By Clotilde Angelucci TSiBA on 12 Apr 2018
The latest ESEFA programme was held at TSiBA with academic participants from various Educational Institutions across Africa. We chatted to the UCT Course Convenor Gwamaka Mwalemba about the course, its objective and the value of these programmes and collaborations for African Educators.
ESEFA Centre is an Academic Competence Centre for enterprise systems education in the sub-Saharan Africa. The Enterprise Systems Education For Africa (ESEFA) kicked off in September 2013 in a ground-breaking partnership between the University of Cape Town’s (UCT)Department of Information Systems in the Faculty of Commerce, the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg (OVGU) in Germany and market leader SAP with its SAP University Alliances programme, with the aim developing an Enterprise Systems (ES) education platform, curriculum and community for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
The objective of the PPP-Project (Public Private Partnership-Project) was to establish an on-demand Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) teaching and learning platform for (Sub-Saharan) Africa, which is scalable and maintained independently from Africa. In order to achieve this, extensive capacity building measures were carried out and a comprehensive tool set was designed and implemented to allow for blended learning (i.e. teaching can take place in many different ways and by using a variety of online and offline teaching methods).
The project team developed a curriculum and established an African university community to deliver ES / ERP education courses within the sub-Saharan region together with the business management software, solutions and services market leader SAP and OVGU, where the UCC (University Competence Center) Magdeburg provides access to the SAP ERP education systems.
The Enterprise Resource Planning course took place at TSiBA at the beginning of April with members of the Academic and Management Department from TSiBA Business School, University of Johannesburg, Kwame Nkurumah University of Science & Technology in Ghana, University of Cape Town, Mulungushi University in Zambia, and Sol Plaatje University in the Northern Cape.
Mr Gwamake Mwalemba was the UCT Course Convenor who facilitated the programme. We were lucky to spend some time with him and delve deeper into this ground-breaking programme for Sub-Saharan Universities.
We’re excited to have you here and to take part into the programme. Could you share what is the aim of the course and the reasons behind its design?
The course aims to introduce lecturers to an African-based enterprise systems case study and teaching materials that they can use to teach their students about theoretical and practical aspects of enterprise systems. The practical component is developed using the SAP system, which is one of the leading enterprise systems globally. The course is motivated by two main factors; firstly, the critical shortage of enterprise system skills across the continent and secondly the need to teach students using case studies and scenarios that are relevant to their context.
The course is for African lecturers. How were the participants chosen?
We invited lecturers across Africa who are either currently teaching enterprise systems or those considering introducing enterprise systems to their various programs in their respective universities.
In your experience, what do you find are the common needs various institutions share when it comes to ERP?
The common need is the access to teaching resources that are contextually relevant , that enable students to not only learn the theory but also be exposed to the practical elements of designing, implementing and using ERP systems in organisations.
To date, what is the feedback you received from participants?
Most participants found the course challenging but exciting and eye opening. The common request was gaining access to additional resources that are offered under ESEFA programme so that they can incorporate them into University courses in their specific disciplines. There was also a keen appreciation for the diversity of participants, both in terms of disciplines as well as nationalities, which was seen as a catalyst for future collaborations in research, curriculum development and other aspects such as external examination.
I would also like to share the general sense that Africa can do more with such programs that brings us together. All participants demonstrated a great deal of knowledge and experience that was happily shared during the course via discussions. Most of us were surprised on how similar the challenges we faced as educators across the continent and we all left with plenty of ideas on how to do things better.
Read more about joining the ESEFA Centre here