Editors Note: Francois-Xavier Ada, a Pilot Student Beni American University shares his thoughts and perception of the Technology Entrepreneurship Program He completed at BAU in May 2012.
Blogger, Pilot Student of Beni American University
In a continent where agriculture counts for more than 40% of the economic output, technology is slowly making its entry. Beyond just making money, a number of African entrepreneurs are visionaries ready to tackle Africa’s development problems with the tools Africa has to offer. Technology entrepreneurship is a field selected by most because of the fast changing African market and the sympathy of foreign investors in the sector, the reason being the fact that technology entrepreneurship is a skill easily applicable in most sectors of society, health and education being the most prominent of all.
When I decided to join the pilot program of Beni American University on Technology Entrepreneurship, I was very questioning of many things; Why tech entrepreneurship? Why Africa? were among the questions that were racing in my head. I came to accept, by the end of the month long program, a reality I knew before: Africa is a market waiting for adventurers.
But being a university committed to providing world-class education to every African without prejudice, the strategy adopted by BAU was less capitalist and more humane approach to entering the African market. The teaching strategy was revolutionary and a true premiere in Africa. Instead of crammed texts, lessons, not classes, are learnt from the people that made it before us; a revolutionary strategy that highlights the imagination and thinking capacity of the students instead of how well the latter can cram a book.
Not that a retentive memory is bad or wrong but BAU understood that education is more than that. TEDx talks, how-tos and articles from young entrepreneurs from around the world are part of the compulsory materials each student must be acquainted to. In addition, the friendly platform enhanced the teacher-student and student-student interactions and made them as lively as possible.
Africa has moved a long way from tam-tams and horns as tools of communications. Despite being a society where innovations are not smiled upon and while mobile and internet penetration is not as high as in the developed world, there is a genuine willingness among Africans to see Africa change and Beni American is leading that change, at least in its sector. Notwithstanding the challenges ahead, cultural and financial in nature, Beni American University is on to pioneer a new generation of students in Africa.
Thank you BAU for the chance you give to young African minds.