The University of Cape Coast (UCC) has inaugurated a Design Thinking and Innovation Hub (D-HUB), an initiative under the Office of the Vice-Chancellor (V-C) aimed at addressing problems associated with graduate unemployment.
The initiative is also intended to help create jobs and promote economic growth and it will serve as an incubation centre for students, industry players and relevant organisations to perfect their entrepreneurial ideas and abilities to promote start-ups and reduce rising unemployment rates.
The V-C of the UCC, Professor Johnson Nyarko Boampong, launching the initiative last Tuesday, said rising graduate unemployment had become a national scourge that necessitated immediate action, such as bridging the gap between academia and industry, hence the UCC’s decision to establish the hub for that purpose.
“It will not only be a platform for harnessing ideas by students but also be an avenue for raising entrepreneurs who will bring out best solutions to tackle day-to-day challenges,” he explained.
He expressed the hope that the hub would become one for nurturing talents, staff and organisations for the birthing of great ideas, solving graduate unemployment, economic challenges and job creation, among others.
Prof. Nyarko-Boampong said most of the country's unique ideas and methods had gone unexplored, particularly from student project works that had outstanding concepts but were left to rot on shelves.
He emphasised that such programmes had a lot of potential and concepts that might be refined to address some of the country's economic issues but had been abandoned, for no apparent reason.
He said it was past time for greater emphasis to be placed on such projects, as they had the ability to turn the country around.
“A critical mass of innovative ideas of students are left untapped and we believe the hub will address this and provide both physical and intellectual space for students to explore high design thinking, harness ideas and turn them into viable business opportunities,” the UCC V-C stated.
The Chancellor of the UCC, Sir Sam Esson Jonah, said current happenings around the world were an opportunity for stakeholders to rethink how difficulties were tackled and work diligently to generate 21st century driven answers.
He said the world's continuous negative transformation, fuelled by "the needless Russia-Ukraine war and COVID-19, requires stakeholders to cultivate a culture of design thinking in order to be sensitive to current and future requirements”.
“We must contribute to the national agenda of producing entrepreneurial minds for the country's economic gains in future,” he emphasised.
While urging beneficiaries to make the most of the opportunity, he also tasked them to establish a maintenance culture in order to ensure that the facility met its intended purpose and was maintained for future generations.
“Handle logistics and facilities with a high degree of care and strive to give of your best in whatever entrepreneurial decision you come up with,” Sir Sam advised.