CIMG calls for review of education policies to leverage on AfCFTA

BY: Kweku Zurek
Dr Daniel Kasser-Tee, President of CIMG
Dr Daniel Kasser-Tee, President of CIMG

The Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) has called for a review of education policies regarding the entry requirements for professional training to enable the country to effectively leverage the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for growth.

The institute wants Ghana to train more professionals from across the African continent without lowering standards with the aim of positioning itself as a supplier of services to the larger African continent of about 1.2billion people.

Marketing awards

At the 32nd Annual National Marketing Performance Awards held on November 5, 2021, the President of CIMG, Dr Daniel Kasser-Tee, said as a country with a stable political climate, stability in a growing democracy and a steadily growing economy, Ghana was well-placed to firmly establish itself as a nation with both comparative and competitive advantages in education to effectively leverage on the AfCFTA for growth.

"To achieve this, Ghana must begin to review its policies on education, regarding entry requirements for training professionals," Dr Kasser-Tee said.

"Without lowering standards and compromising on quality, Ghana should open its doors to training more professionals with the aim of positioning the country, as a supplier of professional services to the larger African market of about 1.2billion people rather than concentrating solely on the limited 30.8million population as our market".

Entrepreneurship

The institute contended that if Ghana was determined to take advantage of the AfCFTA, then the educational curriculum should be reviewed to include marketing and entrepreneurship at both the senior high school and tertiary levels.

This it believed would help the country produce potential entrepreneurs with the requisite skills for building businesses to contribute meaningfully to the economy of Ghana.

"We cannot derive the required benefits of AfCFTA without first harnessing and marshalling our core competencies, as a nation to push Ghana’s export drive around the continent."

Instilling mindset

"If we are determined to take advantage of AfCFTA, then instilling marketing and entrepreneurship mindset in our youth and the future generations from the classroom is the way to go. This means recalibrating the educational curriculum with marketing and entrepreneurship weaved into it”, Dr Kasser-Tee said.

"We can deploy this strategy at the senior high school level and at the tertiary level, as MUST TAKE courses for all students, so as to produce potential entrepreneurs with the requisite skills for building business.

This is because the doctor, agriculturalist, engineer, accountant etc, all require basic entrepreneurship and marketing competencies to successfully set up their practising firms as well as small businesses to be able to contribute meaningfully to the economy of Ghana".

Youth orientation

Dr Kasser-Tee also called for a shift in the orientation of the youth from the over-reliance on the public sector for jobs to a focus on the private sector, where "they (the youth) can start as entrepreneurs or employees of entrepreneurs, with the opportunity of learning to set up businesses of their own without fear".

He urged the youth to take inspiration from Ghanaian entrepreneurs who have successfully grown their businesses from scratch to become well-established brands including, Tony Oteng-Gyasi of Tropical Cable, Mr Kwabena Adjei of Kasapreko, Madam Grace Amey-Obeng of FC Group, Mr Patrick Awuah of Ashesi University, Mr Ernest Bediako of Ernest Chemist, Mr Amo Tobin of Tobinco, Mr Nsia Poku of Kinapharma and Mr Daniel McKorley of McDan Group.

With the current issue of legal studies confronting the nation, the CIMG proposed a complete departure by the General Legal Council from running the Ghana School of Law to what it describes as a "more modern, friendlier, globally accepted standard" of professional bodies conducting examinations only.

He mentioned that that has been the practice for international professional bodies such as the CIM - UK, CIMA, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Certified Public Accountants, among others.

Dr Kasser-Tee said it was unacceptable for Ghanaians to continue paying foreign currency to our neighbouring countries such as The Gambia, for professional legal education.

Established institutions

"They should simply leave the education of learners to other established institutions, including making a provision for self-learners, provided these learners are affiliated to registered law firms where they receive mentorship as part of their learning for professional examinations," he said.

"In Ghana, a similar thing can be said for ICA – GH, CIB – GH, Ghana Institution of Engineers, Ghana Institution of Architects and our own CIMG ProM Qualification introduced this year, and for which all business schools in Ghana and other recognised study centres are being accredited to provide tuition.”

"The CIMG, through its examinations board, will only conduct examinations, mark scripts, release results and award certificates to deserving candidates, who will then be admitted to professional membership subsequently.

Every holder of an LLB degree must be able to register for the professional Law examinations or the bar examinations without any hindrance.

The person must not be enrolled as a student of the Ghana School of Law before being eligible to take the Bar exams".

Boosting cross-border trade under AfCFTA

Dr Kasser-Tee also called on Ghanaian businesses engaged in cross-border trade to channel their resources into producing goods and services that meet the development needs of the African continent.

He noted that by reorganising their efforts on the international marketing front, Ghanaian businesses could score a comparative advantage in response to the implementation of the AfCFTA and push the country’s export drive around the continent.