The politics of Identity in Africa: Diversity and Inclusion
Prof. Tal Edgars
July 07, 2023
In this paper, I would like to achieve three objectives. Firstly, I will highlight the problem at stake: what does it mean to speak of African identity? Indeed, it is not obvious that we all have the same understanding when we use concepts to express reality. There are concepts which are not easily dealt with. For instance, the case of the concept of globalization that is so much used today, in different and conflicting ways, is eloquent. It is the same with the concept of identity. So, what do we mean by identity? More precisely, what do we mean by African identity? To clarify concepts that we use is an important step in order to avoid any semantic confusion.
Secondly, clarification of terminologies will pave the way to explore and critique what I would call schools of thought on the issue of African identity. There is an extensive African literature on this topic. This goes from negritude literature and all the literature before and after independence to the present day. I wish to distinguish four schools of thought that represent four models through which African identity has been or is often thought of. My contention here is that these four models have failed to define as well as to promote a sound, dynamic and vibrant African identity. They all fall into the trap of one dimensionality or exclusionism. The approach of presenting an African identity at the expense of other dimensions needs to be reconsidered. The end result of the four models reveals an inadequacy in their dealing with the question of African identity.
The third objective is an attempt to go beyond the existing models of African identity by reconstructing a new model that can help us to build an African identity that is positive, dynamic, and appropriate to today’s context.
Tags: Design Thinking, Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership
School Feeding, Food and Nutrition and Food Security in South Africa
August 01, 2021
The mission of the paper is to examine how a sustainable and healthy food system can be achieved, to realise food security for poor, vulnerable and marginal populations. Our goal as GBSH Consult Group is to fill knowledge gaps by undertaking research that is of strategic and policy importance. We also seek to contribute to capacity building efforts and dissemination of information, to make our Group the leading hub of knowledge production on Food Security and Nutrition in Africa.
Tags: Ecosystems, GovTech, Predictive Analytics
WHAT THE GLOBAL ECONOMY LOOK LIKE IN 2023?
January 31, 2023
According to GBSH Consult Group’s most recent analysis on the State of the Nations, “predictions are hard to make in the current environment, 2022 has been a dismal year for economic forecasts and 2023 will not be any easier to read,” the report in the recent analysis indicates that, with all the “black swans”
[extremely rare events with very negative consequences] and “gray rhinos” [slowly emerging, predictable yet ignored threats] emerging over the last few years, forecasting has become even more difficult. But the key question for 2023 is whether central banks will be able to temper inflation. Perhaps they won’t
be able to get it down all the way to the 2% target, but perhaps enough to avoid a recession or at least a deep one. Even though there are significant regional differences, the stakes are very high everywhere.
Preceding a strong rebound in 2021, the global economy is entering a pronounced slowdown amid fresh threats from COVID-19 variants and an ongoing rise in inflation, debt, and income inequality that could endanger the recovery in emerging and developing economies, according to the World Bank’s latest
Global Economic Prospectus report.
Tags: Business Continuity, Business Strategy, Predictive Analytics
The SA Board of People Practices - People Factor 2022 - The future of work and ever-growing importance of L&D
South Africa Board of People Practices- Settings HR Standards
January 26, 2023
With reskilling being critical to organization success, the transformation of the learning function is beyond doubt going to follow suit.
Learning is no longer only a retention measurement, but overtime has become key in realizing business strategy.
In the future of work, L&D is about building a culture of continuous learning throughout the organization.
L&D will need to undergo a significant transformation to successfully reimagine learning.
In the current edge of constant change and scarcity, the disruptive workforce landscape requires organisations to largely restructure the way they are doing work, which has a significant impact on the capabilities that business leaders expect from their people. In addition, automation may displace 85 million jobs by 2025, whereas time now spent on tasks will be equally divided between people and machines. For these reasons, workforce roles will change and so do the skills needed to perform them.
Tags: Design Thinking, HR, Leadership
The economics of apartheid and racial inequality by H.E. Prof. Dr. Amb. Tal Edgars
December 22, 2022
It should surprise no one that the weight of our history hampers our attempts to create a prosperous society. This has been a constant theme in presidential State of the Nation addresses. Of the 25 such addresses since 1994 (two in election years), 20 have mentioned the word ‘apartheid’ at least once. In 2004 Thabo Mbeki, celebrating 10 years of democracy, said that ‘we have always known that our country's blemishes produced by more than three centuries of colonialism and apartheid could not be removed in one decade’. In 2011 Jacob Zuma said that ‘the legacy of decades of apartheid underdevelopment and colonial oppression cannot be undone in only 17 years’. In more recent addresses, President Zuma has observed that ‘apartheid spatial patterns still persist in our towns and cities’ (2013), and that ‘the culture of violence originated from the apartheid past’ (South Africa Government Online 2014) South Africa Government Online, 2014.
Tags: Leadership, Business Strategy, Diversity and Inclusion
ANALYSIS: UNITED NATIONS’ PERFORMANCE IN THE LIGHT OF CONTEMPORARY GLOBAL CHALLENGES by Prof Tal Edgars
December 13, 2022
It is an undeniably fact that the United Nations plays an important role in our world. Since its establishment, its main aim is to be a beacon of international peace and security in all means. However, the organizations recently suffered from a lot of institutional, political and other problems, as well as problems within its significant organs like General Assembly, International Court of Justice and most importantly, the Security Council. The United Nations has showed a lot of failures and inactions in tackling and solving a lot of contemporary political conflicts, civil wars, and humanitarian crises that have been escalated since the Arab Spring’s revolutions in 2011. Moreover, the problems it suffers from have become more severe, overwhelming and have been threatening its integrity, objectivity, credibility and effectiveness in the eyes of a lot of scholars, international experts, countries and populations.
Therefore, I intend to give a critical analysis to the current functioning of the United Nations organization.
Tags: Business Continuity, Business Strategy, International Relations
The viability and economics of township economies
Prof. Tal Edgars
June 20, 2023
Townships have a long and complicated history in South Africa. Before 1994, the townships were forced to function outside of the mainstream economy and so were a major tool in the racial segregation and economic marginalisation of black people. After 1994, the institutionalised system of racial segregation came to a formal end and the government has since worked to integrate the townships into the formal economy. However, the formal disbandment of the previous system did not eliminate these underdeveloped, (typically) urban residential areas located on the outskirts of metropolitan areas.
Currently there are over 500 townships in the country, whose combined land mass surpasses that of Johannesburg and Durban combined and which are home to an estimated 40% of South Africa’s urban population. Much like the rest of the country, townships are plagued with high unemployment rates.
Most township businesses are necessity-based and unable to grow beyond a store front or small-scale operation. Additionally, these businesses tend to operate informally, with low financial and employment returns. The World Bank estimates that only 15% of township enterprises are formally registered, compared with 30% of similar enterprises in urban areas, and they generally do not provide goods or services that reach larger markets or create quality jobs.
Despite these characteristics, governments at various levels have focused on leveraging township communities, and the entrepreneurs and small businesses that operate within them, to support economic growth at the provincial and national levels. Initiatives have been implemented over the last few decades to support township small businesses, though many of these efforts have been criticised as only improving townships at a superficial level, rather than an ecosystem level. The ineffectiveness of these interventions is evidenced by the stagnant state of the overall South African MSME sector over the past decade, as the total number of MSMEs in the country dropped by nearly 300,000 between 2008 and 2017.
Tags: Business Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Future of Work
Futureproofing through learning and development by using design thinking: A case study of South Africa
Prof. Tal Edgars
May 26, 2023
Constructivist learning is epistemologically positioned in viewing the world with multiple knowledge interpretations and construction. Learning is therefore both contextual and relational, it is about making meaning, which is personal and unique to the individual. For as Biggs (2003, p. 13) states:
Learning is thus a way of interacting with the world. As we learn, our conceptions of phenomena change, and we see the world differently. The acquisition of information in itself does not bring about such change, but the way we structure that information and think with it does.
Developing skills and capabilities, such as those indicated above, that focus on self- development requires learning and development proffesionals to possess a heightened awareness of themselves as professionals and commit to continuous learning, self- development, and renewal. Therefore, “employees must be given the opportunity to
develop their own personal and collective positions on human capital issues, and to discover possibilities for activating those positions through praxis” (Boyce et al., 2012, p. 66).
It is true today as it was yesterday that workers across each industry and sector will leave to pasture new if they feel undervalued with no growth plan. Upskilling is a solution but not the be all. As demands and delivery requirements change to meet the needs of today’s customer, how can organisations keep pace? Teams have no option but to learn new skills, update on old skills to meet the new. The saying, every day is a learning day rings true to the masses but how can this be done in a structured and strategic way?
The field of learning and development is in need of new design thinking. New approaches that capture the challenges of making strategies both real and realisable. Approaches that bring life to the human dimension of creating new futures for institutions, that move us, beyond the sterility of traditional approaches in organisations. The resuscitation of an old approach that offers new possibilities - the metaphor of strategy as a process of design and how to use that to future proof through learning and development.
Tags: Business Strategy, Change Management, Design Thinking
Leadership in Africa
Prof. Tal Edgars
December 07, 2022
The paper argues that, there is a disconnection between the rulers and the ruled, and that the African nations can truly develop only when the leadership question is rightly settled. Drawing lessons from Madiba Mandela conundrum, we argue the thesis that, without comprehension, mental magnitude, spiritual depth, selflessness and incorruptibility which are the core indigenous African leadership qualities that defined the Mandela persona, our long walk to democratic consolidation will ever remain a distant dream.
A conclusion is here argued that, there is need for a revolution in the aims and methods of power engineering, so that the basic aim becomes the promotion of socially, economically and politically important desires of man; the promotion of wisdom in leadership by rational means, not by knowledge means. Such is argued as the new Africa of the Twenty-First Century. This is a call on African leaders to domesticate the capacity and ability to appreciate and grasp the salient details as well as the practical and temporal implications of a given problem or situation; to lead and live by the personal example set by Madiba Nelson Mandela, one leader crafted of gold and delivered to Africa for leadership lessons.
Tags: Design Thinking, Diversity and Inclusion, International Relations
UNISA Principal and Vice Chancellor's Africa Intellectual Scholar Series lecture by Prof. Tal Edgars
University of South Africa
June 30, 2022
Prof Puleng LenkaBula, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of South Africa (Unisa), will be hosting the 1st lecture of the Africa Intellectual Scholar series. This year’s lecture will be delivered by his Excellency Prof. Dr. Ambassador Tal Edgars, under the topic “the new frontier – Africa: where do we stand?”
His Excellency Prof. Dr. Ambassador Tal Edgars, Q.C is a global multi- award winning, well known business authority, diplomat and a cutting-edge thinker with an outstanding record in planning, managing and executing highly successful private and public sector initiatives in Africa, Europe, America & Asia. He has an academic, diplomatic and international civil service background with a global inclination and provides quite extensive domestic best practices in Africa, He is Africa’s leading authority and informed voice on knowledge of foreign policy community, Growth and Competitiveness Practice, complex negotiations, strategic foresight, government affairs, entrepreneurship, investment policies, brand strategy and how countries & businesses can be active participants in their own development.
Prof. Dr. Ambassador Tal Edgars is currently the Chairman GBSH Consult Group Worldwide. He is also the Chair of the Master Task Force team in South Africa on Social Development and Social Entrepreneuship.
The Africa Intellectual Scholar Series, Knowledge Systems and Africa Futures Programme, is part of the Principal and Vice Chancellor’s Projects at Unisa. This programme is also part of a series of Academic and Public Lectures, Business/ Academic Roundtables aimed at promoting innovative ideas, debates, discussions and research ingenuity on discourses and processes of envisioning and constructing Africa’s development and its futures.
The lecture is a continuation of the African Intellectuals Project, Knowledge Systems and Africa Futures Programme, which is part of the Principal and Vice Chancellor’s Projects at Unisa
Tags: Business Strategy, Culture, Design Thinking
The future of work and ever-growing importance of Learning and Development
The South African Board of People Practices
January 26, 2023
With reskilling being critical to organisational success, the transformation of the learning function is beyond doubt going to follow suit.
Learning is no longer only a retention measurement, but overtime has become key in realising business strategy.
In the future of work, L&D is about building a culture of continuous learning throughout the organisation.
L&D will need to undergo a significant transformation to successfully reimagine learning.
In the current edge of constant change and scarcity, the disruptive workforce landscape requires organisations to largely restructure the way they are doing work, which has a significant impact on the capabilities that business leaders expect from their people. In addition, automation may displace 85 million jobs by 2025, whereas time now spent on tasks will be equally divided between people and machines. For these reasons, workforce roles will change and so do the skills needed to perform them. Many leaders are aware of this so-called approach to upskilling and reskilling and admit that learning is no longer a retention measurement but instead a key in realising business strategy.
Tags: Change Management, Culture, Future of Work
Prof Tal Edgars
January 11, 2023
He is a multi- award winning, well known business authority, seasoned diplomat & a cutting edge thinker with an outstanding record in planning, managing and executing highly successful private and public sector initiatives in Africa, Europe, America & Asia. He has an academic, diplomatic and international civil service background. Africa’s leading authority and informed voice on knowledge of foreign policy, contract theory, Growth and Competitiveness Practice, complex negotiations, strategic foresight, government affairs and how countries & businesses can be active participants in their own development.
Tags: Leadership, Culture, Diversity and Inclusion