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Wed, Aug

Three educational institutions equip youth with entrepreneurship skills

Ms Debra-Jane Nelson (2nd right) addressing a press conference on the Conventry University in Accra. Those in the picture include Steve Kowal (left), Head of Alumni and Development, and other members of the alumni group. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR

Coventry University, a public research university based in England, in partnership with the Ghana Telecom University (GTUC) and African Institute for Transformational Entrepreneurship (AITE), has organised the entrepreneurship and employability masterclass to equip the youth, mostly students, to become successful entrepreneurs.

The masterclass provided participants with a platform to interact and share ideas with alumni of Coventry University, and also featured two insightful sessions with speakers from Coventry University and the British Council, Ghana.

The President of Friends of Coventry University and an alumnus in Ghana, Ms Debra-Jane Nelson, urged participants to utilise what they had learnt at the masterclass by applying it to their day-to-day activities, stressing: “Such courses refresh your mind; they are detailed, they open your eyes. They give you an opportunity to have new ideas. One only needs to concentrate and apply them.”


She commended Coventry University for giving graduates the opportunity to acquire knowledge after school and then advised students and the rest of the alumni to participate in the masterclass anytime it was held.

The Head of Alumni and Development for Coventry University, Mr Steve Kowal, stated that the masterclass was to equip participants so that they would help others in Ghana build themselves.

“Our main priority from the alumni association was to support graduates in the country and we are doing this through Focus Ghana Chapter to better individuals so that they can support one another,” he said.

A lecturer in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Coventry University, Mr Simon Hill, who led the first session of the masterclass, presented insights into innovation, knowledge transfer, entrepreneurship, leadership, socio-economic development and policy formulation, all which are courses that are provided by the AITE.

Leading the second session, a representative from the British Council, Ghana, Mr Gideon Brefo, a successful entrepreneur, shared his entrepreneurship experience with participants and offered insights into critical topics.

The masterclass presentation took a valuable look at the qualities employers value in graduates including knowledge about field of study, ethics and integrity, problem solving, critical thinking, ability to work in a culturally diverse environment and work experience.

Personal branding exercise

Additionally, participants took part in a personal branding exercise after which a selected few were given the opportunity to present an elevator pitch that could be used at interviews or networking events.

Sharing his experience during a press briefing after the masterclass, on how he stopped a young man from joining ISIS with just hours to spare, and of his ongoing commitment to fight terrorism, a graduate of Coventry’s International Terrorism masters course and the Executive Director of West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism (WACCE), Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar, said last year he saved the life of a young man who had been radicalised online and was on his way to join the terrorist group ISIS, after he spent time online looking for meaning in his life.

He said: “Just a day before leaving to join the group, he watched my TV outreach programme on counter-radicalisation – that was what changed everything and he changed his mind.”

According to him, some Ghanaian youth were being radicalised online and were forced to join ISIS and other terrorist groups outside the country, and urged the government to engage security agencies in the Countering Violent Extremism programmes, to prevent any possible external attacks.