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General News of Thursday, 6 July 2017


Government partners MIT


The Ghana National Service Secretariat has teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT REAP) to revamp the National Service Programme and its related youth initiatives in the country.

The intent of this effort, according to a press statement, “is to deliver better outcomes than the current tapestry of programmes.”

"This is something long overdue and a priority the current government recognises needs to be done to develop the potential of every child, making their skills relevant for our development needs both on the public and private side", said Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

The MIT REAP Admissions Committee selected Ghana based on the thoughtful analysis presented on the key challenges facing the region and commitment to work together to drive impact.

Over the years, the National Service has had the mandate of providing qualified graduates with practical work experience and offers skilled resource to qualifying communities and social programs to support development across Ghana.

A myriad of challenges present themselves today including the need to improve employability of youth graduates and spur increased growth in entrepreneurship. Other youth agencies expected to benefit from this program include National Youth Authority (NYA), Youth Employment Agency (YEA), National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), National Vocational Training Institute, YES and MASLOC.

MIT REAP provides opportunities for communities around the world to engage with MIT in an evidence-based, practical approach to strengthening Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurial (IDE) ecosystems. MIT REAP has helped many regions such as Mexico, Spain, Singapore, Japan, Morocco, Ireland, etc., improve the local environment that fosters innovation-driven enterprises by leveraging each region's unique comparative advantage.

This is done by MIT faculty working with key regional stakeholders to understand its history, the key drivers of innovation and entrepreneurship, and the opportunities to build unique comparative advantages.

"If job creation and economic prosperity are the goals for a government, innovation-driven entrepreneurship (IDE) must be a major element of government strategy and policy making. And to ensure that IDE entrepreneurship has the right support structures, separate and equitable organizations will need to be set up, with different programs and mindsets, to support SME and IDE entrepreneurship," according to Bill Aulet, Managing Director, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and Professor of the Practice, and Fiona Murray, William Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship, MIT Sloan School of Management and Associate Dean for Innovation in A TALE OF TWO ENTREPRENEURS: Understanding Differences in the Types of Entrepreneurship in the Economy.

The Ghana REAP Team is championed by Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh (Minister of Education) through the National Service Secretariat with its Executive Director Mustapha Ussif. The rest of the REAP Team is made up of stakeholders from five key areas: Education, Risk-Capital, Government, Entrepreneurs, and Corporate. "We have worked with MIT to identify a Working Group that will work towards finding a solution to our youth unemployment problems by launching a Program that addresses current challenges", said Dr Opoku Prempeh. He thanked Dr. Hene Aku Kwapong, a managing partner at Songhai, whose team worked to realise the Ghana-MIT REAP effort.