Mission: To educate and inspire the next generation of global innovators while eliminating financial hindrances, particularly potential innovators from vulnerable and low-income communities.
A Professional Africa (APA) is an innovative platform that offers and funds online education of eager global minds through a simple philanthropic model for those who need sponsorship. APA has developed a digital wallet feature, which allows interested parties from anywhere in the world to sponsor certificate program(s) of beneficiaries (from vulnerable and low-income communities) they choose within the platform. APA continues to build out this feature in phases as this is a continuous handshake between technical innovation and appropriate marketing to attract both beneficiaries and sponsors.
APA is redefining the continent of Africa’s, black America's and other at-risk communities' tertiary education model: changing it from a 4 to 6-year undergraduate model to an under-10-hour certificate program model. The motivation behind this being that most employed people in Africa have only high school diplomas and are lacking in soft skills including ethics and customer service, financial market knowledge, project management skills, and overall professionalism, among others. Most Africans and youth of low-income communities around the world have also only been exposed to Western innovators and subject matter experts, and so, do not believe they themselves can be innovators. These gaps in knowledge and inspiration can be filled by exploiting growing ICT on the continent through short online courses and knowledge-sharing videos.
The return on education-investment using the APA model would be less than a year for each learner and his/her employer, compared to years, as several low-income graduates do not work within their field of undergraduate education anyway and often find work after many years of unemployment. By growing in niche areas (skills gaps) that APA has researched through years of service of its founder, the continent of Africa (and vulnerable communities) would spend less on expatriate hires and both develop and increase earning power of its citizens.
APA is creating partnerships with top short online course designers globally to offer courses that close skills gaps of vulnerable communities. Learners trade affordability for time. We know several platforms like Coursera offer free courses (if the learner does not care about receiving a certificate) but require an investment of weeks or months to complete a course. With our certificate programs, skills needed for job opportunities can be garnered within hours of learners’ time. Thus, making the affordable costs worth it.
APA is also sharing stories of under-represented intellectual talent through its “Lifeline” webinars, where founder and GA Tech/ George Mason University alumna Dr. Urenna Onyewuchi interviews subject matter experts on both their path to success and their skills that can be applied towards the development of Africa and poor communities in the United States of America. This part of APA’s work is inspired by the story of Africans in the United States, which is one of great accomplishment. Africans in the United States are among the most educated in the country. Their accomplishments are what happens when potential (of the African mind) meets opportunity (the US is often referred to as “the land of opportunity”). Exposing people of African descent to others who look like them will help fuel innovation on the continent and in communities of color in the United States of America. Using ICT to power this exposure makes it quite scalable and contagious. It can lead to a new era of rapidly increasing GDP and financial security on the continent. This is the hope of the A Professional Africa Platform.