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Business News of Saturday, 7 March 2020

Source: Lotus Women Foundation

CEO of Lotus Women Foundation wins 2020 Leadership and Excellence Award

The 2020 edition of Databank Foundation’s “Leadership and Excellence Award” took place on February 19th at the Head Office of Databank Ghana Limited in Accra.

Giving a background to the award, Mr. Prince Ampofo, Program Coordinator for Databank Foundation explained that “ the Leadership and Excellence Award has been put together to recognize individuals with a proven track record of academic, entrepreneurial and leadership accomplishments”.

Nominees are selected from university Graduates who passed out in the year preceding each award ceremony.

This year, Nominees were proposed from seven universities in Ghana namely: African University College of Communications, Cape Coast University, Central University, KNUST, Pentecost University College, University of Ghana, Legon and the University of Education, Winneba.

He explained further that “this year, Winners will receive an award certificate, a pack of leadership books and an investment token of Gh¢1,500; one-third of which will go into implementing a mini-project.

The mini-project is any social initiative an Awardee is already involved in, where he or she is the main initiator or an entirely new one.” The remainder of the cash prize will go into an investment package at Databank for each Winner.

Speaking during the ceremony, Programme Manager of Databank Foundation Mrs. Pebbles Parkes said the aim of this award is to “nurture ideas in Graduates because after school, it is no longer about grades but how to pay bills. While it is important to make money, Winners have to carry along the less fortunate in society through their social initiative”.She gave insight to the selection process explaining that all Nominees go through 4stages of interviews. Awardees are then shortlisted from the lot after the final interview.

In his address to Guests, Nominees and Awardees, the Registrar of Pentecost University College, Mr. Foster Kobina Amoani said that “tertiary institutions should shape their programs towards how we can bring up Students to be self-employed and how to even engage others. This will see a decrease in the issue of the youth not having jobs. As a country, we must stop thinking about training people liberally and when they go out, they have nothing to offer.”He also congratulated all Nominees especially the Awardees for presenting outstanding social projects which they will embark on within the next six months.

The Guest of honor at the ceremony was Miss Teni Agana, the kayayo (head porter) who overcame many adversities in life to get an education. She shared her life story of how she went from scratching a living as a head porter in Kumasi markets to receiving a full scholarship to study at the prestigious Ashesi university as well as graduating with the President’s prize (the highest honor at the university) and now being featured in a book titled “Those Who Inspire Ghana”.

The Group CEO of Databank Group Mr. Kojo Addae- Mensah thanked the universities, Registrars and Vice Chancellors for willingly presenting Nominees to the Board of the 2020 Leadership and Excellence Award noting that “it is difficult sometimes to get schools to cooperate with the Foundation”. A Board Member of Databank Foundation Mrs. Ama Korantemaa Ansah presented certificates and gift vouchers to all winners.

Founder and Executive Director of Lotus Women’s Foundation, Ms. Elizabeth Victoria – Amanor was one of seven Recipients at this year’s Leadership and Excellence Award for her consistent work of training the youth with marketable vocational skills and mentoring them to create jobs for themselves. She has done this since 2016 through her Foundation’s flagship project titled “Dignifying Lives with Decent Work”.

Through the assistance of corporate sponsors and other development partners, a total of five hundred and fifteen Senior High School Students have so far been trained in various trades like beauty therapy, event décor, coding, blogging, financial literacy and micro business management.

This was between October 2016 to November 2019. Her Foundation also previously had a bursary for 19 senior high school students. She will continue with this initiative as this prize money from Databank Foundation will be plugged into the vocational skills program to train an additional 200 Beneficiaries.

In addition to her volunteering and community service, at the end of her undergraduate studies, Elizabeth Victoria –Amanor graduated as the overall best student and was class Valedictorian at the African University College of Communications; an affiliate of the University of Ghana, Legon. She is also an entrepreneur who has managed her events planning business for many years now.

These combined qualities met the selection criteria of Databank Foundation’s search for Nominees who have an “exceptional blend of academic, entrepreneurial and leadership accomplishments.”Other Awardees at the 2019/20 Databank Foundation Leadership and Excellence Award were Daniel Mills, Miriam Nana Ama Amponsah, Angelica Maisuh and Jennifer De-Graft Ninson.