Capacity Building Teachings in Our Schools
In his classic book “Whose reality counts?” An academic, Robert Chambers who is based at the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex, argues for a totally new way of thinking about and doing ‘development’, calling for a complete shift towards approaches that are more community-driven and process-orientated. He says we shouldn’t settle for neatly designed projects executed by government agencies or big NGOs.
That brings us to the crux of the matter- the need for Participatory Development towards achieving widespread National Productivity across Africa.
I am strongly convinced with every sense of modesty that before Participatory Development can be rooted in Africa, the core of the subject and its essence should be constantly rendered through capacity building teachings in our schools at all levels and perhaps periodic public gatherings by ‘we’ the advocates of the cause.
We can attest to the general discontent with the status quo of widespread underdevelopment culminated by a worrisome level of youth unemployment, underemployment and poverty which has been sustained probably by the passive stance of our people especially our youths to governance issues.
It is common knowledge that development entails having a community of people who are striving towards making it possible for all its members to satisfy their basic human needs and enhance the quality of their lives. As it stands, development on the African continent may not take place or be fully rooted if all the stake holders are not involved in the process hence, the need for participation.
In the year 2015, I have seen it through my crystal ball that Africa is yearning for development much more than ever especially when most of its countries are far behind in the millennium development goals (MDG-2015); a development that will enhance total National Productivity and improve the quality of life of its citizens.
Thus, the Participatory Development paradigm I am of the view has increasingly been associated with the local population and their aspirations to make decisions affecting their own lives. Central to these aspirations is their desire to plan and participate in the identification, planning and management of their societal needs; in order words, having a voice in governance and by implication National productivity.
Consequently, improving National productivity in various African countries points the way to achieving substantial and sustained reduction in poverty and youth unemployment. Recently, based on my findings, I infered that most African countries have been able to create only a few high productivity jobs not because they wish to but perhaps as a result of disconnect with grassroots solutions that can give a blue ocean strategy.
For your information, high productivity jobs can be created in the Manufacturing, Agricultural, construction/ Housing, Mining, Telecommunication and Information Technology sectors if the right technologies are applied and perhaps government interventions.
We do not stop there; there is also a need to increase the number of high productivity workers to fill those jobs. High productivity workers will drive labour productivity index of the total National productivity metric. I have described such workers as PICA TM compliant, based on the research our company completed recently. It is interesting to know that a PICA TM compliant worker is one who works at a very fast Pace, deliverers Innovation while planning for tasks or projects and during execution, is Cost-Saving in his approach to tasks or projects while planning and during execution and delivers all tasks with high-quality Accuracy and excellence in line with international best practices and clients’ expectations.
In profering solutions to the current passive Participatory Development trend, I am putting forward the following interventions that all stakeholders in the Participatory Development web ought to implement with the chunk of the responsibilty resting on the shoulders of the government; with each one having a direct role. The role of other stakeholders is more of advocacy, capacity and support role.
They include: Attracting foreign firms that can generate high productivity jobs, removal of barriers to foreign and local investments, spurring highly productive firms to expand, investing in highly productive jobs, closing the skill-set gap through revamping the educational system and its currilum at all levels to suit present and future opportunities.
In conclusion, removing the afformentioned impediments of poor National governance, poor education, and restrictive economic environments in African countries which fuels widespread poverty and youth unemployment in Africa is a hugely daunting task. This calls for community participation of various stakeholders including Governments at all levels, NGOs, CBOs, youths, Women, Men, etc via Advocacy- using social media and old media. Others include; capacity building, stakeholder engagement and Empowerment.
There is no gain saying therefore that, national development and National Productivty in our dear Africa cannot be accomplished without partnership and active participation of other key stakeholders at the community level.
In the words of Calvin Coolidge “All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work”.