Ghana hosts third Learning and Development Africa Conference
The conference explored possibilities to empower the corporate world to use Learning and Development practitioners in Africa to achieve an all-inclusive programme and use dialogue and experience sharing to encompass diversity in learning programmes.
The first hybrid and third Learning and Development Africa Conference also explored the potential to invest in learning and development while ensuring that no individual was left behind.
Speaking at the conference, Mrs Margaret Jackson, Convener for Learning and Development Africa (L&D), called on the corporate world to inculcate inclusion and diversity in their learning programmes for staff as part of capacity building.
Mrs Jackson said the topics tackled in the two-day conference included re-strategizing for L&D in light of the global trends, and how to prevent the great talent exodus in organizations.
She said participants were also equipped on using technology for wider accessibility and promoting diversity and inclusion, and the role of using mobile apps, among others, in micro-learning, as well as the use of L&D as a tool to build and support a Neurodiversity workforce.
Mrs Jackson explained the gender lens perspective, empowering employees with disabilities, employee upscaling, and reskilling, and how to manage generational diversity at the workplace, among others, were discussed.
Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Chief Executive Director of the Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA), delivering a keynote address, said the world was changing and the only way for people and organizations to rise to the challenge was to continuously learn and develop themselves.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh noted that to reshape the future of the country, it was important to learn at all times.
She, therefore, called on Learning and Development practitioners to think of how they would utilize digital tools for everyone to benefit from learning to fit into the current evolving scope of work.
She said there was a need for designing new solutions for learning and development for the youth, women and persons with disability.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh stated that “the youth can’t be left behind, the way they do things has changed, they now sit on their phones for long, how do we take learning to them using digitalized tools.”
Dr Peter Bamkole, the Director of the Enterprise Development Centre of Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Nigeria, speaking on brain drain said some of the reasons for professionals leaving the African continent was economics.
He explained that economic hardship was forcing many to seek better lives in developed countries.
Dr Bamkole said health was another push factor, stating for instance, that during the covid-19 era people were worried about their health and travelled outside for care as Africa was the last continent to get a vaccine.
He indicated that other reasons were social, family related, as well as peer influence.
He added that Covid-19 did not necessarily change things happening in Africa such as brain drain but rather accelerated what was there and brought to the fore what people were not seeing as learning and development practitioners.
He said it was the responsibility of practitioners to understand and develop new strategies for their staff as people now want flexibility at work without restrictions as they now want to do remote working.
Dr Bamkole urged the management of organizations to treat their staff differently based on their outputs and give them the flexibility to work instead of boxing them all together with policies adding that “when the mind is at peace, talents will flourish.”