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February 19, 2019

Online platform for agriculture research institutions

Africa's agriculture professionals have come up with an online platform that will provide human resource information for graduates and institutions of higher learning.

Learning institutions can use the eCapacities online platform to track progress of their graduates and build a better alumni forum.

Prof Irene Anoor-Frempong, director of research and innovation at the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, said the platform will also weed out duplication of research work among students.

“The research that university students undertake should be aimed at bringing in new information. Unfortunately, there is a lot of copying of colleagues' academic work, which does not bring in new knowledge,” she said.

She said they will use the forum to improve their product offerings, bringing in new ideas and innovations to serve needs of the market.

Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Ghana are the lead countries whose job seekers, institutions and the job market will be live on the platform.

Professionals in the agriculture sector will be among the first beneficiaries, since FARA is mainly an agricultural research institution.

The professor says eCapacities should bring solutions to organisations that need professionals as well as link job seekers with available opportunities.

“It will help to harness the expertise that the country is endowed with, and compare it to the gaps that are still in the market,” she said.

The four main portals will include the knowledge gap portal, supply side portal that brings together institutions, demand side portal with organisations seeking employees and the graduate portal.

The knowledge gap portal will be filled up as job seekers fill their competencies and skills, as opposed to only filling up qualifications.

The portal will also offer end to end recruitment selection tools for recruiters and have access to knowledge products uploaded to the site.

Graduates will easily access work opportunities, identify career paths based on market demand for specific skills and connect with mentors to promote their career progression.

The don observed that when employers are looking for suitable candidates to recruit, they may be hoodwinked by great qualifications, missing a candidate's essential skills and competencies.

“The portal will capture a person's competencies, in that a person can enter as many of their skills as possible. The country can prioritise important issues of national development through use of factual data from the platform, and expect results from projects that you have put money in,” she said.

The portal is customised to Africa, unlike LinkedIn which is available to all people in the world who are in business and professional occupations.

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