Former President John Mahama has called for re-engineering of the curriculum of University education in Africa to stimulate accelerated development if the continent is to remain competitive and relevant in the global space of skills acquisition and training.
He identified the mismatch nature curriculum bequeathed the continent from colonial mastership, which currently under-rights the content of syllabi at the Universities.
Speaking on the “Future of Work and Industrialisation” on the sidelines of the 53rd Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank in Busan, South Korea, Mr Mahama said churning out graduates of humanities for example in large droves would not unlock the quest for accelerated industrialisation in Africa.
It was on the theme, “Accelerating Africa’s Industrialisation,” which is underpinned by the Bank’s High 5 strategy including light up and power Africa, feed Africa and improve the quality of life of Africans.
He said stringent measures should be instituted to achieve a 70 by 30 parity in the sciences against the humanities to place the continent in pole-position to advance economically, socially and in the fields of science and technology, which is the catalyst to reaching accelerated development of the continent.
Mr Mahama said Africa was ready to break into the legion of industrialised continent, when the right pillars of development was activated and matched-up to the global competition even in the face of deployment of hitech artificial intelligence and robotics saying “we can start at our own pace and leverage to succeed.
“Rethinking Africa’s development paradigm will lead us to the desired destination.”
Mr Ken Ofori-Attah, Minister of Finance, also a panellists said stakeholders in Africa should pursue radically reforms in education pedagogy especially teaching programmes in entrepreneurship to jump-start changing the psyche of students to leapfrog Africa’s industrial.
He said political stability, investment in infrastructure as well as in technology, energy, macro-economic stability were essential.
Mrs Kanny Diallo, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation said frequent changes of governments and non-adherence to time-bound blueprints or development plans even makes Africa’s quest to notch accelerated development looking remote.
She insists huge investments in the agricultural sector and harnessing of the gains in the mining industry could be ploughed into the social services sector would enhance development in the agri-business value-chain to generate the necessary jobs for the youth.
She said long-term planning and solutions would assist the private sector to partner state institutions to absorb the defenceless and teeming youths with skills of engagements.