Students from various educational institutions from KwaZulu-Natal will take part in a five day leadership development training programme hosted by the Coega Development Corporation.
The third annual Coega Youth Leadership Development Academy (CYLDA) training programme is taking place from Monday, 30 June to Friday, July 4, at the Wartburg Hotel in Pietermaritzburg. The theme of this year’s programme is “Leadership: The Attitude of the Heart”, and participants will be addressed by top South African speakers, such as leading academic Dr Frans Kekana; journalist and author Sandile Memela, seasoned social entrepreneur Sibongile Mosia, and economists and CYLA project managers Njabulo Sithebe and Nomzamo Kolo.
The 40 students attending this year’s programme are currently studying at the University of Zululand (Unizulu), University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) and Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT).
“The programme aims to provide young leaders with the robust life insight and in-depth content required to lead effectively in a changing society,” said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC Head of Marketing and Communications.
The students will attend leadership training sessions over the week and will be required to complete various assessments.
“This program is also aimed at equipping young people with self-confidence to take up leadership positions and also as a mechanism to promote young people as drivers of social leadership,” said Dr Vilakazi.
Coega recently launched its KZN office where it works with the provincial Department of Education and Social Development.
The academy was formulated to respond to the current ills of youth unemployment and underdevelopment.
Asanda Qangule, KwaZulu-Natal Stakeholder Manager said the leadership academy was being held in the province this year to benefit the youth.
“We see this as a major objective to align the academy’s programme to speak to governments focus on socio-economic development, especially amongst the youth. I attended the KZN State of the Province Address by Honourable Premier Senzo Mchunu, interestingly enough part of his speech spoke to youth development. The office of the Premier has decided to take on a number of initiatives on youth development in the next five years. These initiatives will be underlined by five pillars: increase intake of youth in public and private employment programmes; expand learning and skills development opportunities; assistance to youth to fight social ills; supporting youth to participate in strategic sectors of the economy; and youth leadership development,” said Qangule.
Last year the leadership academy was held at the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Park in Port Elizabeth and 40 future leaders attended.
A former candidate who attended the leadership academy last year, Apiwe Gomba, now a second year NHC Accountancy Certificate student at Walter Sisulu University, said she found the workshops “impressive”.
“I learnt a lot about leading people. What stood out for me was that when you lead, you have to put those people’s feelings ahead of your own. The academy made me a better leader,” said Gomba, who is the university’s House Committee chairperson.
Gomba recommend that others interested in leadership attend the academy’s programme.
“I think it will also be beneficial for high school pupils to attend such a programme, it will help them deal with leadership when they are at university,” said Gomba.
Another attendee at last year’s academy, Lubabalo Banzana, also a former CDC enabling projects and renewable energy intern, said the speakers were “empowering”.
“Dr Frans Kekana was empowering and interesting. I walked out of the academy more informed and a different person. The academy is beneficial for those interested in becoming a better leader,” said Banzana.
Last year’s participant, Msimelelo Febana, currently a communications intern at the CDC offices in Port Elizabeth said he thoroughly enjoyed attending the academy.
“The speakers delivered powerful motivational talks, in such a way that it made me believe that I can make an impact without having a title. It made me realise that we are leaders within our own right,” said Febana, a Masters in Development Studies student, at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
Febana recommended that Coega hosts the youth leadership academy every year and encouraged the youth to grab such opportunities.
Dr Frans Kekana: Dr Kekana is a lecturer in Philosophy, Development Economics, Sociology and Leadership Studies. He is the principal of the Coega Youth Leadership Development Academy. Dr Kekana holds qualifications in Comparative American and International Law, a PhD focused on land, economic power, and education matters from UNISA and a Doctorate in Contextual Theology and Ecumenism from the University of Netherlands.
Sandile Memela: Sandile Memela is known for his books: Zenzele: Young Gifted Free, Flowers of the Nation and His Master’s Voice.
As a journalist he wrote for numerous publications including The Mail Guardian, The Star, Pretoria News, The Daily Dispatch, The Argus, The Sowetan, The Sunday Independent and countless others. He is also the founding editor of The Sunday World and edits the paper’s Hola edition, an arts and culture supplement.
He has contributed short stories to the anthologies The Crossing (Kwela Books 1994), Soweto Inside Out (Zebra Publishing 2004) and Bloody Satisfied (Mercury 2013.)
He obtained a BA (Communications) degree from Fort Hare University in 1984 and a BHonours (Journalism) from Stellenbosch University in 1986. He has also attended mid-career fellowships at University of Wales (1992), Maryland University in the USA (1997/8) and Duke University in South Carolina (2000.)
He won the Arts Culture Trust Journalist of the Year Award in 2003. In 2005 the Gauteng Provincial Government presented him with an award for Outstanding Contribution to Society through journalism, and he was appointed the spokesperson for the Minister of the Department of Arts Culture in the same year.
Sibongile Mosia: Mosia holds various qualifications in Professional Business Communication and Public Relations. She has 15 years’ experience in public relations consulting.
Njabulo Sithebe: Sithebe is an economist with background in financial markets and MEGA development projects. He has worked as a Senior Economist at KPMG International, Coega, Standard Bank and held advisory roles in the ministries of Economic Development and Public Enterprises. His academic qualifications include a Masters in Development Finance (Stellenbosch), Programme in Economic Policy (GIBS), the Imagination Programme (GIBS), Post-grad training in Econometrics (UJ), BA Hons Economics (UJ), Labour Economics (UCT) and training in Social Accounting Matrices (Conningarth).
Nomzamo Kolo: Kolo is a trained economist and the project manager of the YLDA. She holds a MA Degree in Development Economics. She also has certificates in Social Accounting Matrices and Applied Econometrics (UJ) and Cost Benefit Analysis (Conningrath). Kolo is a leading project management professional, she has managed the development of various publications, events that host eminent citizens of SA, and she is an emerging author of various journal articles.
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