This follows the re-launch announcement by Lapid Leaders Africa, a Pan African Movement of young leaders who will re-imagine the possible and be a value-driven generation dedicated to being solution-providers and change-makers across the African Continent.
Speaking on Tuesday 23rd March 2021 during the launch of a five-year strategic plan, Lapid Leaders Africa Founder, Esther Mwaniki says human capital is still one of the biggest challenges faced by Small and Medium-Sized Companies in Kenya.
Mwaniki says the country is still experiencing a huge number of half-baked graduates from learning institutions.
“Latest data indicate that over 80 percent of CEOs in Africa say their biggest challenge is in human capital while 95 percent of SMEs says the right skills is one of the biggest gaps they face,” she said.
Some of the skills, fresh graduates lack are communication skills, leadership skills and negotiation skills amongst others. Lapid Leaders Africa has so far trained about 600 graduates and has seen great results. “Our one-year flagship training, equips youth with critical thinking skills, leadership mindsets, entrepreneurship and innovation as well as management and communication skills. Africa is replete with natural resources such as gold, diamonds and bursting with a youthful population. Our goal is to ignite prowess in the next generation of African leaders and shape them into gems that provide solutions to the African continent, says Mwaniki.
Keynote speaker, Jeff Aludo, Futurist Founder of The Aludo Group, said that by 2035, Africa will have the largest youth population, this demographic dividend is a source of potential growth. The competency gap in the education sector needs to be addressed. “Our education system needs to be changed from just learning hard skills to incorporating competency soft skills like design thinking, communication and confidence in presenting ideas. Lapid is addressing these gaps, which will go along way in equipping leaders for the workforce,” he added.
On her part, Deputy Vice Chancellor of International Leadership University, Dr Beatrice Njenga, says the University will continue to support the Lapid Leaders Africa initiative in a bid to increase a competent workforce across africa. “A competent workforce increases productivity of a nation hence more investment is required to address the skills gap is essential,” she urged.
Lapid Alumni, Kelvin Ngunyi, says the ‘course enabled me to sharpen my entrepreneurial prowess, develop critical thinking skills to help me see that I can be a solution to Africa’s Problem. Kelvin is now Founder of Kweza Technologies based in South Africa. Rose Mburu a beneficiary of the accelerator programme says that the Lapid course prepared her for the job market.
“I learned proper CV writing and effective communication and was able to secure a job before graduation. As Financial Analyst at KPMG East Africa, I can now work effectively unsupervised and work under pressure,” she said.