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Major project to prepare service persons in agriculture underway

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Benjamin Gyan-Kesse (left), Executive Director, KIC exchanging the MoU with Osei Assibey Antwi (right), Executive Director, National Service Secretariat
Benjamin Gyan-Kesse (left), Executive Director, KIC exchanging the MoU with Osei Assibey Antwi (right), Executive Director, National Service Secretariat

The National Service Secretariat (NSS) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC) to build the capacity of prospective national service personnel in the agriculture value chain before they are deployed to user agencies.

The agreement, to be executed under the Kosmos Innovation Centre Incubation Hub, will see graduates from universities across the country being groomed by businesses under the KIC programmes by orienting them with skills and tools that will adequately prepare them for future opportunities.

It would also enable service persons deployed to the KIC programme to acquire career development skills and empower them to start high-potential ventures in the agriculture sector in the country.

A joint press release issued in Accra by NSS and KIC on September 18 said “the initiative will also help imbibe the essence of entrepreneurship in these graduates and potentially recruit them into the very prospective field.”

Mentees under the programme eligible for national service who successfully start businesses will be registered onto the scheme to undertake their service within their startups.

It will provide placement opportunities for upcoming service personnel through ventures created from the partnership between the NSS and KIC.



Unemployment rate

The Executive Director of KIC, Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, in the press release, expressed concern about the increasing rate of unemployment in the country.

He said it was essential for a structured programme involving public-private partnership to bridge the knowledge and skills gap among graduates.

He stated that apart from enabling the startups under the mentorship of KIC to scale up by providing them labour, the initiative was also KIC's module to add value to graduates.

He commended NSS for its commitment to the project.

"I applaud the National Service Secretariat for considering this a viable venture to partner. Their support to post National Service Personnel to use their service period to develop and grow businesses within the KIC landscape is highly plausible.

This partnership brings heightened optimism and excitement that we hope to channel into breaking the chain of graduate unemployment by providing unparalleled technical opportunities to graduates while supporting small businesses to thrive," the Executive Director of KIC said in the release.


Collaboration

The Executive Director of the National Service Secretariat, Osei Assibey Antwi, also stated in the release that his organisation was committed to collaborating with key public and private agencies to provide employment opportunities for NSS personnel after their service period.

"The deficit we are facing in the employment scene in Ghana could be curbed when we adequately equip the youth to venture into entrepreneurship, even better when it is agripreneurship.

We are very thrilled to be on board this project," he said in the release.