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Education
Governments in Africa have adopted a proactive policy towards widening the export basket for goods and services. It is therefore for this reason that market realities are forcing most governments to project their next level of growth from value added services export as key sectors to drive the export growth as well as the deepening of markets in the current decade and beyond. This is indeed in line with the global trade in services, which has emerged as a driving force of the world economy accounting for over 20% (World Bank, 2010). According to World Bank, “the services sector is key to economic growth, competitiveness, and poverty alleviation” According to this report, the services sector comprise more than two-thirds of the world economy and are now commonly traded across borders.

The reason for much of this is the support given by the technological progress and increased mobility of persons. Indeed, as noted in the same report, a number of developing countries have looked at trade in services as a means to both respond to domestic supply shortages and to diversify and boost exports. Africa can tap into the trade potential of services, but not every country can become a services hub across sectors. There is no doubting that opening the services sector comes with potentially large benefits, as well as fears and costs. The VACID Africa has is created this model to help national economies in Africa to address these constraints

Our focus as an organization is to develop institutional frameworks that promote wealth creation at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) by promoting excellence through knowledge, the clarion call of our institute. We seek to achieve this through collaboration, which we have achieved at the global level where we represent:
1. Cisco Entrepreneur Institute
2. Telecentre.org Academy, and
3. NetAfrica, the telecentre movement in Africa
We have vast experience in Agricultural Value Chains, SME Development, and Knowledge Systems and use our global collaborations to build the potential of our business and that of our collaborators.

We are currently looking for partners to promote the Telecentre Initiative throughout Africa in line with the global focus of taking ICT to all. We therefore promote practical ICT and entrepreneurship learning through the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute (www.ciscoinstitute.net) and effective and sustainable telecentre management in line with the Telecentre.org Academy (www.telecentre.org ).

While we are Cisco Partners responsible for creating Local Cisco Entrepreneur Institute Training Centers, we also collaborate on their behalf with institutions that can offer enhanced learning certificates such as universities and middle level colleges.

What We Now Need
We want to enter into a partnership with your learning institutions to support the creation of localised Telecentres as learning and business hubs to promote grassroots focused development initiative.

If a learning institution exists that would like to explore how its curriculum can reach more people at their operational areas, we would like to explore possibilities of their hosting our institute within their precincts. We do this by::
1. Appointing them as learning initiatives in their own areas as service providers of VACID Africa's Telecentre Academy and Cisco Entrepreneur Institutes’ curricula
2. Supporting the Women Digital Literacy Campaign which was launched early this month in Santiago Chile by Telecentre.org with Intel's Collaboration
3. Promoting the creation of capacity building centres through the collaboration tools that promote knowledge in telecentre management, agribusiness and related businesses that support community enterprise development

We propose a model that addresses the challenges presented here from the recommendations of the study on post-primary agricultural education and training in sub-Sahara Africa adapting supply to changing demand (Vandenbosch, 2006) which observed that:
1. There is need for reorientation of post-primary education and training so that it contributes to increased rural productivity and economic growth.
2. Creation of closer links to labor markets and greater attention to learners’ needs so as to make post-primary education and training much more relevant and effective.
3. More diversified funding mechanisms are needed to ensure quality and sustainable post-primary education and training.
4. There is need for enhanced support to educators and trainers to make post-primary education and training more resourceful.
5. Improved school-community linkages are needed so as to transform post-primary education and training institutions into multi-functional learning centers.
6. Action-research and more effective monitoring and evaluation are needed so as to allow a better understanding of post-primary agricultural education and training.

While all the above points are equally important, it is the fifth 5th point that resonates most effectively with what this collaboration. With so much learning schools having more infrastructure than there are learners, we seek to link the potential that ICT based learning brings to Murang’a College of Science and Technology by providing the technology leaning of our organization. We also bring to the this collaboration our involvement in community efforts that promote agricultural value chain related engagements. This collaboration therefore proposes the formulation of a unifying institutional framework for the diffusion of our research in technology and SMEs through community owned incubation and knowledge centers and agribusiness and value chains development.

Entrepreneurship Innovation and Incubation

The proposal in this collaboration therefore is to support opportunity generation from a digital perspective, itself guided with the reality that enterprises fail within the first one year once they are start and hence creating the critical need to ameliorate their failure. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM Report, 2006) outlines four major areas of the cause of entrepreneurship failure, which this collaboration must bear if it seeks to address enterprise success. These are:
1. Culture ( emphasis is on seeking employment)
2. Skills (lack of business and entrepreneurial skills)
3. Support (government and private sector support for new enterprises and high administrative burdens and high costs)
4. Access to finance (while finance is available, it is difficult to access)

According to this report, half of all new businesses fail within the first few years. The report further notes that
1. Successful Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the largest contributor to economic development
2. Business skills and IT solution integration are the driving forces for efficiency and productivity in SMEs
3. Current lack of practical, step-by-step business and technology-enablement programs inhibits sustainable SME competitiveness and growth

This collaboration seeks to address the focus for eIncubation, which we shall support through the institutional infrastructure, which VACID Africa Institute uses to formulate partnership with other institutions and is driven by the Web 2.0 tools provided by the existing partnership with the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute.

Our Curricula

One of the biggest constraints in virtually all organizations is the right staff for assignments where results are needed rather fast. This then creates the need for training through collaboration with education-based organizations, to address ways of integrating measures that promote self-employment among its graduates, and to provide a mechanism for learning institutions to have a community of their own creation that they too can grow with and from that influence local and regional development.

With the technology that Cisco has created, this paradigm gains a boost by the provision of cloud computing for communication with operational centers and teachers/lecturers. In this perspective, the solution provided by Cisco includes access:
1. To Learning Management & CRM tools
2. To Content
3. To Collaboration platform (WebEx),

Through these set of tools, learning institutions can integrate post education programmes in entrepreneurship that offer supportive integration of academic and professional learning programmes. The courses that we integrate to these programmes include:
1. Starting a Business
2. Growing a Business
3. iExec Enterprise Essentials
4. iExec Public Sector Essentials

It may however be beneficial if our partners provides starter programmes for the new students who may need to learn the basics. Preliminary courses then get offered to this category of starting or continuing students not exposed to computing. The courses in this category include:
1. Career Essentials
2. Computer Literacy, and
3. Entrepreneurial Mindset

Duration of Courses

Course

Duration

Session

Web-based

Facilitated

Starting-A Business

54

9 hours

45 hours

Growing-a- Business

40

8 hours

32 hours

iExec Enterprise Essentials

52

7 hours

45 hours

iExec Public Sector Essentials

53

8 hours

45 hours



Training Centers and What Institutes Provide:

People

Facilities

Vision and Leadership

· Facilitators with business experience

· Workshop room (holds 20) equipment required tabulated in Appendix A

· Commitment to deliver workshops to the Small and Medium Business Community

· Institute Program Managers

· Computers (1:1 ratio)

· Business Coaches

· Broadband access for the workshop

· Guest Speakers

· Digital Media System –Video Network

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