[kictanet] ICT Opportunity alert: is Age a factor?

Njeri Rionge njeri.rionge at igniteconsulting.co.ke
Thu Dec 20 15:28:52 EAT 2007


As mentioned in another email, this is but one of the concerns. The others
are related to us not taking full responsibility on the one hand, to stand
up and be counted. The whole conversation on innovation, ability to solve
problems and MOST important one commitment, delivery of services and things
that we say we are going to do...finality. Said differently, getting to the
finishing line, in tact and completely.


On 12/20/07 11:58 AM, "John Walubengo" <jwalu at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Njeri,
> one message i read here is that Africans have failed to
> harness the benefits of youthful talent.  The youth have
> the ideas and the energy to move forward  BUT they lack the
> opportunities and the authority to do so.
> The private sector locally and abroad have managed to tap
> into this youthful talent (Equity, Google, Popote, eBay,
> Bidco, etc are some quick examples) but unfortunately, the
> .KE government and their key parastatals are yet to exploit
> this age factor...I can tell you from my own observation
> (not Steadman ;-) that in most public organisations, the
> average age of the top 5 executives is 50+ (ouch!)
> I know in Africa age comes with wisdom (for the lucky ones)
> but I also know from a personal level that the older I am
> getting the less likely I am going to take certain
> (business) risks. And as a national economy we are
> competing against economies/organisations that are run by
> executives whose average age is probably 25-35, not more
> than 40.  
> These kids hit the road running while we continue to crawl.
> They see an (ICT) opportunity and they do not have the
> hassle of trying to sell the idea to some Boss/Authority
> who fails to understand it, or understands it 2years later-
> when the technologies have already changed and the
> opportunity exhausted by the other 'faster' economies.
> I know our ICT Board has taken cognisance of this (age)
> point given that most members are (look?) youthful, But I
> am afraid that unless their colleagues in the other sectors
> (Health, Education, Agriculture, etc) have the same
> (risk-taking) attitude that is common with the youth, they
> are going to hit a dead-wall sooner rather than later...
> walu.
> --- Njeri Rionge <njeri.rionge at igniteconsulting.co.ke>
> wrote:
>> Alice et al,
>> At this stage, I believe that we all agree they are
>> indeed deficits in the
>> educational systems that are! There is a need to evolve
>> from a culture,
>> where instruction based and cramming methodologies, to
>> pass exams, whose
>> days are long gone, must come to pass. If the
>> government/private sector has
>> any real intentions in forging economic improvements, it
>> must start with a
>> serious self-actualization of what works. As follows;
>> 1. We need to identify other methodologies of learning
>> beyond the ones we
>> focus on and will in most cases die for, the degree
>> process and focus in
>> this country and others is creating a deadlock for
>> fostering initiative
>> driven from the self entrepreneurship and open mindedness
>> of thinking out of
>> the box. Today's Jua Kali is tomorrows economic boost for
>> industry, but one
>> would argue that these new economy businesses are not
>> poised to meet the
>> criterions set by those who see things from a narrow and
>> in the box, already
>> not working poverty eradication concepts. At the end,
>> practical teaching
>> gains more benefits, and this is a missing link in our
>> educational process
>> today. 
>> 2. The systematic approach methods of developing ICT
>> opportunities and other
>> areas of possible partnerships, is missing. It is obvious
>> that the current
>> structure of government is suffering the same major
>> issues of private sector
>> where decisions are made in silo's and therefore in most
>> cases, have no
>> connectivity with the larger potential benefit which
>> brings about first
>> time, first right equals success. The organizations that
>> create capacity to
>> involve key recourses in their decision-making processes
>> stand a better
>> chance of knowledge transfer and ability to plan
>> succession. If succession
>> structures were in place, we would be aligning those
>> stepping out into the
>> market to take up new positions that foster capacity to
>> bridge the current
>> glaring gaps, which will hinder growth in the coming
>> years.
>> 3. We need a serious intervention on how we communicate
>> as a people; we also
>> need to start hearing each other¹s views. They are too
>> much of an adherence
>> to status quo, anything that is different has to be
>> questioned and then
>> questioned instead of opening ourselves to possibilities.
>> The fact is we are
>> a developing economy; we are not the first and or the
>> last to pass through
>> this passage of development. What I believe we MUST do is
>> to embrace changes
>> together and to break the structures of the norms. What
>> do I mean? We cannot
>> continue to use the local benchmarks of the past into the
>> future of Kenya,
>> we must look at the external benchmarks of other
>> countries, of cause as you
>> read this you will argue that we do this, well the fact
>> is, since we are not
>> high risk takers on areas we are not good at, we end up
>> recoiling to local
>> benchmarks. The extent of this is that our own are
>> recognized by outsiders,
>> we do not even notice them. Look around youŠ anyway, I
>> must admit that this
>> is slowly changing, in fact I am very excited by the new
>> approach of
>> positioning the new generation of entrepreneurs who are
>> up and coming and
>> moving at very high speeds, which I encourage and
>> appreciate. The only
>> concern being we are not seeing many of these young and
>> energetic minds
>> being absorbed in key decision making positions. What I
>> would like to see
>> more is knowledge transfer from the godfathers and
>> godmothers who need to
>> move into more advisory roles and leave the busy, working
>> and engagement
>> structures of boards and executive leadership positions
>> to younger
>> executives. Again, someone would argue but they are not
>> mature and even not
>> exposed enough, well, who are these people being lead and
>> coached by???? Who
>> coached those before you and how is it that you can do it
>> and others cannot
>> to the relevant extent. In South Africa the Black
>> Empowerment is working,
>> even though with some difficulty, but working never the
>> less. If you teach a
>> man how to fish, your better off than feeding him for
>> lifeŠ well the saying
>> goes something like thatŠ.
>> 4. Well, having been in the training and development
>> arena for one year,
>> these are my findings.
>> a) We are not a reading or continuous learning society
>> b) We are exposed, but narrow minded in our views for
>> change and
>> improvement, perhaps this is brought about by the fact,
>> since one is
>> educated (has a degree ('s) they know all that they need
>> to know and they
>> are therefore not interested in furthering their scope of
>> continued
>> improvement of knowledge. If one were an expert in IT for
>> instance, how
>> would you better improve your marketability and scope of
>> understanding the
>> business dynamics of your area of interest?
>> c) Self initiative and drive is a value that people must
>> respect, in my
>> findings, I have realized that people replace their own
>> potential for
>> success with someone else, other than themselves, of
>> cause this statement
>> will be used to counter a statement on this very email,
>> but the questions
>> are, who is leading whom? Where are we headed? What are
>> the values that we
>> hold and how do those with whom we interact with
>> recognize them. At the end,
>> this election process should teach us a lesson or two, I
>> cannot wait for the
>> announcements. But in the end, if you are reading in
>> between the lines, it
>> is time for ACTION. Seating on the fence is for the
>> fearful and weak.
>> Forging forward is for the strong and confident in self.
>> Looking at the
>> entire continent we have a huge potential but we must
>> stand up to be
>> counted. Let¹s not look at those we know and expect them
>> to take the leap of
>> faith, they are already doing it, what are you doing???
>> Secondly, quest for
>> knowledge without the competency to apply that, that one
>> knows is yet
>> another area of great weakness. In other words, knowledge
>> should equal
>> competence coupled with the ability to change the
>> mindset, which of cause
>> yet another area that needs a paradigm shift.
>> Well, enough said all is not lost, Kenya is indeed
>> scaling and we need to
>> forge forward with confidence and ability to cease the
>> moment as Kenyans,
>> otherwise others will come to benefit. They are already
>> working in your back
>> yards etcŠ
>> (If anyone has a contact at the Ministry of Labour and
>> Human Resource
>> Development (Directorate of Industrial Training) and
>> Ministry of Education
>> please pass this on...)
>> My peni bili...
>>> For more information
>>> Frédéric Dubois, Information coordinator,
>> frederic at apc.org +1 514 660 0664
>>> http://rights.apc.org
>>> =======================================
>>> APC Forum is a meeting place for the APC community -
>> people and
>>> institutions who are or have been involved in
>> collaboration with
>>> APC, and share the APC vision - a world in which all
>> people have easy, equal
>>> and affordable access to the creative potential of
>> information and
>>> communication technologies (ICTs) to improve their
>> lives and create more
>>> democratic and egalitarian societies.
>>> _______________________________________________
> === message truncated ===>
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Njeri Rionge
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