Women in Africa’s Development: Pushing for Progress through Entrepreneurship Education Complimented by On-Going Coaching Sessions A Case Study Paper

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF5 Sub-theme: Governance and social justice // In a fast-paced global economy, building a strong financial and economic Africa is inevitable. Africans have to be committed to concerted efforts from north to south of the continent. The fact remains that the continent cannot grow outside her human resources. The continent with a history of development problems that include lagging primary school enrolments, high child mortality and endemic diseases – including malaria and HIV/AIDS needs her own blue-print , a strategic plan conceived and owned by Africans and supported by partnerships, not donors! The New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) is a pledge by African leaders, based on a common vision and a firm and shared conviction, that they have a pressing duty to eradicate poverty and to place their countries, both individually and collectively, on a path of sustainable growth and development, and at the same time to participate actively in the world economy (NEPAD, 2001). What a very powerful statement that warrants thinking more deeply about how this lofty initiative can be realized? // Every society is made up of families either nuclear or extended. Women are given the natural rights by the Supreme to conceive. This natural role on its own is a pointer to the strategic role women play in every society, Africa inclusive. For our continent to be vibrant as NEPAD has highlighted from the statement above, there is the need to individually and collectively participate actively in the world economy, irrespective of the gender differentiation. This case study paper takes its cue from the important and strategic roles women play in the Africa society. Premised on the notion that, Africa’s growth and development lies in helping Africans to develop, this paper lay emphasis on the role of women and their contribution to realizing the continent's potential. Excellence in human capability, an entrepreneurial spirit and belief in self-determination are the keys to the socio-economic and political advancement of people. This paper is a succinct report of a pilot project in 2007 undertaken by the authors over a period of eight weeks. It focused on helping a group of African women in Johannesburg, South Africa realize their entrepreneurial goals using an Open Learning platform as an enabler of learning for entrepreneurial education and development. // Paper ID 63

South Africa