The Alumni Ambassador and the Chairman of A3-mada were invited to participate in the Alumni Associations and Ambassadors E-course Training Workshop which took place in Pretoria, South Africa on 24-25 July 2017.
Empowering Alumni is a central objective of the Australia Awards-Africa program and is to be achieved through training men and women for employment, capacity building and by challenging barriers to participation. It also extends to ensuring Alumni have positive on-going links with Australia that contribute to positive business and development outcomes and broader cooperation between Australia and partner governments.
The e-course workshop presented a new approach to the Alumni Association leadership training with the objective of achieving a more sustainable outcome to Alumni Association support. The workshop will form part of the first round of the newly developed e-course for Alumni Associations. It will take the form of an online course complemented by face-to-face interaction, facilitated by Dr Gretchen Dobson, an e-learning and education expert. The workshop aims to:
- Provide Associations with the tools, know-how and best practices to be effective;
- Provide an accessible e-training platform for Associations which will enable them to transfer knowledge successfully when changes in management occur;
- Enhance the sustainability of Associations by offering ongoing cost-effective training, available on demand;
- Build synergies between Alumni Ambassadors and Alumni Association Executives;
- Provide leadership and soft skills training for Associations and Alumni Ambassadors; and
- Promote a common understanding of, and outline a range of activities Associations are expected to deliver to support the implementation of the broader Australia Awards – Africa program.
The alumni Ambassador and the President of A3-Mada were identified as having the potential to contribute to the outcomes of this training and share the knowledge learnt with the rest of the Association Executive Committee. In return, they will be expected to train the rest of your Association Executive Committees upon return.Empowering Alumni is a central objective of the Australia Awards-Africa program and is to be achieved through training men and women for employment, capacity building and by challenging barriers to participation. It also extends to ensuring Alumni have positive on-going links with Australia that contribute to positive business and development outcomes and broader cooperation between Australia and partner governments.
Since 2012, many Malagasy Technician from different discipline have been granted scholarships from the Australian government. In order to keep link between themselves and with DFAT, and to share knowledge, some awardees, on 2014, have decide to create an association. This association called Australia Alumni Association of Madagascar or A3- Mada, which currently has around 40 members, aims at valueing the skills and knowledge obtained and mainstreaming its possible input to Madagascar development in all sectors.
Consequently, A3- Mada works for the significant contribution to the development of Madagascar through the sharing of skills and expertise acquired in Australia to serve and benefit the parties In the extractive sector. The overall objective is to promote fruitful and beneficial cooperation between Madagascar and Australia.
In fact, Madagascar is considered as an young in the plateform of mining, gas and oil research and exploitation countries. And, as far as mining, gas and oil research and exploitation is concerned, many study has shown that lack of knowkedge, skills and experience of civil societies, local authorities, some local industries in extractives sectors and even within the administration make the country lose the opportunies brought up by and beneficiated less from this emerging sector. That has created mistrust between the actors (mining promoter, administration civil societies and local authorities).
There is growing interest in the mining, oil and gas industries in enhancing the opportunities for locally based businesses to participate in resource projects.
In this context, since 2016, A3 - Mada has organized a series of knowledge and experience sharing sessions for civil societies and local authorities in order to enable them to have the necessary competences in terms of legislation, Taxation, environmental impact assessment, HSE (Hygiene, Safety, Environment), corporate social responsibility and local content, gender in the mining sector, and transparency.
Thus, a third session was held in the South West Region, on 19- 20 and 21 April 2017, at the prestigious AMAZONE HOTEL. Almost, 15 stakeholders involved in mining activities such as Mayors, local government, representatives of CSOs, and the High Representative staff of the Andrefana Region participated in this training workshop. Six members of A3-Mada animated the session.
The particularity of this workshop was the collaboration between A3-Mada with other major development project operating in this region, like the German development Cooperation GIZ and the EITI Madgascar. This also proves that the association is beginning to develop strategic partnerships.
During the session, the participants showed their interests related to theme developed by posing many question and demonstrating the ‘’fields truth’’. The participants said that still an uncoordinated action of the actors, no transparency, a lot of illicite deed leading to less positive fall out on the local social and economy development dominated the sector.
In its activities the Association aims to be a catalyst for the Malagasy extractive sector by providing the knowledge and skills of its members, acquired in Australia to serve the stakeholders of this sector.
Admittedly, the workshop was relevant to the participants as it has helped them to have clear vision in their respective responsibility, yet the Association recognized that a huge efforts should be done by the administration and mining companies for the information sharing, capacity building of all the stakeholders involved in the extractive sector including CSOs. This one is playing a more active role in pooling local resources (knowledge and expertise' material and financial) to bridge the capacity gaps and address rising challenges in their different constituencies. It has important task in promoting good governance, management and lobbying empowerment, and serve as relay or catalyst between the administration-mining promoter- local population and authority.
Also, it is observed that there is still many to be done with enhancing procurement capability for local SMEs and more information about the conditions and prer-requiste from the industries extractives, in order to be having mutual understanding and creating a real positive impact for all the concerned actors.
The association is persuaded that we have to put more focus on building the capacity of local organisations as a key to sustainable development. It is observed that although huge potentials already exist amongst these local actors to bring about desired social changes' they have failed to harness and value these potentials. Rather, they have continuously placed a premium on external capacity development resources which are top/down prescriptive and sideline local contextual realities. It is apparent that capacity development needs are changing, thus calling for innovative ways to constantly update the knowledge and skills bases of local development actors to enable them to keep pace with new development exigencies.