The challenges of providing safe and sustainable transport infrastructure in Africa require innovative, motivated and technically capable leaders who can effectively manage and deliver infrastructure projects within this environment. However, often this technical and managerial capacity requires development, particularly when it comes to experience and ability to deliver large and complex projects.
Phase 1 of the Africa regional Transport Sector Leadership Development Programme (TSLDP) was delivered in 2017 and outlined the basis under which a structured programme to develop the technical and managerial skills of sub-Saharan Africa's future transport sector leaders should be developed. The main outcome from this was that a Centre for Sub-Saharan Transportation Leadership (CSSTL) should be established to act as the host and owner of TSLDP into the future, helping to provide a sustainable platform for its long-term implementation. Phase 2 of the project is currently underway and involves the establishment of this centre of excellence. Mott MacDonald, the University of Cape Town and University of Birmingham are working with ReCAP and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana (who were selected as the preferred host university) to establish the centre.
The TSLDP aims to develop a structured training programme that is deliverable across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop African professionals into the future leaders of the African transportation industry. There are five core objectives, which are as follows:
1. Research: whilst not a specific research project in itself, research projects may be included as part of the curricula to develop skills.
2. Capacity building: important to ensure sustainable continuation of this project and ReCAP's overall aims and objectives once the ReCAP programme ends.
3. Knowledge exchange: develop the ability to communicate knowledge and ideas effectively through interventions like technical reporting and paper writing, giving presentations, managing and presenting at stakeholder workshops, developing and presenting training courses and how to review and assess technical papers.
4. Uptake and embedment: monitoring and evaluating the uptake and embedment of skills throughout the programme. The output from the TSLDP should be a group of forward thinking, confident and competent young professionals for the roads and transport sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. They will become role models to other young professionals and be able to influence the development of future generations.
5. Gender Balance: this is a key element of the project, with a focus on trying to address the issue of gender balance and the increased participation of female professionals in the technical leadership of the transport sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Phase 1 scoping study commenced in November 2016 and ended in December 2017. Phase 2 commenced in February 2019 and is scheduled to end in late 2020 under the High-Volume Transport (HVT) programme. There is also the potential for a 2-year extension to the project to provide additional support to KNUST implementing the Masters degree programme.
The team are currently working collaboratively to establish the centre at KNUST. Initially, this involves developing the Masters Degree curriculum and securing approval from KNUST University Management for the establishment of a new programme at the university.
The curriculum blends technical transport modules, such as "Principles of Road Engineering" and "Transport Policy and Planning" with leadership and management modules, "Transport Leadership", "Leadership Development" and "Project Management". The transport and leaderships modules will be delivered by KNUST's Transport Research and Education Centre (TRECK) and their Graduate Business School respectively.
Once university approval is secured, the team can commence marketing the programme and initiating the accreditation processes. Accreditation will start with the National Accreditation Board in Ghana but the aim is to also secure international accreditation from a recognized international professional body. Whilst these processes are ongoing, there will also be engagement with industry and other bodies to generate support for the CSSTL, in terms of funding support for student scholarships, teaching, mentoring and quality control.
The plan is to have an approved programme in place, in addition to the requisite teaching resources, for Cohort 1 to be enrolled for commencement in September 2020.
AfCAP partner countries will likely be the initial beneficiaries of this programme. However, the ultimate goal is to provide a programme that is deliverable across Sub-Saharan Africa and is open to candidates from across the sector (i.e. public and private sector), irrespective of whether they are AfCAP partners.
Whilst these tasks are ongoing, the team will
also be communicating with key stakeholders from across Sub-Saharan Africa,
and elsewhere, with a view towards obtaining key contributions to the
development of the programmes structure and content. Furthermore, it is
important that the programme has partners who can assist in its delivery,
accreditation and/or future sustainability, particularly once ReCAP ends in
Bloom's taxonomy of learning progression
Transport Sector Leadership Development Programme, Inception Report, January 2017
Transport Sector Leadership Development Programme, Interim Phase 1 Report: Programme Development, June 2017
TSLDP, IRF Congress Presentation, July 2017
TSLDP, Stakeholder Workshop Slides, July 2017
TSLDP, Stakeholder Workshop Report, August 2017
TSLDP, Curriculum Development Report, December 2017
TSLDP, Final Report, December 2017
CSSTL, Inception Report, February 2019