s Baltaji-in-chief, to intimidate our youths using brutal and treasonous methods, their unflinching mobilisation not only remained intact but increased as we’ve witnessed during Tuesday’s demonstrations.

Let me let you something right off the bat, these same secret service officers if faced with a real trained police force, would put their weapons on the floor, hide and beg for mercy, just as we saw during the Iraq invasion with Saddam’s “elite” forces. They act tough only when facing unarmed civilians, children and women.

In the western world, the secret service are tasked with countering foreign threats, they’re at the forefront of the nation’s defence apparatus, in Algeria, they are instrumentalised by a bunch of coward, corrupt traitors at the head of the state, to intimidate political opponents, or in this case, teenagers.

In the western world, students don’t have to deal with this kind of BS, they are cherished and rightfully so as they represent the future of a nation. In Algeria, they’ve been attacked, abducted and humiliated by the Algerian police forces, police forces which instead of dealing with real crime, as in any respectable nation, have been tasked with viciously targeting what is essentially teenagers.

Today marked another milestone in the Algerian government’s rapid fall to the bottom of the barrel, secret service elements were sent to kidnap students at Algiers’ main law school, they were bravely chased off (like some kind of rodents) by the courageous students and had to promptly get back in their blacked out SUVs to slogans such as “Dégage” which translates to “f*** off”.

We, as Algerians, must be grateful for our amazing youths, be them students or simply the youths marginalised by the corrupt regime. We thank you for your courage, maturity and patriotism. You will always be remembered and your names will be forever engraved in Algeria’s history books, unlike most members of the Algerian regime who will forever be remembered as traitors.

Source Algiers Herald

Mauritius Government Priorities In Students

Mauritius government has reiterated its commitment in ensuring the social and emotional well-being of students in the country.

Addressing Head boys and Head girls of colleges from different zones at the Polytechnics Mauritius in Montagne Blanche earlier on today, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, emphasised the importance for the youth to discover their capabilities and unlock their potentials in various fields.

“The Mauritian youth will be called upon to assume major roles in reshaping the nation’s future and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. It is essential to equip them with life-long learning opportunities and equip them with skills for life,” he said.

Jugnauth noted that career pathways in the fields of Technical and Vocational Education and Training should be highly encouraged in order to keep pace with emerging technologies. He further added that various reforms in the education and training sector were in line with Sustainable Development Goal 4 which aims at ensuring an inclusive and equitable quality education.

“Free tertiary education, Nine-Year Basic Continuous Education Programme, introduction of Holistic Education Programme, Afterschool Sports and Fitness Programme and Emotional and Social Well-being Programme, are few examples of reforms brought in a bid to ensure the positive overall development of learners,” he explained.

The Prime Minister cautioned the students about social ills like juvenile delinquency, drug scourge and the misuse of internet, urging them to seek advice and guidance from their elders and parents and make cautious choices at the different stages of their life.

Source African Daily Voice

South Africa: National Youth Development Agency Welcomes Decision to Settle NSFAS Students’ Historic Debts


The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor to allocate nearly a billion rands for scrapping historical debts for National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funded students.

Executive Chairperson of the NYDA, Mr Sifiso Mtsweni has applauded Minister Pandor and says that “The decision is in line with meeting the demands of students across institutions of higher learning who have been raising this issue for many years, as historic debt served as the basis for exclusion of students from poor and working-class background”.

We commend the bold decisive action by the Ministry that will see over 52 414 NSFAS funded continuing student complete their studies within projected record time.

“We are confident that this decision will enable access and success since students will be able to continue with their studies and change their lives for the better” added Mtsweni

Issued by: National Youth Development Agency

Source South African Government