The Innovate Africa Program is a comprehensive flagship skills and professional development program of the Africa Islamic Economic Foundation in collaboration with Saylor Academy, USA, as its Career Acceleration Partners. The purpose of the Program is to promote skills, talent and professional development among African youth, with a special emphasis on innovation and wealth creation, by providing them with greater access to education, training and business support services to build sustainable businesses and companies with high growth potential.
The Program is expected to foster the development of local visionaries, champions and implementers in some select African countries, who will form a globally linked network of champions and enterprises for long-term partnerships in the international marketplace.
Overall, the Program is designed to function as an integrated Program, which brings together business entrepreneurs, academia, and governments to contribute to, and leverage local and global initiatives for knowledge transfer, accumulation, use, and diffusion to accelerate technology-based economic development for sustained economic growth and shared prosperity in Africa.
The program is delivered by senior faculty members, who have trained thousands of entrepreneurs and future leaders across multiple countries. The learning materials are curated from a trove of free and open online resources by expert educators. The program offers students a self-paced learning experience that comes as close as possible to what they would learn in the college classroom.
The program is offered through distance learning so as to be accessible to all interested students, irrespective of their geographic location. However, networking, and case study analyses, will form an integral part of the program.
The program admits students throughout the year, and it is focused on young people whose ages range between 18 and 45 years, (higher education students, undergraduate and graduate students as well as long-term unemployed people). Candidates:
Must have necessary English comprehension skills.
Must have a deep desire to, one day, become a successful entrepreneur.
Must have a proven track record of proactive problem solving (e.g., via previous initiatives, projects or movements that you have launched).
Must have the ability to learn fast, remain humble and engaged while doing so.
Must have an edge (expertise, skillset, knowledge) in something that sets them out from the crowd,
Must have perseverance. Perseverance is their second name: The Innovate Africa Program is demanding, just like the entrepreneurial world!
Only candidates who fulfill the minimum entrance criteria as described above should be admitted into the Program.
REQUIRED INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE PROGRAM
All the courses are designed to work on an internet-connected desktop or notebook computer running either the Chrome or Firefox browser. Smartphones are supported for programs on the course platform. The course platform allows you to engage with the content.
The courses are categorized into four: Computer Science, Economics, Business Administration, and Professional Development. Technology Entrepreneurship education is a complimentary but mandatory component of the Program, which is delivered via webinar and online presentations by AFRIEF instructors. Visit our website: https://afrief.org/innovate-africa-program/recommended-courses/ for details and to select your preferred course.
The duration of the Program is 6 – 12 Months of Online Tutorials, comprising at least, 12 hours per week of self-study, webinar Sessions, Peer to Peer networking which take place twice monthly. Successful graduates MUST remain under the mentorship of the Africa Islamic Economic Foundation (AFRIEF) for a period of one year after successfully completing the Program.
Participants who successfully complete all the coursework in a thoughtful and timely manner would be awarded free Saylor Academy Certificates, which are issued through its partner Accredible. These digital credentials allow students to present a rich and trustworthy record of their learning to anyone at any time. AFRIEF will, as well, issue successful participants with a Certificate of Accomplishment in Career Preparation.
PROJECT AND INTERNSHIP
Participants must complete a learning report for an internment assignment. For entrepreneurship projects, participants would be preparing a basic pitch deck using Power Point.
The Program is fully sponsored by the Africa Islamic Economic Foundation, Ghana and Saylor Academy, USA with no financial implications or responsibilities to participants and Partners.
At the end of the Program Participants are expected to be transformed into world class entrepreneurs who will strive to make a difference in our world and to contribute to its betterment; who will be able to identify opportunities, mobilize resources, and relentlessly execute on their visions; who will be able to identify and pursue solutions among problems, possibilities among needs, opportunities among challenges, and eventually, who will be empowered to create and transform their own “BIG IDEAS” into great enterprises, with their course mates as team members, that would subsequently lead to job creation, improved productivity, increased prosperity, and a higher quality of life.
With intensive focus and inspired collaboration, the Program hopes to stimulate all African countries to achieve the following bold goals within its first five years of implementation:
- Train 100,000 young entrepreneurs to become founders and leaders of technology ventures, job creators and global age experts who will demonstrate focus, passion, and an unrelenting will to succeed.
- Create over 10,000 new or renewed successful enterprises.
- Over 1 billion US Dollars invested into the African entrepreneurial ecosystem.
- Build a dense, vibrant and connected Africa that attracts diverse resources and talent.
Successful entrepreneurs are lifelong learners, and are obsessed with obtaining information and skills that will unlock their entrepreneurial potential. We provide an approved and highly recognized practical learning curriculum for participants.
Access to Investors and Finance Institutions
Cash flow is the life-blood of any growing business, and entrepreneurs are always searching for ways to access more finance at the correct time. Although we don’t provide funding ourselves, the Program will provide access to a network of financial institutions that could provide participants with the financing they need. Being on the program will increase participants’ probability of accessing this finance.
Access to Markets
The importance of access to markets for growing entrepreneurial businesses cannot be over-emphasized. It is for this reason that the Program will create various channels to markets in order to direct access to large corporate supply chains, and more.
Each of the participants of the Program receives a team of entrepreneurial Guides who will be “mentors” on strategy, finance, marketing, sales, and personal development. The Guides are regarded as the crème da le crème of business “mentors”.
We know that the entrepreneurial journey can be very lonely, but as part of our community, you’ll be in the perfect position to interact with other entrepreneurs; draw strength and inspiration from them, and them from you. In this environment, participants can harness synergy and ensure that serendipity flourishes.
ABOUT AFRICA ISLAMIC ECONOMIC FOUNDATION (AFRIEF)
The Africa Islamic Economic Foundation (AFRIEF) is an independent development organization that is dedicated to fostering knowledge, entrepreneurship, leadership development, sustainable economic growth in Africa. Registered in the Republic of Ghana as a non-profit organization it promotes skills development and innovation among African youth, with a special emphasis on technology transfer and wealth creation, by providing them with greater access to education and business support services to build sustainable businesses and companies with high growth potential. It supports African Youths to build prosperous, socially engaged, happy and healthy lives by supporting lifelong learning, through strengthening families and helping people to gain the skills and knowledge they need to thrive and participate in a complex and challenging economy and society.
ABOUT SAYLOR ACADEMY
Saylor Academy is a nonprofit education initiative committed to providing pathways to education and skills for people worldwide. It accomplishes its mission by providing free, quality, college-level courses online that have been created and reviewed by real college professors who serve as subject matter experts (SMEs). Its consulting SMEs create courses using vetted Open Educational Resources, which are aligned to learning outcomes mirrored at institutions worldwide. Its process has resulted in college-credit recommendations for over 30 of its general education, business, and computer science courses reviewed so far from the American Council on Education. Its catalog focuses on General Education and Business disciplines as well as Professional Development Resources.