By Jo-Ann Pöhl, Senior Advisor for Kearney
Education and financial literacy are two concepts that walk together along the path towards real inclusion. If we want a sustainable and prosperous Africa, we need to collaborate and focus more of our energy on deliberately and intentionally including diverse communities in what we do.
That was one of the main take-outs from a panel discussion co-hosted by global management consultancy Kearney, and Business Engage. Business leaders from across Africa discussed the various tangible ways in which they are working towards achieving better levels of inclusion across the continent.
We have lived through particularly challenging times since the arrival of the pandemic. The continent of Africa has seen these crises manifest in ways the rest of us cannot even begin to imagine, highlighting the importance of inclusion for individuals, communities, and society.
The pandemic has brought into stark contrast the chasm that exists between the haves and the have- nots, and it has again reminded all of us of the enormity of the task that lies ahead.
We’ve seen that there is an incredible sense of resilience across the continent. It gave me a real sense of hope and optimism in the possibilities that have been unlocked across Africa and her people.
You and I need to find a way to play our part and to support those brave men and women who are already working towards the achievement of real inclusion. Education is a significant ingredient in this pursuit.
Google and Cisco are two of the global companies that have helped realise the potential that Africa has to offer. We’ve seen how they are using their expertise and products to uplift disadvantaged communities across Africa through free educational programmes and empowering digital natives.
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Google’s head of brand and reputation for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, explained how and why they were pursuing equal access in relation to digital education. The company has committed itself to train 10 million people on the continent, a target they are well on track to reach.
A local example is that of a Johannesburg entrepreneur who tapped into the need for quality education and for better access to education.
Melvyn Lubega has always had the ambition to make an impact by solving significant business and social challenges. With his skills and experience in the technology space, he co-founded and scaled Go 1 as a leading online learning platform. The platform is now used in over 20 countries.
A second element in the pursuit of real inclusion relates to financial literacy and education. It is important to better understand what this means for the communities spread across Africa before beginning to even try to integrate and include them. We cannot bridge a gap if we do not properly grasp the scope of that gap first.
We want to build a better and stronger Africa, but this will require a village. Equipping people with the right tools and empowering them helps unlock their potential and ensures that we realise the critical and positive effects of a stronger and more sustainable Africa.
We want the right kind of inclusion. We want to see financial education inclusion as a contact sport and that requires you and me to get actively involved
Jo has experience spanning start-ups to listed corporates; having operated locally, regionally, and globally. She has joined Kearney as a Senior Advisor, chairs the CAFSA board, and is on the 30% CSA SteerCo, Sanari Growth Partners’ Advisory Board, and South African Advisory Board for Women in Tech.