I contend that the educational system in Africa is ripe with reforms, both in terms of the physical infrastructure by means of which educational content is delivered and in terms of how education is in theory and in spoken form.
The main reason for the urgent need for educational reform in Africa is that the continent has millions of young, ambitious and potential learners who are facing monumental barriers to achieving basic education.
The United Nations (UN) has estimated that Africa has a very ‘youthful population’, with over 200 million people currently living on the continent aged between 18 and 34.
As the UN highlights in this study, this immense number of youthful population could be a source of great opportunity. With the right educational footing, these are the doctors, scientists, writers and engineers of the future and of their generation.
However, the UN notes, the continent’s youthful population growth into contributing to the economic growth in their respective countries has stagnated due to lack of jobs and educational opportunities. The report indicates that there’s pressure suppressed to this youthful number by their families. Most, especially young women have had to abandon their educational goals in order to feed or care for family members.
The domino effect is that such cases lead to acute dangers in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where huge swathes of youths join rebel groups for lack of leadership and career related opportunities which have proven to motivate young minds to study or take up a different way of life.
Another challenge in the current African education structure is the lack of high quality transport infrastructure where in most parts of the country learners are not able to reach schools within a reasonable timeline. Though Africa is home to some of the world’s top universities for instance the University of Cape Town in South Africa and the University of Nairobi in Kenya. Elsewhere, in some part of the continent such as in Niger, there is only one university to cater to thousands if not millions of would be students.
Even in one of the wealthiest countries such as South Africa, schools have been deemed to be lacking the necessary infrastructure to implement the nation’s admirable educational policies. The situation is worse in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in rural and/or desert areas where children and young people practically have no means of reaching a school in order to participate in conventional classroom teaching on a regular basis.
On the flipside, Africa is a continent which is highly internet literate. It often surprises my readers when they learn that even in the poorest parts of Africa, 70% of citizens own a mobile phone and that in general, communities in Sub-Sahara Africa are more likely to have an internet connection than to have adequate supplies of food and water.
In addition, young Africans are particularly engaged and entrepreneurial when it comes to developing and downloading smartphone apps. Though, when compared to statistics for app downloads in the rest of the world, the app market in Africa remains relatively untapped.
Currently, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana has the largest number of app downloaders. The challenge is to stimulate and develop this trend for it to take shape and develop into the Sub-Saharan part of the African continent.
All of this data on the current situation in Africa indicates that distance education(embracing everything from MOOC to m-learning based around smartphone apps, and from e-learning conducted via video streamed lectures to other types of online courses) is the way forward for Africa. If implemented correctly, e-learning strategies could surmount to infrastructure related success such as in the case demonstrated in the four countries and provide educational opportunities to Africa in large with its growing and youthful population.
This could open doors to adult learners who missed out on primary and/ or secondary education in their youth. The crucial aspect at the moment is to implement MOOC and other e-learning strategies correctly.
My research suggests that blended learning is the best way to go ahead with in e-learning.
Below is an evaluation of blended learning strategies which consist of how they can help young minds in Africans learn.
Blended learning: a working definition, what does it all mean?
Blended learning means a mixture of classical learning strategies and online education measures. As its name indicates, it is a ‘blend’ of online and offline learning techniques.
One great example of blended learning would be a university campus that allows students to stream some of their lectures online from any location of their choice. The Online Business School is an example of this approach. Located in UK, you can study from at home from all over the world, completely online.
Another blended learning strategy which might combine online and offline distance education is whereby students are encouraged to access online resources in order to conduct their research. Students are allowed to submit essays and assessments and receive feedback by post.
These are just two examples of the ways in which different educational methods can be blended together. When implementing a blended learning strategy, the important thing is to ensure that the blend is specifically tailored to suit the needs of the individual learners and their environments. Video streamed lectures are less necessary in a university where students all live on campus and the infrastructure is provided by their government.
Further logic indicates that providing lectures which can be accessed online might have the effect of demotivating such students and depriving them access to a readily available embodied classroom experience. However, this type of distance education tool is perfect for learners in very remote areas who find it impossible to attend the lectures in person.
Military Interventions Are Failing To Counter Extremist Insurgency
Military interventions have manifestly failed, time and time again, to be effective as regards counter insurgency. These interventions are adopted under the guise of some multilateral arrangements or with the disguised blessing or direct of the UNSC.
For context purposes, let’s start the discussion with the AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia, held under the blessings of an entire UNSC resolutions, Res 2472 that authorized AU member states to use military force to intervene and counter the Al Shebaab insurgency in 2007.
This military centric approach was to last, ostensibly for six months but has been renewed time and time again whilst the level of violence in Somalia and troop contributing countries has only but increased.
The recent Global Terrorism Index (2020) shows that Somalia is beset by instances of terrorism whilst numerous forays by Al Shebaab into Kenya (Westgate Shopping Mall and Garisa University Asymmetric terror attacks) proves that retributive violent incursions into troop contributing countries is a menace that can be seen to be a direct by-product of military centric approaches to regional crisis.
The events in the Niger Delta where France, probably per the doctrine of R2P has been militarily entangled highlights that this one size fits all approach to COIN is not effective as it is parroted to be
The Comminique released by SADC in Botswana also sought to address issues of troop contribution to Mozambique.
Therein lies the challenge. The triumvirate trio of Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola, under the auspices of regional integration and national sovereignty intervened, militarily, in the DRC (Operation Sovereign Legitimacy) in 1998.
The intervention was directly responsible for the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy (Black Friday Market Crash), descent into anarchy and chaos of the hybrid post-colonial state, escalation of violence in the Great Lakes region and a rise in fragile states within the greater equator zone.
The proliferated increase in arms of war resulted in the emergence of warlord (e.g. Bosco Ndagana, Wamba dia Wamba) and subsequent assassination of LD Kabila.
The SADC led intervention did not manage to bring peace and stability into the war ravaged country yet 18 years after Zimbabwe pulled out of the Congo at the behest of SADC, the country is part of an agenda and international conspiracy to intervene again. No lessons learnt.
Any involvement of foreign troops in a COIN initiative is guaranteed to be a cataclysmic failure. The rapture and related chaos to follow gives traction to this analogy.
Hyper nationalism is clear. People generally despise foreign military presence.
The Sunni Insurgency of 2003-2013 in Iraq gave us good lessons. Despite being told and made to believe that foreign troops under the guise of the Bush Doctrine are going to be seeking to restore democracy which was alleged to have been masterbated upon by Saddam Hussein, the people of Iraq said no to foreign occupation, rose up, took up arms and the resultant anarchy led to the emergency of Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, founder of modern day IS.
The by-product of military intervention is clear:
- More gangs
- More anarchy
- Less stability
- More chaos
- More deaths
- Regional escalation
I will not even mention Libya and that NATO led intervention.
For context, the insurgency in Cabo Delgado is clearly LOCALIZED with the direct risk of escalating into a Boko Haram kind of scenario once foreign troops are involved.
Definitely Mozambique needs help but that help must be in the form of capacity building and enhancement programs aimed at ensuring that the country has got institutions and systems capable of muting in the bud the escalating violence.
There are many ways of engaging in COIN. Clearly, there is a need to mix COIN approaches by the Mozambicans themselves, the thrust being to put more emphasis on civilian centric approaches and gelling it with law enforcement thrust.
Cost of cooperation must be made high meaning that decapitation measures of attrition ought to be successfully implemented whilst respecting human rights. This has been done before.
We saw this in Sri Lanka. The 26 year old Tamil Insurgency wad muted by a home grown COIN thrust as directed by the Rajakpaksa Model.
No foreign troops were involved. The death of Prabakaran signaled the end of the insurgency. This is what SADC ought to appreciate.
Reprisal attacks in many of these porous bordered SADC states will make economies collapse. Imagine the negative ramifications say to tourism of one tourist resort center is attacked.
A more pragmatic way of doing it outside of the usage of guns and tanks is the institutional/law enforcement thrust
Definitely, the SADC Communique represents a dedicated belief in the efficacy of multilateralism to resolve domestic challenges but that again, has got its limits.
To understand these limits and thence predict prognosis, the Asymmetric Warfare Equation shall be used:-
The asymmetric warfare equation is thus
AW=Asymmetric Threat (AT) + Asymmetric Operations (AO) + Cultural Asymmetry (CA) + Asymmetric Cost (AC)
AW= AT +AO + CA+AC
Are there any asymmetric operations currently underway in Moz? Yes!
- Diplomacy (EU etc.)
- Military (Wagner Group, Dyke et al)
- Economic sabotage (e.g. takeover of Mocimba de Pria port)
The last two aspects of the equation paint a gory picture as to cost of intervention.
Definitely, IPB (intelligence preparation of battlefield) already is making it clear that military centric COIN even per countries with strong defense budgets, shall be extreme.
Use Afghanistan and Boko Haram for there is definite similarities. As regards that, Zimbabwe does not have capacity, e.g. it needed SA engineers to help us rehabilitate broken infrastructure brought about by the asymmetric event, Idai.
What are the cultural issues per cultural asymmetry in the restive region of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique?
- Values (Islamic)
- Target population (demographics and structural issues indicate sympathy to the insurgency cause)
Is there an asymmetric threat in Mozambique? Yes
- Information warfare
- Disruptive threats (Idai)
- Unknown threats e.g. Climate Change induced
We are alien to Islamic values. It will quickly escalate into a religious conflict. Check Armenia vs Azerbaijan and related alliances that are emerging.
What are the likely costs to be incurred by any intervention (AC)
- Cost of action (Indonesian incursion into East Timor costed an equivalent of 50% of its GDP. Forced to quit. Same as the Rhodesians and also operation sovereign legitimacy by Zim in DRC)
- Cost of defense
Prognosis of intervention:
Our border with Mozambique (+/-1000) is too long and porous for guerilla warfare to be defeated.
Our capacity ravaged due to sanctions and amplified vices such as corruption. Per doctrine we are ok but anything post that dololo (nothing).
Chifamba’s Alleged Illegal Immigrant Status Takes a New Twist.
The Court was told by an investigator in the Department of Home Affairs that the 25 March 2020 dated stamp which was on the passport of Setheo Engineering’s Brighton Chifamba was in truth and fact, fraudulent.
However, former Acting Director General of the Department of Home Affairs, Mr T. Mavuso clarified the misunderstanding in a conversation with one of our correspondence today.
He pointed that contrary to the assertion made under oath by the investigator, the stamp of 25 March 2020 did not need to be endorsed as the date of re-entry fell within the 90 days maximum allowable exemption period for Zimbabweans visiting South Africa.
“The maximum period allowable for Zimbabweans to travel on a visa free basis was 90 days and if a person spends 10 days for example during the first visit, it means the person will have a credit of 80 days to visit SA without needing a visa and each time the person visits, no endorsement will be required.” He explained
Mr. E. Banda, Managing Director of law firm, Banda and Associates said: “I am not sure how the Magistrate presiding over the bail hearing is going to take it when he discovers that the Court could have been intentionally and deliberately lied to in order to induce it to make a ruling that is not in the interests of justice.”
“Based on the audio with Mr. Mavuso, it is clear that the Court was misled into believing that Mr Chifamba’s entry stamp was fraudulent and as such he was in the country illegally. After attending the bail hearing, I could not help as the question as to whether the misrepresentation made to Court was intentional or a consequence of ignorance on the part of the Home Affairs official,” said a member of the C2C initiative.
At the core of the Setheo saga is an allegation of unjust enrichment caused by purported inducement made to 2 dismissed City Power officials to fraudulently pay an amount of R66 million to Setheo with nothing to show for it
Contrary to this allegation, it is Setheo’s case in a pending civil matter against City Power that the cancellation of the contract between the two parties at the instigation of the former Mayor, Herman Mashaba, was ultra vires the law and no facts justified the allegations in the criminal matter.
The heads of arguments by the NPA and Chifamba’s attorney will be presented tomorrow and the Magistrate is expected to make a ruling thereafter on the bail application.
South Africa’s NPA 3 Year Long Setheo Investigation Ridiculous – Advocate Banda
In response to questions on the circumstances leading to the arrest of Brighton Chifamba, a foreman who worked for South Africa’s Setheo Engineering on the Eldorado substation, the NPA’s Ms. Mjonondwane hinted on the imminence of more arrests as investigations are still being carried on a corruption case that has been ongoing for around three years.
The upgrading of the Eldorado substation was abruptly stopped as ordered by South Africa’s former Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba, following a dispute relating to allegations that City Power had paid R66 million to a contractor, Setheo in 2016 while no work was done.
Two Setheo directors and two City Power employees were then arrested and after 12 appearances in Court, the charges were provisionally withdrawn.
“It is the decision made in 2016 to arrest suspects without any prima facie grounds and evidently prior to the completion of investigations by the Hawks that must be interrogated here. One would have expected that after three years, investigations would have long been finalized. For the NPA to suggest that investigations are still ongoing is ludicrous,” said Mr. Banda, an attorney who is closely following the case.
In an article titled “Who Is Who and What Is What In The Brighton Chifamba, City of Joburg, Setheo and City Power Case?” written by Brian Kazungu, an editor of an online publication, iniAfrica.com, he said that the NPA was yet to respond on clarity sought on the matter since the spokesperson was waiting for a go ahead on draft responses.
Iniafrica.com reported Mrs Phindi Mjonondwane, the NPA Spokesperon to have said “I saw your email, I am still waiting for a CCU to respond and check if my draft response is correct because what you are asking is evidential material and the matter is subjudicae, so they are just checking my response and if I am in order, we will be able to respond as soon as possible”.
The upgrading of Chifamba’s title in relation to the Eldorado Park project has been questioned because it has been confirmed that his role was that of foreman with no direct reporting links to the targeted Setheo directors.
The NPA is also reported to be pinning its hopes on the pending bail hearing of Chifamba based on an allegation that Chifamba was at all along an illegal immigrant.
Chifamba who is said to have voluntarily presented himself to the police at Palm Ridge on 12 October 2020 has been confirmed to have been on a valid 90 day temporary visa whose expiry was due during the Covid period.
The Department of Home Affairs whose official testified at the bail hearing argued that the entry visa in Chifamba’s passport on 25 March 2020 was fraudulent in that it was endorsed as was the case in relation to the stamp of 6 March 2020.
Chifamba’s lawyer however asserted that the visa was legitimate and no endorsement was necessary as his 6 March stamp was still valid and in any event the 25 March entry was within the maximum exemption period of 90 days per year granted to Zimbabweans.
A close relative to Chifamba said that is pathetic that the NPA would attempt to cling to straws as a bait to force Brighton to be a state witness on a case that the NPA has failed to establish after three years of investigating whether fraud was in truth and fact committed.
Over R100 000 Worth Of Menstrual Cups Donated To Women At Nelspruit Correctional Services and Many Other Centers In Mpumalanga, South Africa
Identifying and Satisfying a Paying Customer, Understanding The Art of Collaboration, As Well As, Mastering The Concept of Effective Sales and Marketing – Chad Mhako
Wisdom For Emerging Leaders: Balanced Living, Managing Depression and The Art of Public Speaking
Justice Makarau A Big Disappointment: Mkoma Masimba – #BhukuReBenzi
If you want to pick an Apple, have your eyes on Catalina
Writers Interview – Tichaona Shambare, Author of Baby Steps.
Books4 months ago
Justice Makarau A Big Disappointment: Mkoma Masimba – #BhukuReBenzi
Tech1 year ago
If you want to pick an Apple, have your eyes on Catalina
Author Interviews5 months ago
Writers Interview – Tichaona Shambare, Author of Baby Steps.
Book Reviews5 months ago
Rutendo Gwatidzo’s book, BORN TO FIGHT is a Practical Guide on How to Fight and Win the Battles of Everyday Life
Business4 months ago
Brian and Mutumwa’s Chat Room Part 3 – The Constitutionality of The Reconstruction Act and Specification Measures in the SMM Saga
Columnists5 months ago
Brian and Mutumwa’s Chat Room: Justice Makarau under the Spotlight on Mukoma Masimba’s #BhukuReBenzi
Breaking News11 months ago
Dr. Arikana Chihombori Quao Adds Voice To The Cries Against Mistreatment of Africans In China
Columnists4 months ago
Are South Africans Lazy As Some People Think?