Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

YOUTH Day is about re­mem­ber­ing those who came be­fore us, and ap­pre­ci­at­ing those who fight tire­lessly for the sub­stan­tive free­doms granted to us, says Xhanti Mhlambiso.

Mhlambiso, ed­u­ca­tion pol­icy of­fi­cer at the Em­bassy of the King­dom of the Nether­lands in Pre­to­ria, said ed­u­ca­tion is a cat­a­lyst for so­cial change in the fight against poverty and in­equal­ity.

“I am equally cog­nisant of the fact that this can be achieved through a com­bi­na­tion of sound, prag­matic pol­icy in ed­u­ca­tion, in­no­va­tion and de­ci­sive po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship. Ac­cess to higher ed­u­ca­tion due to fi­nan­cial constraints con­tin­ues to present sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges in this re­gard, and it is my hope that these per­sis­tent bar­ri­ers can be dis­man­tled,” Mhlambiso said.

His work in­cludes pro­mot­ing the in­ter­na­tional mo­bil­ity of stu­dents to the Nether­lands, fa­cil­i­tat­ing co-op­er­a­tion be­tween the Dutch and South African gov­ern­ments and in­sti­tu­tions in all as­pects of higher ed­u­ca­tion, to de­vel­op­ing ed­u­ca­tion-re­lated projects and im­ple­ment­ing pol­icy geared to­wards this ob­jec­tive.

“I have al­ways been drawn to the idea of work­ing in a dy­namic, in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment. My jour­ney thus far has opened up a world of op­por­tu­nity that al­lows for me to ac­cess and learn from in­flu­en­tial stake­hold­ers in the diplo­matic space, se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, NGOs and other key in­di­vid­u­als within the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor,” he added.

With two masters de­grees, one in in­ter­na­tional busi­ness law and an­other in fi­nance, Mhlambiso is do­ing a third in de­vel­op­ment the­ory and pol­icy.

“Over­all, I think in­equal­ity is a mas­sive prob­lem and tran­scends any one par­tic­u­lar in­dus­try, es­pe­cially in a coun­try where the poster child for our brand of in­equal­ity is a black woman,” he said.

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