A partnership between Dublin City University, the African Union Commission, Finland’s Foreign Ministry and the UN Global eSchools & Communities Initiative (GeSCI) has seen 180 future leaders from sub-Saharan African countries graduate today with a pioneering new leadership qualification from DCU. The Graduate Diploma in Leadership Development in ICT & the Knowledge Society will enable them to become change-makers in government, with a focus on influencing the policy-making necessary for social and economic development on the African continent.
The programme is a bespoke professional blended (online and face-to-face) learning programme designed and delivered by Dublin City University in conjunction with the Global eSchools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI) and supported by the African Union Commission and the Finnish Foreign Ministry. 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, and ICT policy-making and planning, the course strengthens career advancement opportunities, enhances policy implementation and planning skills and provides a leadership toolkit for the knowledge society.
Presiding at the graduation ceremony in Nairobi, President of DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith said,
“For the first time in recent history, this Continent has the means to effect real economic and social improvements for her people. Government and public services will be absolutely central to your success or failure. 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, time and time again, that such an approach does not work. African Leadership in ICT is about empowering African leaders. It 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 delivering and accrediting this ground-breaking programme.”
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, HE Dr Elhan MA Ibrahim, African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy spoke of the strategic importance of the programme which is aligned with both the African Regional Action Plan for Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE) and the EU-Africa 8th Strategic Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space,
“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.”
Jerome Morrissey, CEO of GeSCI said,
“Our partnership with DCU will make a tangible contribution to the social and economic development of African Countries over the coming years. The DCU/GESCI AUC programme has captured the attention of the continent and will be offered throughout Africa."
Academics Dr. Yvonne Crotty and Dr. Margaret Farren of DCU's School of Education Studies spearheaded this unique initiative in collaboration with the Global eSchools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI). It is anticipated that the programme will shortly be rolled out across the entire African continent. Participants to date have represented South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Mauritius, Malawi, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Namibia and Mozambique. Programme participants can continue their studies by taking the Master in Education and Training Management (eLearning) at DCU.