UCC and University of Plymouth Hold Conference on Entrepreneurship

The first Joint University of Cape Coast and the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, Conference has been held on the theme “University’s Leadership Role in Promoting Entrepreneurship Education and Training in Africa”.

Graduate unemployment has become a global issue especially for Africa where due to the non-existing job opportunities and the mismatch between the quality of products from universities and the skill requirements from the world of work. Most educational institutions also do not consciously help develop the entrepreneurial and technology innovative skills of their students whilst they are in the university.

Moreover, majority of the courses on African entrepreneurs lack progression arrangements that would enable the student and the tutor to have opportunities to develop further and acquire higher level of leadership and business skills.

It is in this light that the University of Cape Coast in collaboration with the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom, and their associates, namely Mahatma Gandhi University, Kigali, Rwanda; Botho University, Gaborone, Botswana; and Crawford University, Lagos, Nigeria, organised the conference to discuss practical ideas and guidance needed to reduce unemployment and employability of graduates, and transform the prospects of current and potential entrepreneurs by equipping them with world-class skills, knowledge and drive to develop further into robust entrepreneurs, who will establish sustainable businesses.

The conference equipped participants with skills and tools needed to create viable jobs as well as deepened the entrepreneurial mind-set in Africa through the establishment of business incubation units in universities. It further provided the platform to promote entrepreneurship culture, share best practices and build stronger links between academia and private sector organisations in the United Kingdom and Africa.

The Conference which was held at the Institute of Education Conference Room discussed “The role of Entrepreneurship in Employment Creation”; The Role of Action-Based Entrepreneurship Research. The conference equipped participants with world-class tools for further development using business incubators and hubs as well as creating network opportunities among themselves.

Speakers for the Conference were Mr. Ato Van-Ess, of the Sekondi Chamber from Commerce, Western Region who spoke on the topic “Economic Policies, the Private Sector and Job Creation Strategies; Dr. Rumbi Mukonoweshuro from the University of Plymouth also made a presentation on “The Entrepreneur’s Mind-Set: Be a Problem Solver, Experiences of Creating the Cost Carbon Calculating Tool”.

Others were Prof. Hay Al-Dajani from the University of Plymouth who gave a video presentation on “Enterprise in Displacement: Refugee Women in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey”; Prof. Rosemond Boohene & Prof. Daniel Agyapong from UCC presented on the topic “Role of Entrepreneurship in an Economy: An Emerging Country Context” whilst Prof. Victoria Hurth from University of Plymouth spoke about “Entrepreneurship is an Act of Leadership”.