By Toyin Falola
Transformation does not always imply that what existed was bad; sometimes it’s about leveling up, creating bigger missions, and envisioning a more elaborate future. The African University College of Communications (AUCC) is a model higher institution that has proven that an African educational institution can design its mission and goals and achieve them within a set time frame. This is not to say that the university has completely exhausted its list of achievable goals, because to do so and run out of fresher and more innovative goals would imply that the institution has lost its usefulness to African society.
In this article that I have titled “Agenda 225”, the transformation that I expect to see at AUCC transcends the scope of the institution’s current mission and vision. and will help propel it to a position where it will have a significant impact on the development of the African continent and rival some of the best communication faculties and institutions in the world. This envisioned transformation has a five-part agenda: technological advancement and response to the robotic age; penetration of rural and remote locations; global competitiveness; regional dominance; and Pan-Africanism and Social Justice.
Technological advancement and response to the robotic age
The world is becoming more and more technologically advanced, and the biggest winners of the future will be the countries, continents, industries and people who invest in technology today and design the means to create technological innovations to solve the projected problems of the future.
Today, technological progress seems to be going a hundred times faster than it has in the last few centuries. For example, innovations the human race could never have dreamed of are manifesting, such as the digitization of the arts through non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the world of blockchain and decentralized finance, and the metaverse. The rapid and apparent simultaneous emergence of these technologies also means a widening and almost uncontrollable language gap. New vocabularies are emerging at a rate that makes it almost impossible to obtain equivalents in other languages. Moreover, since language is the key to accessing new and emerging technologies, the lack of adequate vocabulary representing these new technologies in a given language means that people who speak only that language are automatically at a disadvantage and less likely to exploit the opportunities offered by these emerging technologies. technologies.
There is an emerging need for research efforts to bridge the communication gap that will continue to emerge with the rise of these new technologies. Furthermore, there is a need to seek strategies to mitigate the loss of vocabulary during such disruptive innovations that the world is currently experiencing and is likely to encounter in a broader dimension, technologically. As a forward-thinking institution, AUCC must structure academic programs to help its students take full advantage of opportunities in the technology space. This needs to go beyond courses that teach the basics of the digital world; AUCC needs to invest research time to offer courses related to natural language processing, social and new media, and artificial intelligence.
By 2022, the institution must be at the forefront of innovations in communication technologies. School leadership and administration should look for ways to offer courses that serve as a bridge between communication, technology and robotics.
The penetration of rural and remote places
One of the The most important responsibilities of academic institutions is the developmental contributions they are expected to make to their immediate community, to society, to the country, to the continent, and to the world at large. It is important that AUCC create structures and plans to reach into rural and remote areas, first in its immediate community, and then that its scholarship and teaching efforts should reach out into the hinterland. I know that AUCC has its corporate social responsibilities and an existing city relationship; nevertheless, management must seek ways to strengthen these relationships to meet the expectations of global goals such as quality education. The university must enter into partnerships to support and advance its cause in remote and rural areas. It is possible to identify and support raw talent from these remote and rural areas, helping them bridge the gap that lack of access and opportunity would otherwise have created.
During over the past twenty years, the AUCC has proven itself among other similar institutions on the continent. The quality of the vision, mission and commitment of management and administration to achieve these goals is almost unmatched elsewhere. AUCC is a true testament that where there is a will, there is a mapped path to the destination pictured.
As the institution has reached another milestone, it It is time for management and administration to look beyond current achievements, especially within the country. AUCC is old enough to compete globally, and the best way to do this is not necessarily to copy the curricula of universities on other continents. AUCC can adopt an Afro-centric strategy to give it a competitive advantage on a global scale. It must begin with a comprehensive dissection of the communication-related issues facing Ghana as a country and Africa as a continent. These issues range from corporate communication to political communication and the government’s lack of appropriate public relations strategies for the governed.
AUCC’s competitive advantage and dominance must also be reflected on the African continent. The management and administration of the institution must maintain and increase their pace of work and their commitment to achieving the objectives set to place the university on a higher pedestal. The university must redouble its efforts to attract students from other countries on the continent, so much so that the alumni network will grow exponentially. In other words, the alumni network is one of the fundamental catalysts for the growth and expansion of a higher education institution. Two decades from now, the African University College of Communications should boast a vast network of alumni holding vital positions in business, government, parastatals and international organizations across the continent.
Pan-Africanism and Social Justice
In all its plans for expansion and strategic innovation, AUCC must not lose sight of its commitment to Pan-Africanism and social justice. In the coming years, the university should consider offering courses in African anthropology, history and archaeology, as part of a cluster on the indigenous knowledge system. These courses are important because the best way to promote pan-African initiatives is to first engage in Afrocentric research, so that the histories of African people are not vague and hazy. Pan-Africanism is not just a welfare ideology. It doesn’t stop at simple adoption. This requires engagement, research and implementation, all of which are expected of the institution in due course. By 225, AUCC is expected to rank among the leading promoters and champions of knowledge, research and social justice Afrocentric.
Finally, based on the track record of this institution over the past twenty years, there is an assurance that the management and administration will keep their promises, act and achieve the goals set for the new stage, and will examine ways to strategically position the institution so that it not only dominates in the African region, but also competes favorably with other institutions globally.
Forward to 2044!
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