The Member of Parliament for Essikado-Ketan, Mr Joe Ghartey, has urged students of the UPSA Enterprise and Innovation Centre (UEIC) to move away from the mentality of looking to be employed after school to creating their own jobs.
He urged them not to look for jobs after school, but rather create jobs.
Addressing the students at the official launch of the centre, Mr Ghartey, who is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the centre, said: “Some of the richest people in the world today dreamt when they were your age and today have impacted the whole world. I am sure you know I am talking about Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and the likes. They are no better than you.”
“When our forefathers thought about independence, they had to free their minds first. The youth of today, free your mind, the world is your canvas, use it and paint a masterpiece that we will all applaud.
“It should be said that if our fathers gave us political independence, this generation has given us economic independence,” he stated.
Mr Ghartey promised, as the chairman of the centre, to do his best to ensure that, “it becomes an initiative to be celebrated, a programme which will occupy a place of pride not only when the history of the university is being written, but also when the history of the economic explosion of country in the time of the youth is being written”.
“The question is, what must the state and other stakeholders do to release the energies of our youth and business community in order for them to create wealth? What must be done for opportunities for enterprise and innovation to increase?
“The answer is not far-fetched and we do not need to look or think far for the answer. There are several examples in our recent history of how various sectors have expanded to create unimaginable opportunities,” he explained.
Key to job creation
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA), Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, in a speech that was read on his behalf, said he was passionate about the initiative because entrepreneurship held the key to job creation in the country.
He said he was confident that the centre would help foster the spirit of entrepreneurship by grooming and supporting students so that their business ideas would flourish, thrive and become sustainable businesses for generations to come.
He noted that the goal of the initiative was to build successful and impactful businesses.
“UPSA has evolved into one of the fastest-growing universities in the country and this is because of our commitment to developing forward looking academic programmes and partnerships that respond to current and anticipated future needs of our nation and that of Africa.
“In the last five years, we have introduced innovative and market driven programmes that are beneficial for the growth of the country, with about 30 new programmes that respond to the urgent national needs,” he stated.
He said the centre would help students to be better prepared to create their own businesses and jobs.
“We will enable them to develop the characteristics, attributes and skills to contribute to the economy through job creation.
“In the ever-changing global economy, compounded by youth unemployment, students need the skills, capabilities, financial and technical assistance to enable them to succeed and that is what this centre seeks to offer,” he said.
Interaction with students
The Dean of the Faculty of Management Studies at UPSA, Dr Fidelis Quansah, for her part, said the faculty had interacted with the students and have had a good appreciation of what some of them seek to pursue.
“I have seen so many student entrepreneurs walk out of here to join the search for jobs that do not exist and for others, they never get the opportunity to nurture the seed of business idea and grow it.
“I am, therefore, excited that our students who now decide to climb the good tree of entrepreneurship will be given the needed push from the UEIC,” she stated.
She said globally, most forward-looking universities were gradually becoming business houses and incubators and the fulcrum around which high growth businesses were built.
She said that was why the faculty, with support from the entire university community and other partners, decided to champion this initiative.