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RETHINKING AFRICA’S EDUCATION SYSTEMS- I

RETHINKING AFRICA’S EDUCATION SYSTEMS- I

According to the World Population Review, Africa is estimated to have a population of approximately 1.34 billion people. Of these, 41% are under the age of 15, which means that there are about 549.4 million Africans of school-going age. As the second-largest and second most-populous continent, it is also home to the youngest population in the world.  These young men and women are the future of Africa, but their future is also uncertain. Due to major limitations in education and other mitigating factors, the students of Africa fight an uphill battle to obtain their education.

Here are 10 facts about schools in Africa:

1.  In 2010, there were still approximately 9 million children of primary school age unable to attend schools in Africa due to various reasons.

2.  Girls, nomadic peoples, orphans, children with disabilities, children affected by HIV/AIDS, children affected by armed conflict, and children affected by natural disasters are at particular risk of missing out on education. Young girls are in significant danger due to the threat of bodily injury and sexual abuse while traveling to and from school.

3.  For every two children who attend school in Africa, one will drop out before graduating.

4.  Approximately 8 of the 10 countries with the lowest primary enrollment rates are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, 33 million primary school-aged children in Africa do not go to school.

5.  Many schools are located far away from children’s homes. Only 7 in 10 children who live in rural areas will ever set foot in a school. Secondary schools can only accommodate 36% of students of age and qualification.

6.  Regional primary enrollment rates now stand at 89% for boys and 86% for girls.

7.  Rates for secondary school enrollment are significantly lower than primary schools. Regional enrollment averages 32% for boys and 29% for girls and many do not actually attend school. Approximately 28% of both boys and girls will attend secondary schools in Africa.

8.  Enrollment in percent education programs is expanding throughout Africa. It nearly doubled between 1999 and 2012.

9.  Primary school attendance has more than doubled between 1999 and 2012. Enrollment rose from 62 million to 149 million during this time.

10.  Parents often can’t afford the cost of education, including books, uniforms, and tuition fees for their children to attend schools in Africa. In response, 15 countries have abolished school fees since 2000, enabling more children to attend primary school.

The facts above show the challenges faced in the course of getting an education in Africa, as well as measures, are taken to address them and improvements made. So while there is the problem of access to education, there is also the problem of quality of education. This has become imperative given the 4th Industrial Revolution which will be driven by data analytics, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc. The questions is: can Africa’s education systems as currently structured prepare its teeming young population to compete in a global world dominated by technology? The answer is a resounding no. It, therefore, behooves on African policymakers to begin to rejig our education systems to meet this challenge.

We suggest the following ways to help boost education on the continent:

1. “Catch Them Young”
It’s a phrase that’s always used when talking about identifying talent. A child’s brain is still developing and is thus easily able to adapt to new information. Exposure has proven to be critical in the development of new talent. For example, Bill Gates had the opportunity of attending a school that had a computer at a time when even universities didn’t have any. He and his friends exhausted their allotted time using it and he ended up learning programming as a teenager and the rest is history.

To raise a generation of tech compliant kids, we must start early. Primary schools should begin to have coding classes. However, there are many challenges to this. Top is having teachers with knowledge of code, able or willing to go to schools to teach. This is where e-learning comes in.

2. Digital Learning
The only way to have a continent-wide mass adoption of tech education will be by going digital. Courses can be created in the simplest of language, being very practical and very graphic that can be shown in schools across the continent, given that most homes don’t have an internet connection, may not have a television, and may not have access to electricity or struggle with epileptic supply. Courses can be done in the lingua franca, given that most of sub-Saharan Africa speak one of 3 languages (English, French, and Portuguese). Multilateral agencies, aid organizations, philanthropic organizations, and the organized private sector can contribute by helping schools with facilities needed e.g. TVs, computers, solar power, desks, etc. Governments should modify the curriculum and give directives to support the initiative.

3. A New Educational Model
Dedicating time to test score and achievements are no longer a useful way to educate the next generation according to the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Students should practice teamwork, leadership, and critical thinking and also be put through on important financial, health, and administrative skills. They should also gain exposure to entrepreneurship projects. This shift away from standardized learning will prepare students to make a positive impact on the social and economic well being of their communities.

The above is by no means an extensive dissection on how the education system should be revamped, but these are the ways that would bring about positive and long-lasting change to the current system.

Trump

Trump administration acknowledges likely election loss, agrees to transition with Biden

Trump administration seems to have officially commenced the transition to Biden after weeks of delay and law suits.

President Trump leaves Walter Reed Hospital

The Donald Trump administration seems to have acknowledged the loss of the presidential election as the General Services Administration (GSA), after weeks of non-cooperation has informed President-elect, Joe Biden that the administration is ready to begin the formal transition process.

According to a report from CNN, this was disclosed in a letter from the Administrator of DSA, Emily Murphy on Monday afternoon, November 23, 2020.

The letter is the first major step taken by the Trump administration to acknowledge its defeat in the presidential election after over 2 weeks that Joe Biden was declared the winner.

Monday’s letter is coming hours after Michigan formally certified the election results and some Republican senators had called for the transition process to start. This is also as more lawsuits from Trump’s legal team were dismissed, and Georgia election earlier certified on Friday and Pennsylvania set to be certified as well.

While making the decision to cooperate with the President-elect, Murphy said she had not been pressured by the White House to delay the formal transition and did not make a decision out of fear or favoritism.

She said, “Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official, including those who work at the White House or GSA, with regard to the substance or timing of my decision. To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination.”

The letter signifies Murphy’s formal acknowledgment of Joe Biden’s victory, a normally perfunctory process known as ascertainment. This action will allow the transition process, which has been delayed for some weeks, to officially commence, ensuring that current administration agency officials cooperate with the incoming Biden team, and providing millions in government funding for the transition.

For some weeks after his announcement as the winner of the presidential election, the Biden team who have been denied access to government information and agencies by the Trump administration, had worked informally to kick start the transition process with some actions which include setting up a coronavirus task force, consulting with public health officials outside the government, meeting with top corporate leaders, amongst others.

The delay in ascertainment meant that Biden’s team was denied access to government data and could not make contact with federal agencies, nor spend $6.3 million in government funding now available for the transition. A Biden official said the most urgent need was for the transition to be given access to Covid-19 data and the vaccine distribution plans.

The Biden team is expected to have access to additional office space inside the agencies and the ability to use federal resources for background checks on Biden’s White House staff appointments and Cabinet appointments.

Moments after the letter was sent, Donald Trump tweeted thanking Murphy for her work and affirming the decision to start the transition.

His tweet reads, “I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused — and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA. Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!” Trump tweeted. “Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.”

This letter from GSA now means that the Biden team will now have access to government agency staff with regular briefings in addition to details of administrative issues that need to be addressed immediately.

The President-elect and his vice will also be receiving classified intelligence briefings as white house officials will start to cooperate.

It can be recalled that Murphy, who was appointed by Donald Trump, had refused to go ahead with the ascertainment process, despite Biden’s clear victory. She has faced intense scrutiny and political pressure from Democrats and, in recent days, Republicans calling for the start of a smooth transition.

 

Culled from NairaMetrics

Mike Adenuga: The journey from petty trade to Conoil and Glo

From a humble start, Mike Adenuga has become one of Nigeria’s most successful entrepreneurs whose impact is being felt across the continent.

2 Telecommunication firms worst hit by vandalism

The axiom goes that “life begins at 40”, but for Mike Adenuga, the CEO of Globacom, who became a millionaire at the young age of 26, life began in his 20s. Today, he is one of Africa’s richest and holds business interests across several sectors of the economy and in various countries on the continent.

Early life

Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga was born on the 29th of April, 1953 to the family of Oloye Michael Agbolade Adenuga Snr. and Omoba Juliana Oyindamola Adenuga.

He schooled at Ibadan Grammar School and obtained his Higher School Certificate from the Comprehensive High School Aiyetoro, before travelling out for his higher education.

He got his first degree in Business Administration from North Western Oklahoma State University and his MBA from Pace University, New York.

Notwithstanding, Adenuga fondly attributes his business sense to his mother, who was also a businesswoman. Even as a student, the young Adenuga did not have things easy, and even had to hustle as a taxi driver in New York to pay for his university tuition. He also sold drinks and lace materials at one time, doing whatever business he could to raise money.

Fate smiled on him, and thanks to his numerous hustles, he made his first million in 1979 at the age of 26, and has not stopped since then. He went on to start and invest in several businesses over the years, growing his wealth to become one of the richest men in Africa.

Conoil

Adenuga saw the potentials of the booming oil industry in Nigeria and started applying for a license in the late ’80s.

However, he did not get one until a new policy was made by Professor Jubril Aminu, the Oil Minister during General Ibrahim Babangida’s regime, allowing individuals to venture into oil exploitation and exploration.

He obtained the drilling license in 1990 and started exploration with his new company, Consolidated Oil, in Ondo state.

Globacom

By the end of the 90s, as the nation returned to the democratic dispensation, Adenuga saw another potential in the telecommunication industry and acquired a conditional GSM license from the Federal Government in 1999.

After it was revoked, he obtained a second one in 2004, when the government held another auction. He used this license to found Globacom in Nigeria, which has now grown into other African countries like Benin republic, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire, with millions of subscribers.

The telecom company is considered a major competitor to the giant MTN group, and is still prospecting licenses in other West African countries.

In May 2015, Mike Adenuga made a takeover bid and acquired the Ivorian mobile telecoms operator “Comium” in Cote d’Ivoire for $600m.

Debts and scandals

In 2006, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission raided the head offices of Globacom, Equitorial Trust Bank (ETB), and Conoil, and invited Mike Adenuga for questioning about a case of money laundering. Subsequently, he was implicated and detained for money laundering.

He later left the country and went to live in London for a while until late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s regime granted him a pardon, making it possible for him to return home to Nigeria.

In June 2016, it came to the limelight that Mike Adenuga was being pursued for a combined debt of over $140.5 million by two foreign and one local company. It was reported in the news that his company Conoil had failed to pay debts owed to multiple creditors including the French oil giant, Total.

Another company owned by Adenuga, Bellbop, had an interim injunction placed on it by the High Court in Lagos, after it also failed to pay the $9.4 million owed to the US oil and gas firm, Baker Hughes. It was reported that some of the creditors had been hit so hard by the huge debts, that they had to shut down some of their operations.

A local oil servicing company, Depthwize, for instance, had been forced to lay off workers and shut down services on two of Conoil’s rigs, saying the debt of $40 million had incapacitated the company to the point that it could no longer afford the day to day running cost of working on the rigs.

Coming a short while after the business mogul increased his net worth by almost $5 billion, the scandal of course attracted a lot of criticisms.

Recognitions

Mike Adenuga carries out his philanthropic activities through the Mike Adenuga Foundation, helping people in Nigeria and other African countries.

He has received several recognitions including the African Entrepreneur of The Year at ATA in August 2007, Grand Commander Of The Order of Niger (GCON) in 2012, Companion of the Star of Ghana (CSG) in 2018, and was listed among the 100 distinguished and Eminent Nigerians Centenary Awards in 2018, amongst others.

In 2018, he was decorated with the insignia of a Commander of the Legion of Honor by President Emmanuel Macron of France.

He also holds a Yoruba Chieftaincy as the Otunba Apesin of the Ijebu clan. He owns stakes in different companies in Nigeria including Stanbic IBTC Bank and Sterling Bank.

According to Forbes recent rating, Mike Adenuga is currently worth $ 6.2billion.

 

Culled from: NairaMetrics

Dividend

N200 billion Unclaimed Dividend: Securities dealers reject FG’s plan to manage fund

ASHON has rejected plans by the Federal Government of Nigeria to manage the N200 million unclaimed dividends.

Some capital market experts, represented by the Chairman of the Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria, have rejected plans by the Federal Government of Nigeria to manage unclaimed dividends – which is projected to hit N200bn by the end of this year, according to a report by Punch.

The Chairman, Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria, Onyenwechukwu Ezeagu, explained that capital market regulators and operators had leveraged technology to put in place many initiatives to address the issue of unclaimed dividends. Some of these initiatives include de-materialization of shares, which entails upload of quoted companies share in the Central Securities Clearing System for ease of reconciliation, adoption of e-dividend and e-mandate, consolidation of multiple accounts, identity management engagements, and introduction of electronic Initial Public Offering.

What they are saying

Commenting on the recent development, Mr. Ezeagu said, “Generally, the incentives for savers and capital providers in the capital market is the expectation of dividends and capital appreciation.

“It is, therefore, our considered view that the proposed legislation, if passed, will be a great disincentive to savings, long-term capital mobilization, and serious disruption of the Nigerian economy, since it will take away the only expectation of investors in the market.”

Corroborating him, the President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Mr. Olatunde Amolegbe, said the Securities and Exchange Commission would always ensure the transfer of unclaimed dividends to the capital reserves of the company for restricted utilization, such as capital expansion and issuance of bonus shares to the company’s shareholders.

What you should know

Nairametrics had earlier reported that some law makers (Reps) raised alarm over N200 billion unclaimed dividends in 2020. In lieu of this perceived need, a proposal for the creation of an unclaimed dividend and utilized bank balance trust fund was emphasized in the 2020 Finance Bill — wherein, dividends declared and unclaimed would be warehoused and owed as a perpetual debt to shareholders.

 

 

Culled from: NairaMetrics