A new book co-edited by University of Fort Hare Professor Richard Shambare dives deeply into the role of entrepreneurial development and education in addressing youth and graduate unemployment on the continent.
In particular, Delivering Entrepreneurship Education in Africa: A New Perspective shines a light on academics and how it can help build generations of professional self-starters.
In the manuscript, the Fort Hare dean of Management and Commerce and Prof Chux Gervase Iwu, from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the University of the Western Cape, explore several questions.
Among these whether a definition of entrepreneurship schooling unique to Africa exists, whether there is a better way to teach the subject and what might attract more students to the field.
In putting the book together, they wanted to establish why entrepreneurial projects as a means to escaping poverty, inequality and unemployment were sparse despite many on the continent advocating for it.
While its unappealing nature and the belief that most entrepreneurship education designs are influenced by Western pedagogy are known factors, the authors wondered how a dearth of African-oriented definitions influenced it.
Shambare said the idea for the book evolved from many discussions among colleagues in which they lamented the lack of a critical mass of purely African narratives by authors from the global south and Africa.
“So, as professors in entrepreneurship, we conceptualised it and scribbled a few notes, which we used to develop and formulate a proposal to Emerald Publishers. We then called for papers and invited submissions.
“As they say, the rest is history.”
The questions asked in the academic collection were vital to unpacking the necessity for critiquing current teaching styles of entrepreneurship, he said.
Delivering Entrepreneurship Education in Africa is also about suggesting creative ways to teach the “subject”, offering contemporary expectations of education in this field and clarifying whether its teaching should lead to productive enterprises.
Contributors were drawn from South African institutions such as Fort Hare, UWC and technology universities in Cape Town, Tshwane and Bloemfontein. Works by academics from Ghana and Nigeria also appear.
In the 10 chapters, the authors explore a diverse range of topics relating to the subject.
These include “The Utility of Stories in Entrepreneurship Education”, “Defining Arts and Cultural Entrepreneurship Education”, “Business Simulation Games and Entrepreneurial Education” and “Influences of Social Enterprises in Promoting Entrepreneurship Education”.
Good news was that there were more books to come, Shambare promised.
“The plan is to have a series on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education.”
The overarching objective is to create a repository for sharing knowledge and expertise in both entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education.