Alban Bagbin (2nd from left), Speaker of Parliament, sharing pleasantries with Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum (left), Minister of Education, at the signing of the MOU. With them are Adelaide Siaw Agyepong (3rd from left), Chief Executive Officer of the Asian-African Consortium, and Joseph Siaw Agyepong (left), Executive Chairman — Jospong Group of Companies
Alban Bagbin (2nd from left), Speaker of Parliament, sharing pleasantries with Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum (left), Minister of Education, at the signing of the MOU. With them are Adelaide Siaw Agyepong (3rd from left), Chief Executive Officer of the Asian-African Consortium, and Joseph Siaw Agyepong (left), Executive Chairman — Jospong Group of Companies

Jospong, Russian university sign educational deal

The Jospong Group of Companies (JGC) has signed a strategic educational partnership with the RUDN University of Russia, with an assurance from the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, that the House is in full support of the initiative.

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Under the partnership, the Asian, African Consortium (AAC), a subsidiary of the JGC, will offer scholarships to at least 600 Ghanaian students over the next five years to pursue Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy degrees (PhDs) in agriculture-related disciplines in Russia.

The fully funded competitive scholarships would be facilitated by the Scholarship Secretariat, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

A ceremony was held in Accra last Friday where the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by the two parties, marking the commencement of the partnership.

Educational institutions such as the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the University of Ghana, the University of Cape Coast (UCC), the University for Development Studies (UDS), the Pentecost University, as well as the National Service Secretariat have been engaged to facilitate the implementation of the initiative.

The signing ceremony brought together key personalities such as the Speaker of Parliament; the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum; the Vice-Chancellors of the University of UCC, Prof. Johnson Nyarko Boampong; KNUST, Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson; and a seven-member delegation from RUDN University, led by Prof. Sergey Elansky. 

Unflinching support

In his keynote address, Mr Bagbin assured Jospong Group and its Russian counterpart that Parliament would give its unflinching support to the partnership, given that it had enormous potential to transform the country.

"On behalf of the Parliament of Ghana and the 275 members, I assure you that we are with you on this journey.

We want to assure you that the two sides of the house are with you as you walk this journey," he added. 

Mr Bagbin urged the partners to work with the relevant committees of Parliament such as Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, Education, Economic Development, and Land and Natural Resources for the needed support for the initiative.

He said the move by Jospong Group was progressive and crucial for national development and, therefore, needed support.

"My prayer is that this historic partnership is the beginning of great things to happen.

Ghana is at our lowest; Ghana is in need, and Russia has shown that they are our friend in times of need," he said.

The Speaker of Parliament observed that the partnership between Jospong Group and the Russian university was a wake-up call to Ghanaians that "even though we are down, we are not out".

Good move
Dr Adutwum described the partnership between Jospong Group and RUDN University as a novelty by a private sector entity that would help to transform the country's development.

He observed that the initiative by the company had shown that when the private sector collaborated with academia and the public sector, it could address the development challenges confronting the country.

"The Jospong Group has been doing a lot to support national development, but by this scholarship opportunity, you have taken corporate social responsibility to a top-notch level; and the government is grateful to you for this effort," he said.

The minister urged the beneficiaries of the scholarship to take their studies seriously so as to acquire the needed skills and knowledge to contribute to national development.

"When you go and acquire the knowledge you seek, come back and contribute in a manner that will support Ghana’s transformation agenda," he stressed.

Commitment

The Executive Chairman of Jospong Group, Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, said the partnership was part of the long-term vision to produce human resource with the right skills to boost the country’s agriculture.

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He said some of the beneficiaries of the scholarships would be employed to work in the diversified agriculture value chain the group had ventured into.

Mr Agyepong said Jospong Group would continue to contribute its quota to national development through strategic investments and human capital development.

A lecturer at the RUDN University's Department of Russian and Foreign Languages and Literature, Prof. Masamba Kakh, said the partnership was a crucial one as it would help produce the human resource with the critical skills needed for development.

He said when the initiative was implemented with the required commitment, it would address global challenges in agriculture, environment, waste management and climate change.

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