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General News of Thursday, 6 July 2017


MoE, MIT join forces to revamp National Service and other youth programs

Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh

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 Program and its related youth initiatives.

The intent of this effort is to deliver better outcomes than the current tapestry of programs. “This is something long overdue and a priority the current government recognizes 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 the Vice President, His Excellency 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, as well as some other countries to 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.,” 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 noted in a joint statement when commenting on the initative.

The Ghana REAP Team is championed by the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, 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. Matthew Opoku Prempeh.