Youth must innovate, be business-minded
The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has challenged the youth to come out of their comfort zones to venture into profitable enterprises with innovation.
He said young people could do more not only for themselves but for the country at large, and, therefore, needed to come out with innovative ideas.
“Whenever you get a call, don’t ever underestimate what you are capable of doing. Just understand that you can be a hero, you can be a great person. So be bold and don’t think that you are an ordinary person; you can be a great individual,” he said.
Dr Adutwum said this when he delivered the keynote address at the African Business Centre for Developing Education (ABCDE) International Youth Day 2021 Conference in Accra last Thursday.
The event, dubbed: “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation in Chocolate-Making”, provided the platform for stakeholders to discuss the investments they were making to transform the food systems using innovative ways for human and planetary health in the country.
It was to educate the public, especially the youth, on investment made by different organisations in the education sector, focusing on innovative ways to transform the food systems in chocolate making and to mobilise support for further resources for educational initiatives.
Dr Adutwum indicated that the youth would be able to do a lot of big things for the transformation of the country if only they could listen to their inner beings and calls to embark on adventures.
The Minister of Education thanked the Chairman of the ABCDE, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, for organising the innovation programme, adding that it would challenge the youth to do more.
“You never know; out of this someone can come out with innovative ideas about cocoa and the opportunities. This event will open up an idea to someone to say I can transform this cocoa into something that can employ hundreds of people.
“So, this is a great event, celebrating the youth and the innovative spirit that the youth have in them,” he said, adding that “I’m inspired to even do more at my age; it has been very inspiring”.
Dr Adutwum said the future and the present were in the hands of the youth and so they should work hard to make maximum use of the days ahead of them for their benefit.
He noted that the era where the best student in class was the person who could memorise was no longer the case in the age of the fourth industrial revolution, saying “we are looking for critical thinkers”.
He said 40 per cent of all jobs around the world in about 10 years would not be available, and that the only jobs that would be left would be ones that demanded of people to think because of the emergence of robots and artificial intelligence.
“Things are changing so fast that if we do not produce young men and young women who can think critically and look at their environment and see opportunities, the gap between us and the developed world will widen,” he said.
Dr Spio-Garbrah said the youth had a great opportunity to learn from the older and experienced ones, and expressed the hope that the discussions would inspire participants to do more in their respective fields.
He announced that ABCDE would launch a national directory of scholarships next month where every young person, aged at least 16 years, who wanted some financial assistance for any aspect of their education or skills development would have something through that directory to be contained online and in a book.
That, he said, was something he had been working on for at least 20 years when he was Minister of Education.
“When I left the ministry, I thought the succeeding minister and government would take interest in it, but this was not the case, so 10 years ago I revived it,” he said.