Profile: Cephas Forichi
The recent credit downgrade of the South African economy to full junk status by rating agencies citing weak economic growth that has led to a deterioration in public finances has put further strain on the country’s rising unemployment figures.
Milpark’s Investment Management lecturer, Cephas Forichi, believes that more drastic steps need to be taken to remedy the situation. Hailing from Zimbabwe, Forichi is an economist who possesses a wealth of experience in financial economics, investment management, corporate finance and academia.
Forichi believes that in order for the economy to crawl out of the dire situation it is in, “funds should be redirected from non-productive to productive sectors of the economy and the high levels of corruption need to be curbed. The expectation is that higher levels of economic growth will support more employment opportunities. However, most of South Africa’s unemployment is structural in nature, which requires greater skills development for the unemployed.”
Forichi gave us insight into his teaching style as well as into how technology is changing the investment management profession:
Q: What is your teaching approach in the classroom and what are its strengths and weaknesses?
A: I believe in a student-led classroom environment. The role of an educator is to facilitate and encourage learning to take place to ensure student development. My engagement with students is usually on providing techniques and skills for effective learning to take place. The approach encourages students to learn from one another. Involving students in the learning process builds their confidence and prepares them for assessments. However, the approach can be disastrous if the stage is not properly set and if students do not want to take ownership of their learning.
Q: How has artificial intelligence influenced the way in which you do your work?
A: Efficiency and effectiveness have improved due to the incorporation of artificial intelligence. It (AI) has simplified my work and made it easier to execute my duties. It has allowed me to work from anywhere and I have constant interaction with students. The traditional distance learning has been turned into a virtual contact learning classroom.
Q: Which area(s) in your field of specialisation do you think still need further development?
A: Securities trading is an area in which I need further development. It is an area that has attracted interest from many people, with many seeking training on the subject. Having the practical experience on securities trading will positively enhance my facilitation skills on securities trading and I foresee that this can be a module on its own.
Q: How, in your view, are the programmes that you teach at Milpark impacting on the student experience and general society?
A: They offer real-life cases and scenarios that are relevant to the workplace and society at large. This makes learning a practical experience, with students easily relating to the learning outcomes. Most of our students are working in the investment industry and they are able to put their theoretical knowledge into practice. Students without an investment background are equipped with investing skills, while those in trade, have their skills sharpened. For one to be able to invest, one needs to save first, thus a culture of saving is cultivated. Businesses that are short of funds can tap into these savings leading to job creation and improved standards of living, with society at the receiving end.
30 Nov 2017