The Executive Secretary of the West African Management Development Institutes Network (WAMDEVIN), Dr. Samuel Kolawole Olowe, has lamented the dwindling funding of Management Development Institutes (MDIs) in West Africa.
He advocated that MDIs should think outside the box in ensuring that they generate adequate resources to meet up with the ever increasing demands of their organisations.
Speaking during an interview at the end of a recent webinar for the Directors-General and chief executive officers of WAMDEVIN member institutions in the English-speaking West Africa, Olowe said the theme of the webinar “Repositioning the Business of MDIs in the Contemporary Environment” had been carefully chosen to assist the MDIs to find ways of ensuring that their organisations are better positioned to navigate the contemporary business environments which call for great innovation and creativity.
Earlier on, at the opening of the webinar, the President of the Network who also doubles as the Director-General of Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA), Prof. Alexander Yonly observed that there is urgent imperative for MDIs to strategise in order to remain relevant in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous business environments in which they operate as corporate entities.
In her paper, the Director-General of the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Mrs Cecilia Umaru-Gayya, who is also the 1st Vice President of WAMDEVIN, recommended that MDIs should explore different ways of expanding their financial frontiers beyond training activities to meet up their obligations.
A management consultant from the United Kingdom, Mrs. Patricia Erinfolami-Ivbijaro also highlighted various opportunities open to the MDIs and implored the MDIs top echelons to reach out to other sources of funding for running their MDIs in order to remain relevant in the modern business environment.
Prof. Gerald Kaiyeja from Uganda Management Institute also delivered a paper on “Repositioning Strategies for MDIs Deliverables”. He stressed the need for the MDIs to urgently consider enhancing the quality of their services and take advantage of the opportunities in their environments to reposition themselves for exploit in the new business model.
At the end of the sessions, participants agreed that there should be:
.A documentary of the achievements of the MDIs over the years in West Africa. This can be showcased to government of their respective countries to rekindle the hope of the different governments in the MDIs. This may also help to attract more funding for the MDIs.
.Platforms that encourage partnership and collaboration among MDIs. This can be achieved through collaborations in research, publications, training of staff and other relevant areas.
.Efforts towards sourcing and raising funds from the international donor agencies to sustain the MDIs activities and mandates.
.Different ways of expanding their financial frontiers beyond training activities to meet up their obligations.
.Exchange programme of staff among the MDIs should be encouraged. This can be achieved through sabbatical; mentoring, leave of absence etc. This will allow for experience sharing and learning.
.Efforts by MDIs in professionalizing the L & D profession in order to protect the field from the hands of quacks and portfolio consultants in their respective countries. WAMDEVIN should also assist the MDIs in their countries to achieve this feat.
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