The University of Ghana (UG) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Spain-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (SGCC) to provide internship opportunities for its students.
The move is a follow-up to an earlier discussion between the Spanish Ambassador to Ghana, Javier Gutiérrez, and the Vice-Chancellor of the UG, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, on future collaborations and access to Spanish business opportunities.
The ambassador disclosed that the embassy was engaged with the SGCC to facilitate internships for Ghanaian students in order to offer them job opportunities.
The agreement seeks to offer internship programmes to students pursuing Spanish language in the university to access internships with member companies in the Chamber of Commerce.
The initiative was last Monday launched at the University of Ghana Great Hall in Accra.
A team from the office of the Legal Counsel of the embassy coordinated the preparation of the MoU which was signed by the President of SGCC, Joaquin Tours Lama, and Prof. Amfo.
The partnership will offer students the platform to gain hands-on industrial experience for job opportunities after school and cross-cultural exposure.
Mr Gutierrez believed that the agreement signed by the two parties would bring shared prosperity between both countries by actively training and involving the youth in the development process.
“This will open doors for students in the job market and will also benefit the companies from the skills, competencies and ideas of these students. So it is a mutually beneficial initiative," Mr Gutierrez said.
He further stated that the initiative formed part of Spain's priorities in Ghana, which included having political dialogues, common security, shared prosperity through commercial and economic exchange and cultural diplomacy.
"In the cultural field, we aspire to increase the exchanges between our nations and people-to-people contacts through inter alia, academic cooperation, the teaching of Spanish and scholarships," he said.
Mr Gutierrez also explained that for the companies participating, the programme would be beneficial to them as the Ghanaian students would bring new perspectives and innovative ideas.
“Additionally, the programme is meant to be a valuable tool for the companies in their recruitment process in the country,” he added.
Prof. Amfo commended the Embassy of Spain and SGCC for their collaboration and added that the institution was happy to be a part of an agreement which would produce well-equipped graduates for the 21st century work environment.
She stated that as part of efforts to complement training of students with practical opportunities, a number of mechanisms, including clinicals, internships, workshops and seminars, had been put in place.
“The university has developed an internship policy which seeks to streamline and synchronise such practical sessions, including internships, in order to derive the best outcomes," she announced.
Prof. Amfo disclosed that the signing ceremony was the first of programmes planned to strengthen existing cordial relationship between Spain and Ghana as there were plans to institute scholarships for Ghanaian students and researchers and to revitalise the university’s Casa Hispanica with activities such as lectures and film festivals.
For his part, Mr Lama encouraged students of Spanish not to only look at the cultural and linguistic aspect of the language, as the study of language went beyond that.
"There are several opportunities in different sectors where the knowledge of the Spanish language culture can be a determining factor in securing a job," he said.
Mr Lama, therefore, advised the students to involve themselves early in the economic and business aspect of Spain as there were great potential to be explored.