The global economy needs 25 million new project professionals by 2030, a report by Project Management Institute (PMI) has said.
Globally, a gap between the demand for project management skills and the availability of talent continues to persist.
This opens up a host of new job opportunities in project management-oriented employment (PMOE) for project professionals and all changemakers – those who, regardless of their role, are inspired and equipped to drive change.
To close the talent gap, 2.3 million people will need to enter PMOE every year just to keep up with demand – this includes project managers and all changemakers.
At a discussion hosted by Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s leading association for project professionals and its 19 volunteer-led Chapters, attendees heard from keynote speaker Brian Stephenson, that agriculture is the engine of growth that Africa needs at home rather than platitudes. Stephenson, founder, and principal of Passion of Hope International, spoke on the role of project management in strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security.
“In the post-COVID era, farming will rely on project management skills as much as passion,” Stephenson said.
According to PMI, over 176 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa depend on maize-based agriculture for food and economic security. In addition, over 40% of the workforce is involved, either directly or indirectly, in agriculture. As such, climate crisis, one of the six Global Megatrends identified by PMI has the potential to disproportionately impact African farmers and the growth and development prospects of the entire continent.
What they are saying
Stephenson shared his experience in helping communities across Africa build the capacity to achieve better nutrition through agriculture.
Stephenson stated, “I embrace the term food sovereignty instead of food security where the local farmers have a level of control over what they are doing and how they are doing it. I am a proponent of agro-ecological agriculture. I believe that if we pursue food sovereignty and we do it in a nature-balanced way, things will improve.”
Since food security is threatened when there is ecological imbalance, re-introducing biodiversity at the local level will enable African agricultural communities to break the vicious cycle of climate change, conflict and Covid-19 currently facing the continent.
He said, “Key to this urgent pivot to biodiversity is project management. Africa’s potential for agricultural production is enormous, with 60% of the world’s unused arable land. Yet, it remains a net importer of food with a bill likely to grow to over $110 billion by 2025. While interventions in drought and other stress resilient seed varietals are needed, African farmers also need to tilt, speedily, back to a wider variety of traditional crop blends while reintroducing sustainable, community-based farming practices.”
“If African farmers and rural communities are to strengthen resilience in nutrition and food security they need to know how to organise and apply project management skills to rebuild agriculture and ecosystems to be more biodiverse and resilient.” Stephenson added.
Stephenson’s experience empowering rural communities across Africa with project management skills to plant trees, manage the groundwater, and reintroduce traditional and new crops and farming practices, like bee keeping, relies very heavily on trust.
“Managing community-wide biodiversity projects that leverage trust is key to building resilience in nutrition and food security in Africa,” observed Stephenson.
What you should know
Project Management Institute (PMI) is a professional association for project management and the authority for a growing global community of millions of project professionals and individuals who use project management skills.
PMI is a not-for-profit for-purpose organisation working in nearly every country around the world to advance careers, strengthen organisational success, and enable project professionals and changemakers with new skills and ways of working to maximise their impact.
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