On Friday, 5th July 2013, in one of the largest African Union Commission (AUC) initiatives in professional development, 213 mid-to-senior level Government and public sector officials from eight African countries graduated from a bespoke leadership course implemented by GESCI (Founded by the UN ICT Task Force) titled African Leadership in ICT (ALICT) and Knowledge Society Development. The ALICT course, which attracted several hundred applicants from 12 selected countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, is a bespoke 7 month professional blended learning course (online and face- to- face) designed and delivered by GESCI (Global e-Schools and Communities’ Initiative). The course is 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 (STI), and ICT policy making and planning. “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” said H.E. Dr. Elham M.A. Ibrahim, Commissioner, Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission.
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African Leadership in ICTAfrican Leadership in ICT (ALICT) is an African Union Commission initiative, supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and implemented by GESCI (Founded by the UN ICT Task Force). ALICT is being implemented across eight African cuntries: Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique. This second phase of implementation will conclude at the end of May 2013. ALICT was successfully implemented across five African countries between January and August 2012: Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia and Mauritius.
Rationale for ALICT course
Policy incoherence and misalignment in the Education, ICT, Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) sectors, and a lack of effective leadership to address this issue, has been identified as one of the greatest obstacles to the development of knowledge societies in Africa. Socio-economic development depends on well developed and implementable Education, ICT and STI policies that compliment one another and advance each sector’s goals. The ALICT course will build the capacity of future African leaders to contribute effectively to the development of knowledge societies by imparting new leadership skills to them. These new leadership skills will provide participants with the attitudes, ideas, management tools, and strategies to act as change agents, assisting their ministries and organisations to develop coherent and well aligned polices in Education, ICT and STI.
Equalising opportunity for women
“In this programme the African leadership in ICT (ALICT) Programme is supporting such government initiatives by having set a target of graduating at least 30% of women leaders in the public sector from every cohort of participants recruited. In the first 2 cohorts the programme has been exceeding the target by a small percentage and halfway through the 3rd cohort retained the same percentage female participation.
In addition, the Programme has been designed and is implemented in such a way to ensure that women leaders receive the support they need to be complete the course successfully. Women leaders are carefully monitored and followed up where challenges have been identified and both the course management, tutor teams and Student Support Officers provide constant encouragement, motivation and support to women leaders in recognition of the fact that women leaders in general face more challenges and barriers in the workplace than their male counterparts”