21 Nov Growing The Mentoring Community in Africa
Young people play a very succinct role in every society.
They form a greater part of the labour force and are a major social capital for societies hoping for better days ahead.
Hence, progressive societies create channels to provide sufficient investments, resources and opportunities towards the positive socialization of their young adult population and Africa, is not left out. However, the results are not encouraging.
About sixty (60) percent of Africa’s total population is below the 35 years mark hence the continent has one of the highest reservoirs of intrinsically productive youth population in the world.
Sadly, with sparse success stories irrespective of the abundance of capabilities the African youth has little to look forward to. With the spate of corruption, discontent, discrimination, abuse, unemployment, killings and sometimes crippling poverty the young African mind needs a lot of moulding. A lot of mentoring.
As a result of the many problems crippling the continent, Africa’s youth are on the verge of defeat, with only a few seeing the opportunities that abound in their capabilities.
The African youth faces a problem of vision and sometimes even a broken system. Over time, several organisations in and outside the continent have put in the work to help the African youth look beyond the horizon.
Mentorship had proven to be a vital tool in shaping these young minds. These organisations have provided mentorship via means of alumni associations in tertiary institutions, internship programs, tech hubs, bootcamps, etc.
These programs are giving the youth an escape from reality and giving them reasons to dream about a better future. Achievable success. While we celebrate these small victories, more can still be done.
There is a huge need to encourage mentorship culture in the continent and organisations are looking outside the traditional mentoring strategies to increase participation by mentors and mentees. Some key elements should be taken into cognisance to ensure the needed boost in mentorship growing the mentorship Community in Africa. Some key factors to be considered include;
Increased education and training opportunities strategically integrated into the social agenda.
From societies created for mentorship purposes affixed into extracurricular activities in schools to actively engage young minds and acquaint them with the availability of mentorship.
Also, increasing mentoring opportunities, approach, types and options. A culture that supports multiple types of mentorship opportunities. From mentoring groups, to social platforms to even one-on-one basis. This would encourage young people to participate irrespective of their personality type.
Growing The Mentoring Community in Africa
The following need to be implemented in order to grow quality mentorship in Nigerian communities.
- EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION
In order to ensure people get quality mentoring there is need for an effective collaboration between the government in all African countries at different levels, the private sector, NGOs and mentoring initiatives.
Each sector can’t go a long way without the support of each other.
Mentorship helps to shape quality leaders of tomorrow.
2. CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT
There is need for the African government to provide adequate security and conducive environment in order for mentoring communities to thrive and do more. There is also an equal need for the government to provide adequate infrastructural development for mentoring initiatives to take advantage of, to reach out to young Africans especially.
3. DEPENDABLE ECONOMIC POLICY
There is need for the governments in African countries to ensure that good economic policies are put in place to help start-ups and SMEs to thrive and grow the African economy thereby factoring in mentorship programmes in their business activities.
4. MAKE MENTORSHIP PROGRAMMES EASILY AFFORDABLE
If not free, there is need to ensure that mentorship programmes are easily accessible and affordable to the average Nigerian.
At Mentor Africa Foundation, we provide a FREE platform for young professionals to get connected to mentors in their chosen field.
5. ENSURING MORE COMPANIES FACTOR IN MENTORING PROGRAMMES
Many businesses in the formal and informal sector are yet to see the importance of mentorship as a factor for business growth. When there are policies in place to ensure mentoring programmes are factored into companies’ activities and policies, the mentorship system will also be positively affected and grow.
6. TAKING MENTORSHIP TO THE GRASSROOT
“Catch them young”; they say.
There is need to ensure that quality and more mentoring programmes are taken to the grass root level, to the local communities and young ones.
In fact, mentorship should be part of the school curriculum activities to ensure that children in the high school get the adequate information to choose the kind of profession and careers they want.
7. VOLUNTEERING INITIATIVE
One of the key ways the mentoring community will grow is when more mentors are willing to get involved in the initiative. There is no longer a reason to watch from the sidelines. It is now essential to have more successful and experienced people to take on the role of leadership by teaching, inspiring and motivating other people to not only learn from their experiences but also shape them to become dependable leaders in the nearest future. So when more people get involved in mentoring others, it will definitely boost the mentoring community and in turn create a motivating environment for others.
To become a mentor, pls register here.
The benefits of improving the mentoring community in Africa are many.
No doubt, the road to achieving these results can be accomplished by going down different routes.
Furthermore, there needs to be an increased demand for mentorship. This creates an easy multiplier effect. Herd culture is a phenomenon that is common within the young population, creating a demand for mentorship equates an increased interest rate and inadvertently increased participation.
There is still so much to achieve in the march to grow the Mentorship Community in Africa. Africa is a major player in all aspects of the world and there is still so much that we can conquer with the right mindset . To get started, take your first step, join the global mentor-mentee community.
Register with Mentor Africa Foundation and begin your journey to disrupt the negative status quo amongst Africa’s young population .