MUCG, others empower public sector workers in entrepreneurial skills
By Phyllis D. Osabutey & Fatima Adam
THE METHODIST University College Ghana (MUCG) in collaboration with the Handong Global University (HGU) of Korea is holding a three-day special session for public sector personnel and decision makers to equip them with entrepreneurship skills to help tackle poverty and hunger in the country and the world at large.
The programme, which is under Global Entrepreneurship Training (GET 2012), is an intensive entrepreneurship training programme aimed at offering prospective global leaders of developing countries an opportunity to experience and learn about entrepreneurship, and serve as an engine of development.
Thus, the training incorporates academic courses and workshops for business plan writing and business competition, while inculcating in the participants’ minds the basic skills necessary to start and operate a new enterprise.
About hundred participants, including Parliamentarians, policy makers, government planners, Ministries, Municipal and District Assemblies MMDAs personnel and business executives from Ghana and Nigeria are expected to benefit from the programme, sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, University Twining and Networking (UNESCO UNITWIN) and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) of Korea.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the programme in Accra on Monday, the Principal of the MUCG, Very Rev. Professor Samuel K. Adjepong said the special session resulted from GET West Africa 2012, which was held at their Wenchi campus in the Brong Ahafo region, in February 2012.
According to him, the overwhelming response obtained from the regular GET programme that was held earlier in the year and covered a one week period made it clear that it was necessary for parliamentarians and policy makers to have an entrepreneurial mindset to help create conducive social and economic environment at the national, regional and district levels.
He said this would promote entrepreneurship among public sector personnel and help in advancing social and economic opportunities for job creation and sustainable national development.
He noted that the MUCG was privileged to have the singular opportunity to organize this special program, in collaboration with the HGU, because “It will equip parliamentarians, policy makers and governance implementers with the knowledge and skills of entrepreneurship.”
In line with the GET objectives, he said the role of entrepreneurship was vital to the nation’s economy and its development, especially in developing countries, without a tradition of entrepreneurship mindset established in their culture.
The importance of entrepreneurship, he mentioned, were that it provided hope and motivates innovation in the minds of people in developing countries, which would bring about more benefits to be shared among many others in need.
This is said to be the engine that launched and maintained developed countries and expected to propel developing countries to a developed status.
He expressed gratitude to the HGU and other Ghanaian benefactors that helped for the session to get underway, and urged the participants to leave with a resolve to promote entrepreneurship in a way that would impact positively on their businesses.
On his part, the Deputy Minister of Education, Honourable Mahama Ayariga, who represented the Vice President of Ghana, lauded the MUCG for their contribution to tertiary education by improving access to tertiary education through the establishment of campuses in various parts of the country.
He indicated that the GET programme showed that the institution was working beyond campus activities to impact on the broader social and economic development, in line with the private sector as the engine of growth that remained an important tool in the country’s quest for development.
He pointed out that though there was still debate regarding using the private sector as the engine of growth, the last decade had seen the divestiture of almost all state enterprises and a collaboration of regulatory institutions to manage activities in the private sector.
According to him, “even in purely social sectors such as education, we have come to agree on the importance of de-regulation, and we are beginning to also see the contribution of private sector in the health sector.”
Thus, the significant contribution of the private sector in purely social sectors beyond the industry, manufacturing sectors called for a rethinking in terms of the Ghanaian educational program.
This, he stated, would require that “our educational sector begins to take seriously the importance of entrepreneurship mindset”, which makes the GET programme important and strategic to economic development.
Particularly, he observed that empowering public sector workers in entrepreneurship was vital because “unless and until we have inculcated in the mindset of our public sector entrepreneurial thinking and attitudes, we are going to have consistently dissatisfied approach by public institution in the management of private sector.”
He further explained that it was the lack of entrepreneurial capacity of public sector workers that they often adhered to rigorous administrative processes, which in most cases, business men and enterprises found as impeding processes to their businesses.
Also, he encouraged participants to take advantage of the programme to upgrade their skills and capabilities in dealing with enterprises and the private sector in general, stressing, “We believe if we take advantage of this opportunity, we will see a significant transformation in the mindset and attitude of our public sector, and this will inure to the overall economic transformation of our country.”
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