The Centre for Languages and Liberal Studies, CELLIBS, of Takoradi Technical University in a move to help reduce the ever increasing graduate unemployment in the country has partnered Duapa Werkspace, a business development entity to train and support thousand students to build viable businesses within the next five years.
This follows a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Centre for Languages and Liberal Studies, CELLIBS, and Duapa Werkspace, a non-governmental organization.
CELLIBS representing TTU is expected to provide the physical space to host the setting up of an innovation hub as well as contribute two staff for the hub while Duapa Werkspace is to provide furnishing, electronic devices and run the place. The objective of the MoU is to use the CELLIBS Innovation Hub to “improve employability potential of the youth, especially students that pass through the CELLIBS Innovation Hub, promote entrepreneurship among graduate and non-graduate youth as pathways to employment”
It also has the aim to “initiate advocacy on impact sourcing to drive youth employment, provide opportunities for students to give back to the university community as wells as Promote the development of new research…to promote research in areas that have potential economic benefit and business relevance”
The Vice Chancellor of TTU, Rev. Prof. John Frank Eshun, who signed the MoU on behalf of the University’s Centre for Languages and Liberal Studies, CELLIBS, which is to work with Duapa Werkspace said such industry partnership is critical to TTU’s vision of producing professionals attractive to the industry.
“I thank you for coming on board to partner Takoradi Technical University. Our vision is to become a world-class technical university recognized with excellence, innovation and societal relevance…I believe the private sector is the engine of growth of the economy and partnering the private sector will help the university to position itself to be able to achieve this objective. One of the problem facing Ghana is unemployment and I'm very happy that you have come to set up an entrepreneurship incubation hub which will help train our students to be able to come out with jobs after graduation”, he said.
Speaking after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, the Chief Executive of Duapa-Werkspace, Erasmus Ackon said they have a mandate to build and run an Innovation Hub at TTU to produce enterprising graduates and non-graduates that look for employment.
“Every day students are out there looking for jobs. The universities currently prepare students to look for jobs but the hub is going to prepare the students, train them, give them the business development skills, entrepreneurial skills and the drive to establish businesses. We will however support them financially through funding opportunities, prepare them to meet investors, build business models and business plans. We however help with market research to see whether the solution will work and then through that we will provide them with innovation opportunities where they are going to incubate and grow for a period of time.“, he said.
Mr. Ackon further gave specifics and expectations of the Innovation Hub.
“Within 5 years we are looking at more than 1000 students and for every semester, there are going to be various programs and activities both networking sections, capacity building programmes and market linkages. Most at times, they build programs and there is no market need, so we will help them develop their products as well as market opportunities. Various exhibition, various road show and trade shows to help them to bring their products out”, he added.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor also signed a 2-year MoU between TTU’s Centre for Languages and Liberal Studies, CELLIBS, and CorpNation Foundation, a Takoradi based Civil Society Organization to partner in areas such as research, community outreach in clean ups, health support and employment venture support.
The Chief Executive of CorpNation Foundation, Savior Kweku Adzika, said the Foundation aims at achieving comprehensive and sustainable youth development by cultivating among the youth essential work ethics and values, such as integrity, commitment, loyalty, punctuality, self-development, self-discipline, self-motivation, teamwork and dedication. The CEO of CorpNation further highlighted some of the immediate activities it intends to rollout in-line with the signed MoU.
“We have 3R waste management project that we are starting from TTU. The 3R stands for reducing, reusing, and recycling which is an existing general terms, but we have added the plus because there are other values that we have added to it. Waste management actually starts from the mind, and we don't believe in just going to mount bins and expect that they are being used. So typically there is going to be waste segregation and that is an underlining factor to an effective waste management. At every collection point there will be separate bins to collect separate kinds of waste and then at these collection points, we should have those who are in need of these waste coming to take them for what they need them for and sometimes they could be taking at a fee“, he said.
The Director of the Centre for Languages and Liberal Studies, Dr. Ramos Asafo-Adjei expressed optimism for the partnership with CorpNation Foundation.
“CorpNation Foundation is a social entity that is driven by the urge to help society reduce unemployment, sanitation issues and also aid the youths to have better direction in all they do. Obviously, the chunk of our students in the university are youths. In that direction, CorpNation Foundation intends to supply us as a university with waste bins across the campuses and to show us how students can segregate waste in order to help in recycling of these waste. Apart from that the issue of health that is first aid is crucial in the sense that, so they intend to provide every floor of every Hall with first aid kits and to also give the students the necessary first aid training in the university... All i will say is that they are here to be our brothers, to partner us and to help in achieving their goals and in achieving the goal of the Takoradi Technical University to be one of the most excellent technical universities within Ghana and in Africa“, he said.