The University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) on Wednesday, 25th April, 2018, celebrated its 39th Management Day at the Bank of Ghana Auditorium. The day, which was first celebrated in 1980, was marked with the objective of bridging and fostering a harmonious relationship with industry. It has since evolved to become an annual event that provides the platform for discourse on national issues. This year's Management Day, which was hosted by the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, was themed "Entrepreneurship: A Catalyst for Ghana's Socio-Economic Development". The theme was chosen to enhance the discussion on entrepreneurship development in the context of the President's globally acclaimed "Ghana Beyond Aid" initiative.
Addressing the gathering, the Dean of UGBS, Professor Joshua Yindenaba Abor mentioned some developments in the school as far as entrepreneurship is concerned. He said UGBS in the past few years has made the subject matter a key area of attention. He added that UGBS is partnering with the government and the African SME organisation to establish an incubator, accelerator as well as a co-working space at the school. He said this initiative, which will be housed in the premises of the Business School, is aimed at helping nurture business ideas of students as well as the public. In addition, he mentioned that the school has advanced in processes of introducing new graduate programmes in areas such as MBA and MPhil in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Speaking on behalf of the headline sponsor, Nordea Capital limited, the Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Aseye Akotia said the subject of entrepreneurship is an important one which deserves prominence. He pointed out that their decision to partner the business school was a strategic move which reflects their intention to adopt a research-based approach to drive their business. He said the company's research paper is regularly published on several media outlets across the country, explaining that the company wants to position itself as the number one research-based investment firm. This, he is certain, has accounted for the success of the business so far. Looking into the future, Mr. Akotia hinted on their intentions to partner academic institutions such as the University of Ghana Business School to organise programmes that will open the floor for discussions on relevant topics relating to several macro-economic indicators. He opined that this will lead to the provision of information which he hopes will be relevant to both industry players and academics. He further stated that the intention of their institution to create internship opportunities for students to acquire practical knowledge will balance what is being taught in the classrooms.
In his address, the Minister of State for Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah who was the guest of honour, stressed on the urgent need for business training institutions to introduce the learning of French and other languages into their curriculum. This, he said, can be done by an effective collaboration between business schools and schools of languages. This, according to Professor Yankah, would facilitate business operations and deepen multilateral relationships among countries in the sub-region. He observed that one of the country's challenges was its inability to generate knowledge that enables the development of the right skills needed for the job market. Therefore, he suggested that it was important to strengthen the ties between academics and industry which would lead to job creation.
Mr. Humphrey Dake, the Vice President of the Association of Ghana Industries, who spoke on the sub-theme 'Entrepreneurial Education in Ghana: Are we Getting it Right?', called for the need for students of business to have an experiential knowledge. This, he said, can be gained only from the field, thus he advocated for internships, apprenticeships and mentorships. He said these should be structured and made part of the curricula of business training institutions. He said the concept of national service, where fresh graduates are attached to institutions for acquisition of skills is a laudable one and such schemes should be deepened and taken to a level where private sector and other related institutions are given the opportunity to participate. He further added that policy makers and government should engage academics on such issues to influence them. He advocated for tax and other incentives for institutions that show interest in such arrangements.
Other speakers at the occasion were Mr. Stephen Eku, Nordea Capital and Ms. Ethel Coffie, CEO of Edel Tech. Consult, who spoke on the sub-theme 'Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Structures and Support for Entrepreneurial Growth. The event was graced by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ebenezer Oduro-Owusu, Past Deans of UGBS, the Business School Administrator, Mr. Emmanuel Poku Sarkodee, Faculty, Staff, Students and other dignitaries.
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