Sixteen Grade 10 learners from Windhoek’s top performing schools will be selected to partake in the Afrox leadership academy over a six-month period this year. The learners will, amongst others, be equipped with the necessary soft skills to make a tangible impact in their communities. Schools participating include Delta, Eldorado and Hage Geingob secondary schools.
Afrox Namibia will cover all costs needed to execute the programme.
A statement issued by Cornerstone Consultants says the programme will include a one-week leadership training camp, followed by active engagement in community projects for which participants will receive mentorship and assistance.
The first year will run on a smaller scale as a pilot programme. Lessons learnt from the pilot will form the backbone for future national implementation.
The statement says the academy will select students who achieved at least a 60 percent grade average for the previous academic year.
In addition, the learners should be involved in extra-mural activities, proficient in English, commit to working on a community project and be recommended by their teachers.
Afrox Namibia Managing Director Eckhardt Vorster said they designed a programme that would inspire young people to realise a new world of possibilities and provide them with tools they need to “un-doubt themselves”.
“Instead of only granting bursaries, which we believe is very necessary, we opted to develop a skill that at present is mastered too late in life. So imagine with me a world where in 10 to 20 years’ time we will have leaders who started from a young age to lead with strong character.”
Eckhardt added that one week intervention at the African leadership institute (ALI) will be followed by two key initiatives: firstly, a community development programme where participants will be required to craft and implement their own community project, derived from social or economic issues they have identified in their communities. Secondly, participants will partake in mentorship programmes to assist in successfully finalising the programme and the community project.
The mentorship is there to guide the academy participants through the six-month programme
Eckhardt said they are confident the programme will in the long run accelerate the emergence of well-trained, responsible citizens who will not wait for government interventions but will employ their skills to the benefit of their communities and the country at large.
Education, Arts and Culture Deputy Permanent Secretary Charles Kabajani, who launched the academy, said the ministry is experiencing many challenges that require doubling of efforts, innovative thinking and bold leadership to get the job done. Hence, Kabajani thanked Afrox for understanding the challenge and being willing to make a significant contribution. He said the ministry relies on the complementary roles played by institutions, both public and private.
Kabajani said many learners drop out of school or lose their way due to social realities. “If we can catch these learners before they give up, we have won half the battle. However, the ministry alone cannot tackle this problem, but needs support from the private sector. We are committed to the Afrox leadership academy and encourage schools and learners to participate in this venture,” said the deputy permanent secretary.