Prof Jan Crafford – DVC Teaching and Learning joined the Conference via MS Teams

The University of Venda (UNIVEN) jointly organised the hybrid Inclusive Technopreneur Forum (ITF) between 16 and 17 August 2022. The ITF-2022 is a community-building programme which intends to bring African universities and partners together to share research outputs, learning, teaching and assessment experiences as well as community engagement activities to develop African graduates to become technopreneurs. The conference provided an opportunity for normalising the new normal for businesses, governments and job seekers. The epidemic has forced the world to think about finding human-centred approaches to shaping a secure future of work for graduates and youth, and decent and sustainable employment for all. The partners in the British Council-funded conference are Durban University of Technology (DUT); Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT); University of Venda (UNIVEN); Kwame Nkruma University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana; Manchester Metropolitan University (ManMet), UK; The Snake Nation, Kenya and All African Student Union (AASU). 

Prof Jan Crafford, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Teaching and Learning presented a keynote address titled: ‘Competing in the Post-Pandemic Era of Globalisation: The Missing 21st Century skills’. In his address, he defined globalisation and explained some of the skill sets required especially in the post-pandemic era (Analytical thinking and innovation, complex problem solving, leadership, social influence, technology use, etc). He further enumerated some of the available opportunities (abundant raw materials, young population, Agriculture, etc) that can be used to make Africa become more competitive in the world market. For example, he said, available data reveals that individuals that are less than 30 years account for over 70 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa. He said, this implies that the continent has a pool of productive resources that can be trained and mobilised for the global value chain. He also underscored some challenges that could hinder the growth and development of Africa, such as, infrastructural deficits, low investment in education, insecurity and inconsistent policy regimes. He advised that 

African leaders needed to display the requisite political will to address the challenges without fail. He concluded his speech by recommending the need to develop tailored curricula that meets the industry needs; and the need for multilevel and international collaborations in addressing the insecurity challenges in Africa. The conference was attended by academics, entrepreneurs and NGOs from across Africa and overseas. 

Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 30 August 2022 

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