A Case Study on Training and Leadership: Implications for Lifelong Learning and Poverty Reduction in Africa

A Case Study on Training and Leadership: Implications for Lifelong Learning and Poverty Reduction in Africa

Wapula N. Raditloaneng (University of Botswana, Botswana), Morgen Chawawa (Botho University, Botswana) and Rakel Kavena Shalyefu (University of Namibia, Namibia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1624-8.ch048
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The challenge for African universities is to refocus their research and teaching missions to transform and revitalize the relationship between higher education and national development needs. Funded by British Academy African Partnerships (BAAP) programme, the University of Botswana, in partnership with The National University of Lesotho, University of Malawi and Calabar University in Nigeria, carried out 18 months of collaborative research project aimed at determining the implementation of Third Mission of Universities through rural community training and leadership. One of the two case studies, in D'Kar by Kellogg, in partnership with BA ISAGO University College yielded some very useful results. This included the necessity to build community leadership for sustainable development and the beginning of the poverty reduction process to take place.
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Organisation Background

This section provides a brief background to the two projects studied during the ITMUA. This chapter is based on intervention by the Ba Isago University College in partnership with Kellogg Foundation to offer a Community Based Planning Programme that is based on the ZOOMING PROCESS to build local capacity for self-drive, particularly in youth, women and families in D’Kar community and its surrounding resettlements areas.

An understanding of the background of the community in D’Kar in the Gantsi District of Botswana is important to depict the characteristics of the people and their environment against the existing challenges. D’Kar is a private farm, located 30kms from Gantsi in the Kgalagardi District. It belongs to the San Reformed Church. Trusts work as partners to support the 1,800 marginalised, scarcely populated D’Kar inhabitants, and others in the surrounding 15 settlements around Gantsi and Kgalagardi Northern Sub-District as they face health, economic and political challenges of a minority group in Botswana. The inhabitants are predominantly San sharing a common culture. The spoken language is Naro. The predominant religious affiliation is the Reformed Church.

University of Botswana students served as trainers and used mainly basic computer technology to run empowerment seminars on business management and governance. The women had basic equipment they used to weave and very limited knowledge of how to run a successful business. The women had to learn basic book keeping and cash flow and call the Business clinic whenever they need any specific training or guidance in leadership of their organisation.

Objectives of University Engagement with the D’Kar Project

  • To build the capacity of leaders in D'kar in the process of introducing a Self-Drive Entrepreneurship Mind Set.

  • To provide capacity building in project planning and analysis to promote project sustenance among Non- State Actors and Non- Governmental Organisations (NSAs/NGO)s in D'kar community and the San resettlements areas in Gantsi.

  • To provide multidisciplinary support through Ba-Isago University, Kellogg, and the ITMUA team.

  • To build capacity of the NSAs/NGOs to manage funds, prepare good project proposals, build effective management systems for sustainability and conduct joint evaluation of projects undertaken.

  • To explore the impact of BaIsago University College in helping the community to become more self-sustainable.

The aim of the approach was to help build local capacity for self-drive particularly in youth, women and the families. This is achieved through sharing and developing skills and ideas, facilitating organizational and social change and building awareness of development issues.

Based on the above, the training and leadership sessions were designed for communities to acquire the following capabilities:

1. Capacity to Analyze One’s Own Situation

The WKKF’s prior experience on the ground emphases that ability to investigate truth for one’s self is critical to development and to investigate truth for one’s self is critical to development. In the context of a community, collective investigation of truth and group decision- making requires capacity to consult and draw on the strength of the group to foster unity of purpose.

2. Capacity to Articulate the Changes One Wants to Make

Too often the poor and marginalized are unable to express their own needs and desires to outsiders as well as to themselves. Developing the capacity for articulation of intended changes enhances both the understanding and implementation of community vision.

3. Capacity to Create Alliances with Other Development Partners

The economic and social underdevelopment experienced by poor people is the consequence of inability to initiate and sustain mutually supporting and reinforcing dynamics of collaboration and partnerships among the different actors and institutions operating in a different area. It is also the consequence of dysfunctional and unbalanced articulations between local, district, and national levels. Therefore, communities must develop capacities to create alliances with a whole spectrum of development partners.

4. Capacity to Act

Without the capacity to translate goals into actions, many development efforts flounder. The capacity to act is the engine that ensures that change will begin. This should be done through participatory engagement of communities in program implementation.

5. Capacity to Assess and Self-Correct

This capacity enables communities to adapt to the exigencies of the time. It further enables the establishment of a learning system to ensure that the community takes time to reflect and learn from its mistakes, rather than repeating them with no changed or new results (Kellogg Foundation/Ba Isago University College, 2010).

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