Jerry Ihejirika: Project Management in Africa [Interview]

One of the best things about blogging is that I have met so many interesting people. Through the internet, I met Jerry Ihejirika for the first time. He is passionate about improving the quality and effectiveness of African project management education. He is the brains behind Project Management for Africa Initiative, and I wanted more.
Jerry and I met up for a chat. Here’s what happened.
Jerry, how have you gotten to this point in project management?
In 2008, I was admitted to the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Nigeria to study Project Management Technology. I graduated in February 2014. In November, I was posted to Ekiti State to complete the National Youth Service Corps program. All Nigerian graduates must complete the NYSC, a one-year mandatory program. Mine was completed in October 2015.
My blog was born during my time at university in August 2013. My goal was to raise awareness about the importance of project management, provide relevant information about Nigerian project management on the blog, promote project management in Nigeria, and help young project managers choose their career path.
Based on my observations and experiences, I created the Project Management for Africa Initiative in 2014. I am still working on it.
Last year, I launched the ‘Donate project management or leadership books to Africa’ campaign.
At the moment, I am not associated with any other organisation or company. I am focusing on my blog activities, the initiative that I’m involved in, and the project management book that I’m writing. I am open to any new opportunities in project management.
What is it that makes project management so special? Why did you choose it?
When I was trying to get into the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), to pursue my bachelors degree, a good friend of mine recommended the Project Management Technology (PMT) course.
I met with a FUTO student in project management to get a better idea of the course. I was able to get a general overview of the course from him, but I was still not completely convinced. I did some more research online.
I was able to learn about the value and meaning of project management, how it can apply across all industries, and how project managers are expressing their passion online. I discovered that project management could be used to solve many of the problems that Nigeria is currently facing and that it would be a career that will still be relevant in the future. Today, I am happy that I decided to study project management.
Please tell me more about the Project Management for Africa Initiative
The Project Management for Africa Initiative was born from my experiences as a project manager and graduate in Nigeria.
In Nigeria and Africa, there is very little awareness of project management. Our project management students and graduates at the Bachelors level in Africa were able to study the course through “accident.”
What does that mean?
What does this mean? Many African students are not aware of the importance of project management and do not choose to study it at our colleges and universities. They choose professions that are popular or common.
The universities are trying to divert or shift people who couldn’t get admission to the most popular departments to the less-popular departments, such as the project management department.
These “accidental” students in project management do not get the learning they need or graduate without the kn.