Memorandum of Understanding cemented a collaboration between VUT and AWISCA – Hope for many success stories.

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Memorandum of Understanding cemented a collaboration between VUT and AWISCA – Hope for many success stories.

By Qhawekazi Memani – 24 November 2020

VUT Logistics and Supply Chain Management delegates and AWISCA delegates

On Thursday, 19 November 2020, the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) and the African Women in Supply Chain Association (AWISCA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), cementing a long-standing relationship between the two institutions.

Welcoming everyone to the ceremony, Ms Moipone Mashiloane: Lecturer in the Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management said, “the MoU provides both parties with an opportunity to work together, and we believe that the collaboration will be fruitful.”

The signing of the MOU was the first bilateral meeting between the parties and was performed under strict adherence to all COVID-19 protocols.  Present at the signing ceremony were representatives of AWISCA, Prof Maggie Linington: Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC): Teaching, Learning and Student Support Services, Prof Chengedzai Mafini, Head of the Department (HoD): Logistics and Supply Chain Management as well as staff members from the said department.  Ms. Neo Letsaba, who is studying for the Advanced Diploma in Logistics represented students from the Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

Providing a background to the initiative, Prof Mafini said that, “the collaboration will serve as a smart partnership to provide mentorship and coaching for female students enrolled in the field of Supply Chain Management. AWISCA will serve as a link with industry partners after the realisation that as a department, we cannot work in isolation.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ms Lebogang Letsoalo: Director; AWISCA and Professor Maggie Linington: DVC; Teaching, Learning & Student Support Services signing the MoU

The Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management strives to produce quality graduates who are employable and familiar with the work environment before working.

Explaining the purpose of the collaboration, Ms. Lebogang Letsoalo: Director AWISCA, said that “AWISCA and VUT will work together to develop supply chain skills and capacity within Southern Africa through focused active mentorship and coaching. Both organisations will strive to unlock and build supply chain capacity and capabilities through focused and results orientated programs and initiatives in partnership with industry leaders, with focus on the following critical chapters of the co-operation:

– Students: Encourage youth to participate in the industry and gain exposure to ensure workplace readiness. AWISCA will also introduce entrepreneurship interventions to enhance potential young entrepreneurs’ business capabilities within the supply chain.

– Professionals in the industry get the opportunity to contribute their skills to VUT and obtain the chance to mentor and coach students.

– Student entrepreneurs obtain the benefit of business support and mentorship to enhance technical supply chain skills through enterprise and supplier development initiatives.

Vouching for AWISCA after conducting a bit of her own research on the organisation, and pleased to be part of the collaboration, Prof Linington, said, “I applaud what AWISCA is doing. The impact of the programs are enormous. You have been identified as improving Supply Chain Management and ensuring the industry’s readiness of the up and coming youth”.  Quoting an Arabian proverb, “An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep”, Linington further says “everyone focuses on who is leading and not who is following. If leadership skills, systems thinking and diversity are not added, there won’t be any transformation. Systems thinking helps us become sustainable to survive as a country and with the 4th Industrial Revolution – we need to see the bigger picture, and unless we change ourselves, we can’t change the world. I look forward to the impact and outcomes the collaboration will yield.”

The MoU was then signed by Prof Maggie Linington and Ms Lebogang Letsoalo on behalf of VUT and AWICSA respectively.

Ms Letsaba, the student representative, said, “We need AWISCA to provide the industry perspective of supply chain management. Our dreams will go forward if there are organisations like AWISCA that are willing to assist us. Our lecturers have been doing their best, and as a result, we refer to them as our sisters, fathers, and mothers. I want to be that person too, to a student coming after me.”

Closing the signing ceremony, Prof Mafini said, “Signing of this MoU presents us with the opportunity of ensuring that the collaboration works. The first step has been dealt with. Now we must put in the work amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and 3 years down the line, I hope we will share a report of success.”

 

 

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