Academic research reveals that there are more than one billion people living in Africa, 70% of which are under the age of 30 with only 2,000 colleges and universities to serve this large population of young people.
It was also reported that only 7% of eligible African youths enroll in tertiary institutions. It is believed that not up to half of these available institutions are Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) oriented, yet STEM education is the present hope of many nations, including Africa. For this reason, our continent continually faces a number of deficient challenges that must be addressed by citizens, business owners, governmental and non-governmental organizations that shares a common interest of growth and this makes us all eligible investors.
STEM education has been directly linked to economic growth, as STEM oriented nations continue to top the list of economic giants in the world. Further observation even shows that aspiring scientists from Africa leave the continent for developed nations in search of opportunities, thereby leaving Africa drained of STEM leaders. There is therefore an urgent need for intervention to stop this surge.
Amidst all these, we cant however deny the existing efforts of organizations that are currently engaging in STEM Education activities and outreach across Sub-Saharan Africa. These organizations have taken the bull by the horns by working to promote partnerships and enlightenment through research and training within the continent with much emphasis on national and international relevance.
Some of these organizations are:
WAAW Foundation (Working to Advance Stem Education for African Women)
P-STEM Foundation http://pstem.org.za/about-us/
The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology http://www.nm-aist.ac.tz/
Dr. Unoma Ukafor, the founder of WAAW Foundation (Working to Advance Stem Education for African Women), said in her speech at the 2016 GEM Tech award that the yearly investment on foreign talents can be diverted to solving many of Africa’s economic challenges by investing in technology.
She mentioned further that the population of youths within the age brackets of 18-24 years makes this agenda viable and at the same time appealed to investors to not only consider investing in younger generation but also the the girl-child in order to eradicate discrimination which is a barrier to progress.
More so, there is a recent shift in desirable work skills to more technological inclined skills and 90% of future jobs will strictly require these skills, there is therefore a need for more investment in skills towards solution so that our youth don’t become our liabilities and our jobs taken by expatriate.
And so, many more are implored to join hands in eradicating this ridiculously shortage of STEM professionals in Africa. Thankfully, this investment is not limited to any predefined values, scope, size, method and stages or location as long as it is done towards the common interest of empowering the generation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) giants and equipping the continent of Africa.
Will you help ensure that the train of technology does not continue into the future without Africa? Do consider the following investment opportunities:
- Creating resource centers across nations and within communities to compliment secular education in the continent.
- Contributing to digital technology through training and seminars.
- Coalition with training hubs to generate holistic approaches to STEM education improvement.
- Monitoring and evaluation of pre-existing approaches and policies.
- Becoming a sponsor and liaising with other sponsors to train at least one beneficiary.
- Provision of complimentary certification to improve employability and taking steps towards job creation and employment opportunities.
- Ensuring continuity.
- Governmental intervention in colleges and universities particularly by investing in STEM subjects.