The Don Bosco Tech Africa (DBTA) Management team and representatives from the African Union Commission (AU) led by Mr. Nicholas Ouma, Senior Youth Advisor, held several meetings, where DBTA played a key role in developing the initial concept note for the webinar discussing, “Career Guidance and Life Skills: Enhancing School to Work Transitions and Youth Employability in Africa post COVID-19.”
On August 20, 2020, Fr. George Tharaniyil, the Executive Director, DBTA was among the panelists for the Webinar which was hosted by AU and attended by 295 participants drawn from various sectors in the African continent. Other panelists were: Johannes Muoka, Senior Programmes Manager – Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA); Victor Gerhard Thien, Founder and Managing Director – Afringa and Ayado Ewinyu, Director – Africa Careers Network at African Leadership Academy.
In his presentation, Fr. TJ passionately stressed on the Salesian educational system of youth accompaniment by an educative community through the Preventive System of Education. “We need to prepare the youngster for life by building their confidence and resilience.” He said.
The Job Service Officer’s quality manual, prepared by DBTA was once again presented as a model for career guidance, life skills, entrepreneurship training, personal accompaniment, linkages with industries and lifelong follow up for the youngsters.
The vision for youth employment opportunities beyond Covid-19 looks more blurred owing to the slow economic growth, loss of some skill area jobs (Hotel and hospitality, Tourism, Tour and travels), closure of education and training institutions, and emergence of new skill areas where no training has been done – this will mainly be the case where innovation and creativity will fail to be applied.
On the other hand, employment opportunities beyond Covid-19 will be bright and promising especially in the Agriculture value addition, digital economy, the blue economy, medical equipment, e- learning, online services, e-commerce and renewable energy. Most of these areas are quite new to the African market and there is a need to invest in infrastructure and human capital to be able to prepare the youth for these employment opportunities.
DBTA network has a vision of preparing the youth through Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality (e-Learning) and Face-to-Face learning approaches during and in post Covid-19. The application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) approaches will enrich the skills offered and as a result there will be more stable and sustainable employment for the youth.