By: Professor William Jackson

Donald Kaberuka on the case of investments in Africa via Africa.com “Africa has unique opportunities that must be unique to attract investments.” https://soundcloud.com/africacom/topics-in-the-news-discussed

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” William Butler Yeats Students attending African higher education schools should be  engaged in educational and leadership building opportunities to build their communities and nations. Only through an education that is diverse in technology and access to information can Africans compete in a global economy.
African students; are involved in marketing themselves and having a strong personal Brand, this helps to set the foundation of building a career before graduation and working with companies that are not African in origin. The African continent still has to rely on global assistance to build the growing infrastructure for digital networking and connections.
In my Educational Technology, Social Media and STEM class students present how they Brand themselves and what tools to Market their Brands. This is made easier by high speed Internet access and digital data bases. Many African homes are limited to cell phone access which can be unreliable.  
Internet access provides key incites in the process of networking, volunteering even digitally, creating digital content and building knowledge workers to apply in real life jobs that are 21st century skills related.
African SWAG is being academically and socially competent in a highly competitive environment that is global and diverse.
Diversity is not just color or culture, it is lifestyle, political and religious beliefs. The fabric of a person that embraces their uniqueness and respects those qualities in others.
The Brand an African student chooses will set the stage in how they will be viewed. The Brand is the promise you make to the world that you can be trusted and of ethics and honor.
Higher education students are making career decisions not thought of just 5 to 10 years ago so information is needed and even mentorships from around the world. As I write about education
and the needed increase for African students I offer my services as an educator, consultant and mentor in Social Media, STEAM, STEM.

Branding and Marketing has been shared by the five ways below:
1. Connecting with people of similar abilities and interests using Social Media and attending networking opportunities that may require you to think out of the box or not to see a box.
2. Avoiding people with personal dramas, negativity and rebellion for educational success, and social/professional conformity and even the norms of setting boundaries that transgress morals and values. Malcolm X stated if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.
3. Seek mentors for guidance and sharing common sense. Mentors should not be the same age as you, because they do not have “life experiences” as those that are 15 to 25 years your senior.
4. Volunteering in service to the community to create a positive personal Brand and “paying it forward” to help lift those who are still struggling and finding their way.  Mentoring builds personal accountability and respect for the power of personal connections.
5. Participating in activities that build strength, vision, social skills, leadership abilities and cultural exposure. African students need to know where they came from so they know their potential for greatness and have a direction for where they are going. Strategically placing yourself to increase visibility to others who have similar interests and goals is not egotistical, it is a realization that competition is fierce and having confidence and SWAG are needed to show your abilities to a global economy and why you should be considered for employment. First  impressions are always important and forever influential.  
African students cannot afford to be rebellious to guidance and wisdom, but accept the knowledge from the elders.
Even those that have made mistakes and been incarcerated deserve a second chance. Malcolm X has stated: “To have once been a criminal is no disgrace. To remain a criminal
is the disgrace.”

African student’s reputation is important so preserving it and keeping it “clean” is important. Students walk in the light of gaining knowledge and applying knowledge to gain power and influence.
Maya Angelou has an appropriate quote that can be shared with students, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

In this world of constant change, competitiveness and diversity students must leverage and utilize their greatest asset THEMSELVES!!!Malcolm X stated simply, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

Resources:
Branding is a Planned Process
https://youtu.be/6R6ijNW7pqw
To Build A Strong Brand
https://youtu.be/dS6Y9frOYlg


National and International Blogger
Instructor with Edward Waters College
Twitter: @wmjackson
Blogging: http://MyQuestToTeach.Wordpress.com
Instagram: http://Instagram.com/WilliamDJackson

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