The University of Ghana has launched a project to help address graduate unemployment and promote entrepreneurial skills development among students in the country.
Dubbed, ‘Innovation for African Universities Connecting Accra Project’, the initiative, which is being spearheaded by the Officer of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID) of the UG, is in collaboration with the Imperial College London (ICL) and the impact hub, Accra.
The project is fully funded by AMG fertiliser, a freezones company owned by a Ghanaian — Ernest Appiah.
The two-phased project seeks to understand the entrepreneurial needs of students and help provide the needed support.
The first phase was done through a series of roundtable discussions and virtual coaching sessions after which student entrepreneurs were sampled and engaged to understand their needs.
The second phase of the project climaxed at the University of Ghana campus with the finalists pitching their projects.
It began with an official launch where 28 entrepreneurial teams consisting of over 100 students were recruited, coached and mentored for two and half months period.
After those sessions, six finalists — CARTAgro, Agrimecarb, Fihankra Comtech LLC, Feathery Care,Stefarms and Mam Ne Fo — were selected.
At the final event, the Vice- Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, said such competitions will help solve the perennial graduate unemployment problems in the country.
She further advocated more private sector support to help hone the skills of students to fend for themselves after school.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante, described the hub as the spotlight of the future for students.
Mr Appiah, in his remarks attributed his life’s challenges as one of the many reasons why his outfit, the AMG, sponsored the development of the University of Ghana Business School Innovation and Incubation Hub.
He admonished the young entrepreneurs not to conform to the status quo due to fear, intimidation or the lack of resources.
Mr Appiah said he was willing to support all the other students who engaged in the IAU Connecting Accra Project competition with their business registration to stay compliant.
Mr Appiah, who is also an alumnus of the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), further expressed his conviction that projects such as the IAU Connecting Accra Project, were essential to create a vibrant atmosphere where student entrepreneurs are encouraged, trained and given the platform to attract the needed resources to ensure success.