What is human capacity development and why is it important

Human capacity development can be defined as the process of systematically upskilling individuals in order to benefit society as a whole. This is accomplished as, once a person has been trained and educated, they move out into their respective society and create economic, social and institutional value.

In the context of South Africa, human capacity development is fundamentally important given the past social and economic injustices that served to systematically exclude vast swathes of the population from engaging in and contributing to society. This meant that millions of individuals were deprived of essential skills leading to the severe underdevelopment of key institutions and networks seen within the country today. Currently, the responsibility of producing both social value and economic growth falls squarely on the shoulders of the country’s already overburdened government, with a vast majority of individuals still unable to fund their ambitions. This, in part, is a major explanation for the student protests that have recently rocked South Africa’s tertiary education facilities.

Not Only Social Benefits, But Economical Ones Too

The process of empowering individuals, particularly the youth, with skills will serve to instigate a mass shift towards a state where all people have the capacity to make a positive difference within their respective societies, as opposed to only a privileged few having the opportunity to do so.

Simply put: more highly skilled individuals are more effective employees, leading to a higher standard of work and, in turn, the creation of more value within the workplace. This then has a ‘trickle-down’ effect where better corporate performance leads to greater economic growth within the country. Ultimately, this culminates in more job opportunities for skilled graduates.

A vision that prioritises continued human capacity development should result in the replication of the aforementioned positive cycle on a grand scale, leading to both a more advanced society and an empowered populace. Irrespective of the sector or society into which the newly equipped individuals move, the skills they possess have the potential to create untold good. Ultimately, if the cycle instigated by human capacity development is repeated enough times through enough individuals, it will inevitably lead to South Africa becoming a vastly better place.

A postgraduate degree at Vaal University of Technology effectively embodies the concept of human capacity development with more and more graduates gaining the essential skills needed to flourish in today’s society. If you are interested in continuing your academic development it is definitely worth looking at the academic programmes we offer. Alternatively, feel free to contact us with any other enquiries you may have.