By Stellamaris Ashinze
Lagos – Some stakeholders in the project management ecosystem have identified diversity, inclusion and collaboration as some of Africa’s leading catalysts for economic growth.
The stakeholders made the assertion at the 2022 Project Management Institute (PMI) Africa Conference which ended on Tuesday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the three-day conference had the theme: ‘Sustainable Growth for Social Good’’.
The stakeholders urged governments to be inclusive in policymaking by collaborating with other stakeholders, including communities where projects would be domiciled.
The Managing Director of PMI’s Sub-Sahara region, Mr George Asamani, said that successful countries, companies and communities applied project management practice.
According to Asamani, when resources are stretched, project management becomes more critical to maximise return on investment and deliver results.
A civil engineer and Founder of SHEngineers, Mrs Innocentia Mahlangu, advised organisations to make their workplace policies to reflect diversity and inclusivity.
Mahlangu spoke on ‘Boosting the Role of Women in Africa’s Project Economy’.
She said that project management still remained male-dominated like many other technical professions.
The civil engineer quoted an article in the Financial Times as saying that by 2030, there would be a global demand for about 25 million project management professionals.
According to her, gender equality is a major way of solving some 21st Century challenges.
”Gender discrimination, which is still prevalent, not only holds too many women back but also holds the world back,’’ she said.
Mahlangu said that many women had ideas and leadership qualities to tackle challenges.
” Inclusion is not only a human resource or company policy issue, it is an opportunity for new ideas and leadership styles to emerge and solve our current challenges to make the world a better place.
“There are biases and stereotypes which may hamper opportunities for women to take up careers in the project economy.
“Diverse teams and inclusive environments produce positive results. We must reflect the people we deliver projects for,’’ she said.
Mr Taopheek Babayeju, Chief Executive Officer of iCentra, identified poor execution as a major cause of failure of many organisations and projects.
Babayeju spoke on “Achieving Organisational Strategic Objectives through Project Portfolio Management’.
“At the project level, all you try to do is to do the work right.
Ensure that timelines are followed and costs controlled.
“At the portfolio level, what organisations do to succeed is to do the right work by selecting their priorities.
“This is where organisations fail. No organisation has infinite resources. You are always struggling with what is right, what is going to align with the strategic objectives of that organisation,’’ he said.
Mr Paul Omugbe, the President of PMI, Nigeria Chapter, and Business Director, Astridia Global, said that there was need for agility in a dynamic and volatile work environment.
Omugbe said that a project manager should be able to deal with changes outside and within a project worked on, as well as adapt to any changes in the environment.
NAN reports that PMI, an association of project management professionals,
organises the conference annually to give insights into how to deliver exceptional
projects for business transformation and Africa’s development.(NAN)