The University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Axis Pension Group to institute the Axis Pension Young Scholar Fellowship. This remarkable partnership is aimed at supporting brilliant but needy students with an annual amount of Ghc 250, 000. The signing took place on Friday, 24th February 2023, at the Office of the Dean of the Business School during a meeting with a delegation from Axis Pension Group led by Mr. Afriyie Oware, Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
In a brief welcome address, the Dean of UGBS, Professor Justice N. Bawole shared his excitement for the partnership with a UGBS alumnus-led organisation. "As a school, one of the things we have been seeking to do is to expand our collaborations and networks, especially with companies led by our alumni. The reason is that our alumni understand us better, and in the course of doing our work, these partnerships are things that we must hold dear because they are extremely important to our strategy," he added.
Giving a brief background to the partnership, Prof Bawole indicated that Axis Pension Group approached the school on its 10th Anniversary about the idea, however, the plan was delayed because of the turbulent times that the world encountered due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated challenges. The Dean however expressed his optimism about things turning around for the better for the organisations. Emphasising on earlier assistance that the company has given the school, the Dean indicated that the Axis Pension team has already engaged UGSB staff and faculty in educative sessions on pension planning on two different occasions. He further used the opportunity to thank them for providing financial support for the UGBS faculty retreat. Commenting about the AXIS Pension Young Scholar Fellowship Programme, the Dean mentioned that apart from the financial support, the programme has an objective of creating a family bond between the beneficiary scholars and Axis Pension Group. He added that the young scholars will become an integral part of the company as ambassadors in educating their individual communities about pension planning.
In his speech Mr. Afriyie Oware, Chief Executive Officer of AXIS Pension Group indicated their company's belief in corporate organisations having responsibilities. He enumerated the several corporate social responsibility activities that they have embarked on. Further emphasising on the institution of Axis Pension Young Scholar Fellowship, Mr. Oware said his attention was drawn to the cause of helping needy students in September 2021 when a friend requested support for some university students. He mentioned his company's inability to assist because of policy issues hence his resolve to make amends "and so we are here as partners of the University to look at how we can contribute to better the lives of students. We believe that access to education should be available to all and that we should not deny any brilliant student access to education because they don't have the resources." He further pledged his company's support to the fellowship programmes and even extend it to other universities.
In a brief closing remark after the formal signing of the MoU, Prof Bawole reiterated the numerous challenges some students encounter in paying their fees. He mentioned the frequency of receiving letters from students pleading for time in paying their fees. The Dean cited several instances when he had to solicit for support from his colleagues. Professor Bawole indicated that the support from AXIS Pension would provide some financial certainty for such students. He added that many students have gone through such financial difficulties but are now in high positions creating value for the nation. He used the opportunity to request for a sponsor to renovate the unknown scholar edifice at the Business school. The Dean further explained that the unknow scholar edifice represents many great people who have and will pass through the Business School without being noticed but are now creating value for society. These unknown scholars are the once Axis Pension Young Scholar Fellowship programme will give life to, Prof. Bawole noted.
Professor Justice N. Bawole signed on behalf of the Business School, while Mr. Afriyie Oware signed on behalf of AXIS Pension Group.
The ceremony was witnessed by Heads of the Department of Finance, Dr. Emmanuel Sarpong-Kumankuma; Operations and Management Information Systems, Prof. Anthony Afful-Dadzie; Public Administration and Health Services Management Professor Albert Ahenkan, Professor Mohammed Amidu representing the Head of the Accounting Department. Also present were the Assistant Registrars of Academics, General Services, and Human Resources Ms. Celestina Majorie Quist, Ms. Saratu Salifu, Assistant Registrar - General Saratu Salifu; Assistant Registrar - Human Resource Mr. Yeboah Yaw Tsen respectively. Also, present from AXIS Pension Group were Mr. Matthew Mani, Group Chief Finance Officer, and Mrs. Louisa Siaw, Chief Legal Officer.
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