Category Archives: career development

Africa Digital Media Institute – ADMI Celebrates 5th Anniversary

This week the Africa Digital Media Institute (ADMI) celebrated its fifth anniversary. Founded in 2012 as the Jamhuri Film and Television Academy, by Wilfred Kiumi, it has gone from having 5 students to over 500 now and is well on its way to becoming Kenya’s premier film and media training school that will soon expand to Nigeria and Ghana.

via: ADMI facebook.

The school has expanded beyond film and TV production to include film & TV production, software engineering & design, digital marketing, sound engineering, music production, multimedia, animation, photography and graphic design

Founding Director Kiumi said young creatives took a long time to get international gigs and the gap is yet to be filled and this was why ADMI exists, and later, Director Laila Macharia said ADMI runs its programs to global standards, offering practical digital education so that students are earning incomes even before they graduate.

ADMI has a non-profit arm that works to help needy and deserving students with scholarships and in other ways. Now,  partners, studios, schools and other well-wishers can contribute to help even more students to get valuable training at ADMI.

ALU: Africa’s University of the Future

The African Leadership University (ALU) is a pan-African university, which  aims to prepare students for jobs that don’t exist today. Their programs aim to equip students  with necessary skills including entrepreneurship, leadership, critical thinking, and project management – right from their first term. They have an intense online engagement process to monitor student performance that starts right from the time students apply and  through admissions, assignments, courses, exams and assignments.

Their current degrees on offer at their Mauritius campus are Computing (Bsc), Business Management (BA), Social Sciences (BA) and Psychology (Bsc) . It opened in September 2015, and has over 200 students from over 30 African countries.  Every year, students can get up to 4  months of internship at one of the ALU partner organizations which include Cellulant, Coca Cola, McKinsey, Tiger, IBM, PWC, Thomson Reuters,  Pernod Ricard and Swiss Re. The partners also help subsidize the cost of education at ALU where year of tuition and accommodation is about $,7000 – a modest amount compared to the cost of university education in many countries.

They also have a study abroad program that takes 4-12 months and ALU will have an MBA program at a new campus that will soon open in Rwanda, and for which they are already accepting applications. ALU is part of the Africa Leadership Group, and has founders including Fred Swaniker, Graca Machel and Donald Kaberuka. Eventually, they plan to have  25 campuses across Africa that can host 10,000 students a year.

ALU teams are currently on road shows to promote the university in Accra, Nairobi, Johannesburg, and Lagos. They have a workshops, schools visits, and other events this month as they promote the university, and they are accepting applications up to a deadline on June 5.

Celebrating African Success

There was a dinner last week in Nairobi to toast James Mwangi the CEO of Equity Bank who won the second edition of the Forbes Africa Person of the year award (edging out President Joyce Banda of Malawi, Stephen Saad, Aliko Dangote & Tony Elumelu. In capping off this award-winning year for him, he spoke about the need for Africans, and particularly Kenyans to celebrate wealth and success not to be shy & hide about it.
     
This has been something that Ory (@kenyanpundit) has spoken of the in the past and a reason that there are few interesting award events to attend – as you keep seeing the same people & companies over and over being feted or speaking at events over and over  –as if they are the only entrepreneurs in town. Yet it if you look at the construction that the construction that’s changing Nairobi from Westlands to Eastlands, with new office towers, hotels, and residential estates, this is all private sector development largely done by anonymous entrepreneurs using vague company names.  

You will see a few other magazines like Management, Business Post, CIO, or some local TV shows profile a few new entrepreneurs CEO’s but nothing like the Forbes List.
The Forbes  list of Richest Africans itself may be controversial  – in the region Kenya had Naushad Merali, Tanzania has Salim Bakhresa, and Uganda had Sudhir Ruparelia, and dropping off from last year’s list were Uhuru Kenyatta, Chris Kirubi, Mohamed Al Fayed and Strive Masiyiwa. 
For various reasons – modesty, not wanting your rivals to know what you’re up to, fear of revealing secrets and business interests to creditors, or even family members, some entrepreneurs are shy about celebrating their success in public or with the media. But perhaps, the biggest reason for a successful entrepreneur to keep a low profile is because tax collectors at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) are also avid readers and viewers – and a high profile celebration, with dollar figures attached is likely to be followed by a friendly visit by tax agents.

Is Social Media a Career?

There have been a few jobs advertised of late for social media positions including at diverse companies like the Kenya Airports Authority, Nation Media Group and now Squad Digital (for Rwanda). 

But there’s more to these jobs than just being on Facebook or Twitter, and ultimately they are about communications – being aware & monitoring of what’s being said or written, then communicating a company position to the public, communicating product features, changes  & news, or communicating with customers in customer service – and to communicate properly, entails an understanding of media, marketing, campaigns, product cycles, consumer behaviour etc. This  Citizen news piece gives a behind the scenes look at the currently widely-acknowledged corporate leader in social media engagement – Safaricom.
Not all companies are ready for social media, nor should they all be online – and while the current mediums are blogs, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, they may next be on others such as G+, Whive or Mxit, having come from engaging on company websites and email. But ultimately, it’s about communications, not social media, and as @kaboro said – if all you know is Facebook & twitter, you’ll be out of a job before long.

LAG


Interpreting a local American Gangster

Having watched ‘American Gangster’ over the weekend then spent a couple of trips around town with a major business player, you get to understand why a certain group of people with mundane jobs can get so wealthy.

It’s understandable how the police do it (roadside bribes), but you can also bodyguards, drivers, personal assistants (PA’s) and even secretaries to that list

They are not necessarily corrupt but they are around centre of power and power players and have a chance to observe. By working closely supporting business and political leaders, they are unique situated to be around when the big deals happen, know what major developments are taking place and are able to spot arbitrage opportunities before anyone else.

Focus on drivers: They are in the company of ministers and other business leaders who talk deals in the cars and over their phones. Like the Frank Lucas character (played by Denzel Washington) in the movie American Gangster, drivers/bodyguards their bosses to meetings and get to see secret deals/big investments develop made by their boss whether it’s a new block of apartments, factory or even a new mistress. They also overhear conversations between the boss and engineer/architect/banker who’s sometimes in the car or over the phone as the boss dashes to/from meeting these same people.

The boss may be buying a building, but his driver may buy a small piece of land in the area or drop a line to a distant buddy to make another small deal. They observe secrets and learn skills at the same time.

Also bosses are human and have a compulsion to brag and backbite like all the rest of us – discussing with their driver the merits or demerits of an ongoing investment, or whether the person who has just hung up is a genius or an imbecile.

So it’s no surprise when a driver retires, he often has a sawmill, matatu or two, and three pieces of land or buildings, with wives scattered all over the country to manage them

His boss never groomed him and he never waited for Christmas or when the bosses’ good fortune sparked a feeling of goodwill and generosity that made him throw some crumbs at his henchmen.

So the driver creates a mini-empire silently over time to cater for his/her retirement, completely legitimate and by one who uses an opportunity to the maximum.