Top students in each group from left to right: Owike Ashipala (NMDP), Frans Engelbrecht (MDP 1 - joint), Frank van Straten (MDP 1 - joint), Frik Landman (CEO, USB-ED), Catherine Lottering (MDP 2) and Hugh Bruce (SMDP)
USB Executive Development (Pty) Ltd, USB-ED, the private executive development company of Stellenbosch University held their 2017 Certificate Award Ceremony on 23 November in Windhoek. A total of 133 participants received their certificates for successfully completing the New Managers' Development Programme, Management Development Programme and Senior Management Development Programme . Directors' awards were handed out to the best student in each group.
Jakkie Coetzee, Director Africa Commercial Vehicles (Iveco), spoke on behalf of the USB alumni committee in Namibia.
"We live in such a beautiful and blessed country. But one of the factors that all the leaders in Namibia complain about, is our shortage of skills. We live in a country where the broad unemployment rate is 34% and where only 15% of the population that has a job holds an undergraduate certificate or higher. Tonight is the culmination of your choice to do something about these statistics and for that I applaud you. My prayer is that we all seize this wonderful gift of education and show the world that we can re-write the Africa story in Namibia through ethical and sustainable leadership".
Frik Landman, CEO of USB-ED, was the guest speaker and referred to the vision of the African Union "An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena."
He made the following comments with regards to the vision:
- Coming to the end of the year it is upon us as leaders in Africa to reflect on our contribution towards the approximation of this vision
- He quoted John Adams who in 1780 said: "I study politics and war so that my sons may enjoy the freedom to study maths and philosophy. My sons in return study maths and philosophy in order for their children to have the right to study art, poetry, music and architecture."
- If we were to sit down with Mother Africa and account for our work as leaders in 2017 and ask her what her concerns may be, the insight of Mo Ibrahim may venture her answer: I am concerned about violent extremism that increased with a 1000% since 2006; I am concerned about the deterioration of the seedlings of democratic processes; I am very concerned about the absence of inclusive growth and especially job creation for the youth.
- It is the youth, in all of these concerns that accentuate the tremendous responsibility we have as leaders. Khalil Gibran is clear about it: You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth!
- To quantify this responsibility: between 2015 and 2050 our youth numbers will grow from 250m to 452m; in only 3 generations 41% of the world's youth will be African; by 2035 we will have a labour force larger than that of China. In the face of such a potential human dividend the reality is that our 'living arrows' are marginalised through especially unemployment in spite of Africa's rich natural endowments.
- What to do, as leaders, upon our reflection? The AU vision says "…managed by its own people…" so what do WE need to do? In SA we think we have "Z" problem whilst we in fact have a "C" problem, a Character problem. It starts with us in becoming the best "bows" we can be, with a solid incorruptible character. Then as parents we (in sending these living arrows forth) shape the character of children and even at times by the wisdom of "allowing your children the privilege of struggling". Teaching them to serve society as we do, helping them accumulate knowledge and competence.
- As government, business and civil society "parents" we need to break down the trust deficit amongst ourselves, restore the social contract between government and business, so that we can create the study and work opportunities for our youth. 35-5-% of the tertiary qualified youth in Kenya, Uganda, Liberia, Mozambique and Ghana leave their country to go to the rest of the world and not return.
- The certificates we receive today are for what we have studied and what we have studied is to be put to use toward a prosperous Africa in which our children can study the next level of our continent's development to prepare the way for their children to study towards the next level, so that we can be "a dynamic force in the international arena".
For 2018 programme information go to www.usb-ed.com/courses or email@example.com