African Leaders in ICT Programme funded by Finland becomes a university accredited programme.
The Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GESCI) and Dublin City University (DCU) Ireland signed recently a Memorandum of Understanding to bring world-class professional development programmes to Africa’s leaders and policy makers.
Under the partnership between GESCI and DCU, participants undertaking the African Leaders in ICT (ALICT) course will be eligible for the award of a Graduate Diploma or Masters in Leadership in ICT and the Knowledge Society. Further programmes will be jointly developed by GESCI and DCU targeting leaders, policy makers and the youth in areas critical to development such as science, technology and innovation, education and vocational training and skills development.
This African leadership programme is an initiative of the African Union Commission and is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland in the context of Finland’s vision for Knowledge Society development in Africa.
The core focus of the programme is building the leadership capacities of present and future African Leaders to enable them to become change makers in government and to participate in and influence the kind of central policy making necessary for socio-economic development in a Knowledge Society context.
At the moment, the ALICT course is running in 5 countries with 84 participants due to successfully complete the programme - Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa and Mauritius. Another seven countries are expected to commence in October 2012 with 200 participants: Malawi, Botswana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Namibia and Mozambique.
"Collaboration with DCU will give the government leaders participating in the programme an internationally-recognized university qualification as well as the practical knowledge underpinning policy and strategy development as African countries work towards becoming knowledge societies”, saidJerome Morrissey, CEO of GESCI.
Demand for the programme is very strong from middle to high level managers from ministries and government agencies in charge of planning, science and technology, innovation and research, education and applied technology. The course is delivered in a blended way over seven months with participants completing most of the course online and some face to face workshop sessions during the seven months. The blended nature of the course means that full-time working professionals have the opportunity to undertake the course no matter where they are without having to travel outside their respective countries or even offices and homes.
“This partnership shows clearly what the DCU mission ‘to transform lives and societies through education, research and innovation’ is all about. The initiative with the Global eSchools and Communities Initiative will clearly show that mission in action across Africa”, the DCU President, Brian MacCraith, stated.
Finland provides technical assistance to the ALICT – Helena Tapper is the Program Manager and Juho Mikkonen is the blended learning Expert of the program.