Global Training Manager, Caroline, gives some insight into an upcoming train-the-trainer course for business professionals looking to become cultural awareness trainers and coaches.
The 29th September till 1st October 2014 are going to be three very exciting days! Why? Because we are putting on a market-leading workshop in London aimed at African business professionals to enable them to become cross-cultural trainers.
Essentially, our goal is to spread the word about the importance of cross-cultural understanding as a building block for doing business across the African continent.
The reason for this new initiative is quite simple. Let’s face it, the intercultural world has largely concentrated on cultural differences in Europe, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region. For a long time, the African continent was left out or oversimplified. This is why we are dedicated to upskilling African business professionals to become intercultural trainers and consultants.
Tapping into African Potential
If you are not yet convinced as to why you should be investing in Africa, here is another look at the facts…the African continent is the second largest on our planet. It can fit all of the US, Europe, India and China. Over 900 million people populate the 53 countries and it is the home of over 2,000 languages and dialects. In addition, the middle class is growing steadily. In addition, most Fortune 500 companies have a presence on the continent and it is only a matter of time until others follow suit. Its links to Europe, low inflation rates and stabilising economy across the continent is proving attractive to foreign investments. If you need more reasons, check out Euvin Naidoo TED talk on ‘Why Invest in Africa’ (2007).
All we need is Ubuntu
Last week, I attended the Africa Global Partnership Forum in London, which made me realise how timely and important our initiative is. The words partnership and ‘ubuntu’ were clearly the underlying themes of the conference. Ubuntu can be defined as ‘humanity or fellow feeling; kindness’ (Collins Dictionary).
Ubuntu comes from a Zulu concept which ‘means that a person is only a person through their relationship to others’. We feel it is our duty to create further opportunities for ‘ubuntu’ and enable people across the African continent to get more inter-connected on a human level for the greater good. Technologically speaking, 3G is already available in most cities – but what good is technological connectedness without the human-ness behind it?
Great dreams do not happen on their own, and aside from funding they require collaboration.
The theme of the conference was ‘developing strategic partners to accelerate growth in Africa’s emerging markets’, and although there was great talk of challenges - for example the lacking infrastructure - there were also talk of great potential. Dr. Adesina Iluyemi stated, ‘can you imagine a high speed network rail between Morocco and Mozambique... well it is possible’, and he is right.
It is only with mutual understanding of each other’s values, and empathy that we can create effective working relationships to make these dreams a reality.
Why do we want more African cross-cultural trainers?
Our mission is simple. In this workshop we aim to initiate ‘collective intelligence’ opportunities along with African business professionals to enable them to develop cross-cultural training skills which in turn will help create knowledge sharing opportunities to develop/facilitate/coach/train multicultural groups of people who are all working towards the same goal.
We want to make big dreams become reality on this exciting continent, and this is our contribution.
We are specifically looking for African business professionals with the following backgrounds: possessing an undergraduate degree, at least 3 years of professional experience (if not more), having lived in their home country for at least 5 years, passion about their own cultures and the open mind to learn about other cultures. Those who want to learn how to teach adults and develop facilitation, training and coaching skills and diversify their income stream should get in touch.
In fact, through this programme we are taking Charles’ Robertson’s advice as we aim to ‘give [people] the skills that they can take back to Africa, [so that] and their companies will grow an awful lot faster than most of ours here in the West. And then you and I can help make sure that for Africa, the 21st century is their century’.