The Africell Impact Foundation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education and in partnership with the London School of Economics and Political Science, has organized a one-day training event aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of 30 selected students and faculty members from six universities across Sierra Leone. The training, with a focus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, took place on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, at the Multi-Purpose Hall on Fourah Bay College Campus in Freetown.
In his address, the Deputy Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Sarjoh Aziz-Kamara, commended Africell Impact Foundation for organising the training for Students and Faculty Heads from various universities, adding that Africell as a company, through its Corporate Social Responsibility, has been supporting innovation, community development etc, further commending the company’s strides towards transforming the educational landscape in the country to regain its position on global competitiveness.
The Deputy Minister stated that the country has a glorious history, spanning over 200 years of Higher Education, which started at the Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, adding how significant progress has been made, but is not good enough to fit into the 21st-century industrial revolution. He described the training as very important towards supporting the ongoing educational transformation in the country, as it will form the basis for closer collaboration that will support the country’s vision for higher educational excellence and global competitiveness.
Sarjoh Aziz-Kamara said the training has also equipped participants with the necessary skills, innovation and entrepreneurship, and encouraged participants to use the tools and apply the methods they have learnt, as it will help them leverage leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Laura Jane Silverman, Head of LSE Generate, representing the London School of Economics and Political Science, explained LSE’s extensive expertise in economics, law, management and politics. According to her, LSE Generate is a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship that is dedicated to empowering emerging leaders with the skills and knowledge required for success. She pointed out that the partnership between Africell and LSE Generate seeks to deliver high-quality professional training to students and faculty members.
The Africell Group Communications Director, Sam Williams, said students from universities mainly focus on gaining knowledge from books by taking lectures and writing exams, adding that the purpose of the training is to teach students and faculty heads soft skills that they need to succeed in the modern workplace or to start a business. He highlighted that one of the priorities of Africell’s work in Sierra Leone is to deliver social impacts in the field of education, and it is against this backdrop that they brought experts from the London School of Economics and Political Science to offer knowledge and expertise to students in the country.
Sam Williams said they want it to be an ongoing program, underscoring how they are expecting the London School of Economics and Political Science to come back next year and open the program, maybe to include school children, in addition to university students. He said the training focused on leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship geared towards building the capacity of students and faculty members on various topics.
One of the trainees, Marian F. Kargbo, a student from the Milton Margai Technical University, expressed her gratitude to the Africell Impact Foundation, the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education, and the London School of Economics and Political Science for providing sh valuable training. She shared her insights gained during the leadership portion of the training, emphasizing the importance of active listening for effective leadership. Marian pledged to apply the skills and knowledge she has acquired to make a positive impact.