Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC) has signed an agreement with five universities in Ghana to expand its programme across five regions in Ghana.
The five universities; the University of Ghana, University for Development Studies, SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies, the University of Cape Coast and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology will be working with KIC to implement the AgriTech Challenge (made up of Classic and Pro) and incubation modules of KIC’s programme portfolios.
The universities will support the implementation of the modules in the following regions: Greater Accra, Northern, Upper West, Central and Ashanti.
The collaboration with the universities is made possible with the funding support of the Mastercard Foundation under the Young Africa Works initiative which seeks to target three million young people, particularly women, to secure employment that they see as dignified and fulfilling by 2030.
The four-year collaboration programme similarly aligns with KIC vision of developing the next generation of youth in agricultural entrepreneurship and would be expanded to include other tertiary institutions across Ghana.
The KIC and the universities strategic partnerships will allow both organisations to share strength, experiences, methodologies, and resources to create a deeper impact in generating youth interest and changing the mindset of the youth about agriculture.
The collaboration will also help create job opportunities, empower the vulnerable and create a resilient agricultural sector in the long term for Ghana.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, Executive Director of KIC, said KIC had planned to reach out to more young entrepreneurs to participate in the programme.
“Our collaboration with the universities allows us to reach more young people to increase our impact agenda of building more entrepreneurs for the agricultural sector. By introducing young people to the agriculture value chain and the career opportunities available, young people will have more exposure to the industry and discover the interest to pursue a career in agriculture,” he said.
For the universities, this collaboration is timely, as it propels them to imbibe the spirit of entrepreneurship in young people in the wake of high unemployment and food security challenges.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Professor Gabriel AyumTeye, said, “it has always been the vision of UDS to get students to take entrepreneurial programmes seriously, as that could be a game-changer in their lives and career journey. Because we believe in entrepreneurship, we have initiated entrepreneurship programmes on campus in addition to the business incubator operations.
He further stated that the “collaboration with KIC is good news, it expands the opportunity for young people across the country.” Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Development, who signed the agreement on behalf of the University of Ghana, in brief remarks, expressed excitement about the partnership that had been formed.
He was delighted about the innovative opportunities the partnership would bring. “We will take the opportunity from Kosmos Innovation Centre to use it as a springboard for our various innovation hubs on campus,” Prof. Asante noted.
All the universities have entrepreneurial and innovative programmes that tie into the KIC programme and values. This provides confidence for the success and sustainability of the programme.