Deal with issues that hinder creativity and innovation among the youth – Dr Yamson
An economist, Dr. Ishmael Yamson has called for the elimination of obstacles which hinder nurturing creativity and innovation among the youth. This he said, when done appropriately, would be the surest way to empower the youth for the future.
He was of the view that poor institutions, limited access to relevant quality education, lack of basic infrastructure, poor policy coordination, unemployment, mental health struggles, lack of personal growth opportunities and poor governance, which have driven many African countries into high levels of debt and pervasive poverty, were some of the challenges that undermine ability to empower the youth for the future.
He was speaking on the theme “Empowering the Youth for the Future” at a Public Lecture organised as part of activities to mark the 5th Anniversary celebrations of Academic City University College in Accra on Friday.
“The issue of youth empowerment is a complex one. There are obstacles undermining our ability to empower our youth for the future.
The journey must begin by acknowledging the challenges the youth face globally but more particularly in Africa and Ghana,” said Dr Yamson who has over five decades of experience at the apex of corporate management and public sector advisory roles both in Ghana and internationally.
Dr Ishmael Yamson (6th left), management of the College and some of the participants after the event
“These challenges can be daunting, but they also provide us with a starting point for understanding why youth empowerment is essential.
Dr Yamson, who chairs a number of boards within corporate Ghana, explained that innovation cannot happen without creativity and only with creative idea could one truly innovate and implement solutions that work.
“There is the need to encourage new ideas generation from educational institutions, the private sector as well as to inject technology into governance architecture to fight corruption and build sustainable high growth economies.
“Africa contributes less than 2 per cent to global innovation, so it is no wonder that the continent has experienced low growth rates and high poverty rates for many years. It is therefore imperative that we nurture creativity and innovation if we must become a big player to secure greater economic independence,” he said.
Dr Yamson, who has a wealth of experience as chairman of Ishmael Yamson and Associates, also mentioned that there were seven basic skills that could prepare future leaders to enable them face future challenges, using creativity and innovation, including awareness of leadership, constant innovation and adaptation, emotional intelligence and soft skills, connectivity, collective intelligence and empathy.
“From the processes above it is clear that managing creativity and innovation to empower the youth involves complex processes. Nevertheless, it is the only way to mainstream the youth and engage them to become useful citizens,” he said.
“When we invest in youth empowerment, we invest in the future of communities and nations and the world. An empowered youth become the skilled work force of tomorrow, the innovators who will drive progress, the engaged citizens who will shape policies, and the advocates for sustainable development,” he said.
The Founding President of the Academic City University College, Prof Fred McBagonluri said his outfit was committed to nurturing leaders who would help solve complex societal issues.
Over the last five years, the College has become one of the top tertiary education institution for learning in Ghana and across Africa. The College is well known for its strong focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics (STEAM) and Entrepreneurship.