Raissa Malu

Makutano backstage

From 6 to 7 September, will be held the 5th edition of Sultani Makutano, a Congolese business network that brings together CEOs, entrepreneurs, leaders, politicians, stars and influencers from Africa to rethink the continent and reshuffle the cards.

This year, I am honored to participate in the panel that will discuss Competitiveness and Training : State of Emergency and Role of the Private Sector. As the project manager of a project that implements reforms that are profoundly disrupting the Congolese educational landscape, such opportunities for discussion with private and public sector stakeholders are important to ensure that the implementation of these reforms meets the needs of the beneficiaries.

What reforms are we talking about? I will come back to the details later, but these are the reform of basic education, the reform of technical and vocational education, the reform of science education, the reform of pedagogical humanities and the implementation of the Licence-Master-Doctorate (LMD) system at the higher and university level.

Education and Training Round Table

In this post, I propose instead to take a look behind the scene (at least part of it 😉) of the now famous Makutano network.

I first participated in the Makutano last year at its 4th edition where I had the honour of receiving the Prize for Excellence in Women 😊 I also moderated the Education and Training round table there (I'm surprised).

I cannot resist to mention here the conclusions of the Proceedings of this 2018 round table: "For its part, Raïssa Malu concludes on "the need to strengthen the links between the private sector in general and the education sector" in order, on the one hand, to "inform young people about professional opportunities, the qualifications sought, the wages in these different professions" and, on the other hand, to "enable the education sector to better understand the needs of companies and adapt training". She also calls for "greater cooperation between the private and the public sectors" on the "Investment section" and recalls that there are "many models of exemplary partnerships between the private sector and the State operating in the world and that it would be good to learn from them"". We will see this year whether these recommendations had been listened to.

An enlightened founder

The Sultani Makutano network was founded by Mrs Nicole Sulu. Mrs. Sulu's strength is to be able to bring together people and structures that history and events have accustomed to evolve in a vacuum. She was able to express a vision big enough and clear enough for us to accept to put ourselves at her service and at the service of each other.

Don't get me wrong. We are not a group of crazy people or dreamers (unlike me lol!). There are entrepreneurs with clear objectives. Business is the rule. Old patterns and habits remain. But in contact with new models, some update their internal software (even slightly). This is obvious when we follow the conversations of the WhatsApp group of the network - GMak.

Welcoming young people

As much as possible, members of the Makutano network develop Win-Win relationships. We understand that it is counterproductive to remain apart, compartmentalized and limited to the reason of the strongest. We debate, support and help each other.

Under the impetus of our President, we are also making room for young people. By developing mentoring, seniors become aware of the importance of preparing young people to take over. After all, what's the point of starting a successful business if it's to disappear after you?

Opportunities and advice

About active members, there are senior people in the public and private sectors. There are about 20% women (there we can do better). The same people often debate and comment (I am not one of them, I guarantee 😊). And if sometimes we give the impression that we are lost in conjecture, the exchanges are intended to be constructive. We are solution-oriented.

What interest would you have in joining us? It is clear that being part of a business network does not mean that you will automatically find your shareholders, patrons or customers. You mustn't dream. But you will learn to identify them, you will benefit from opportunities, facilities and useful advice, you will broaden your horizon.

Six degrees of separation

Remember the theory of six degrees of separation (also known as the six handshake theory) developed in 1929 by the Hungarian Frigyes Karinthy. According to this theory, anyone on Earth can be connected to anyone else (including the President of the United States) through a chain of individual relationships of up to six links.

Thus, to change the world, it is sometimes enough to simply put people together. Makutano!

This post has first been published on LinkedIn. It has been translated in English by Afriscitech.


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