The challenges of providing safe and sustainable transport infrastructure in Africa require innovative, motivated and technically capable leaders who can effectively manage and deliver infrastructure projects within this environment. However, often this technical and managerial capacity requires development, particularly when it comes to experience and ability to deliver large and complex projects.
Phase 1 of the Africa regional Transport Sector Leadership Development Programme (TSLDP) aims to create a structured programme to develop the technical and managerial skills of sub-Saharan Africa's future transport sector leaders, thereby enabling them to effectively deliver Africa's highway transport infrastructure.
The TSLDP aims to develop a structured training programme that is deliverable across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop African professionals into the future leaders of the African transportation industry. There are five core objectives, which are as follows:
1. Research: whilst not a specific research project in itself, research projects may be included as part of the curricula to develop skills.
2. Capacity building: important to ensure sustainable continuation of this project and ReCAP's overall aims and objectives once the ReCAP programme ends.
3. Knowledge exchange: develop the ability to communicate knowledge and ideas effectively through interventions like technical reporting and paper writing, giving presentations, managing and presenting at stakeholder workshops, developing and presenting training courses and how to review and assess technical papers.
4. Uptake and embedment: monitoring and evaluating the uptake and embedment of skills throughout the programme. The output from the TSLDP should be a group of forward thinking, confident and competent young professionals for the roads and transport sector in sub-Saharan Africa. They will become role models to other young professionals and be able to influence the development of future generations.
5. Gender Balance: this is a key element of the project, with a focus on trying to address the issue of gender balance and the increased participation of female professionals in the technical leadership of the transport sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The project commenced in November 2016 with a start-up meeting at the University of Cape Town, in South Africa. The initial stages of the project include a needs assessment and gap analysis to identify the key training areas that need to be targeted as part of the programmes development.
Once this is complete, the team will focus on developing a structure for the programme and corresponding curriculum. It will be important that this not only meets the learning objectives identified in the previous stages, but is also achievable and feasible from a candidates perspective, in addition to manageable and implementable from an operational perspective.
Whilst these tasks are ongoing, the team will also be communicating with key stakeholders from across Sub-Saharan Africa, and elsewhere, with a view towards obtaining key contributions to the development of the programmes structure and content. Furthermore, it is important that the programme has partners who can assist in its delivery, accreditation and/or future sustainability, particularly once ReCAP ends in 2020.
A key component of the programmes development will be a Stakeholder Workshop, which will be used to inform and finalise the programmes structure and content. The workshop is scheduled to take place at the 2nd IRF African Regional Congress in Namibia in July 2017. This workshop will inform the finalisation of the programme structure and content and the Final Report due in September 2017.
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AfCAP partner countries will likely be the initial beneficiaries of this programme. However, the ultimate goal is to provide a programme that is deliverable across Sub-Saharan Africa and is open to candidates from across the sector (i.e. public and private sector), irrespective of whether they are AfCAP partners.
Bloom's taxonomy of learning progression