Vice President Bawumia and some students
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has admonished tertiary students to take center stage in moving Ghana's economy from a raw material export dependent one to that of value addition.
That, he said, could be achieved through innovation and entrepreneurship which could address the growing unemployment crisis in Africa.
“Any time we export raw materials to feed the industries of other countries, we are unknowingly exporting jobs along with it and we are also exporting income and improvement in living standards,” he said.
Dr Bawumia said that the growing number of educated youth, coupled with their easy access to the internet, provide a positive force for development.
He said the time has come for the introduction of entrepreneurship initiatives in academic institutions.
On the other hand, he said such a human and technological resource, if not well harnessed, could lead to socio-economic crisis.
He disclosed this when he launched the Student Entrepreneurship Initiative (SEI)-Tertiary at the University of Ghana on Tuesday April 23, 2019.
The theme for the launch was, “Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Solution to Ghana's Graduate Unemployment.”
The government-led initiative is aimed at building an entrepreneurial mindset among students through series of activities such as establishing entrepreneurship clubs, introducing entrepreneurship manuals to universities, organising business competitions and training of SEI coordinators in tertiary institutions.
Minister of Business Development, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, has challenged heads of tertiary institutions to annually provide 100 students with bankable projects that would be supported by the ministry.
He said that though the country does not suffer from a dearth of entrepreneurs, there was the need to develop entrepreneurs who would create large avenues for growth and employment.
“The problem we have is that most entrepreneurs are necessity entrepreneurs who create jobs to meet their immediate needs,” he said.
Dr Awal also added that the ministry would extend coverage of the SEI -Secondary from 4,000 schools to 20,000 schools by the close of this year.
Furthermore, the SEI-Tertiary, which is targeting 20 institutions this year, would be extended to 40 tertiary institutions by the end of next year.
Minister of Education in Charge of Tertiary, Prof Kwesi Yankah, for his part, said the high graduate unemployment in the country had challenged an age-long notion of higher education equaling better job opportunities.
In solving the problem, he said the ministry had initiated steps to better equip tertiary students with the right skill sets and curriculum to create employment for themselves.
These included revitalization of technical and vocational training, narrowing the agenda of technical universities to stick to core mandate and also developing action plan for tertiary institutions to engage industries.