Growth and Development
Since inception, more than 6000 students from 26 countries in Africa, but mostly from countries in the SADC region, have received training in natural resource management.
Approximately 80% of the learners who have received training at the SAWC are still in wildlife management and most of the graduates have been promoted to more senior management positions. To date over R90-million has been spent on capacity building throughout Africa through the efforts of the Southern African Wildlife College and with the assistance of PPF and WWF-SA. By expanding its reach and becoming involved in training ventures and projects off-site the College has also capacity-built over 2500 previously disadvantaged South Africans.
The SAWC has achieved provisional registration with Department of Education as a Private Provider of Further Education (Reg. No. 2008/ FE08/003) and more recently as a Private Provider of Higher Education with the Council for Higher Education (CHE) (Accreditation Number: 2011/HE08/004.) It is also accredited with CATHSSETA, the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector Education Authority. It currently presents two full Higher Education qualifications; a Higher Certificate in Conservation Leadership and an Advanced Certificate in Trans-frontier Conservation Management. National Certificates in Conservation are also available as Learnerships through the College. Short term training programmes including Skills Development Programmes for General Field Assistants and Field Rangers as well as short courses on a range of environmentally related topics. In addition the College offers a six-month Bridging Programme aimed at school leavers who are interested in a career in Conservation and Environmental Education.
The realization of Trans-frontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) across the SADC region, has also led to the SAWC becoming a training institution focused on training and capacity building staff of these TFCAs. In addition, and in line with the College’s business plan, the College is set to play a pivotal role in further improving the skills and knowledge needed for sustainable development, and particularly the sustainable development of rural areas in SADC. Dedicated to the empowerment, upliftment and capacity building of communities within the TFCA’s and in buffer zones surrounding protected areas, the College is focused on strengthening existing and emerging enterprises in the SADC sub-region. In doing so, it will have a substantial impact in contributing to poverty reduction and local economic development through the development of human capital.
In effect, whilst the principal business and corporate directions of the SAWC and its major stakeholders including conservation agencies, tourism and hospitality sectors, local communities and private business have largely remained the same, the College has expanded its scope of training to ensure that it remains relevant to the needs of the conservation industry. Vital if it is to remain a dynamic institution which continues to have a positive impact.
There is no doubt that the conservation industry andAfrica’s threatened species are reliant on having good people who are skilled, educated and motivated and who can make a significant difference at all levels. As such, every effort should be made, whether formally or informally, to develop skills and abilities and to provide opportunities for people to maximise their contribution.The future of the Southern African Wildlife College and the future of Africa depends on it.
See the Southern African Wildlife College’s comprehensive 2011 Annual Review by clicking here.