The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U) with Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) to implement the KIC AgriTech Challenge Programme at the regional level, by training students in enterprises under the KIC mentorship programme.
The partnership will see students from the university and youth of Bono Region be trained and exposed to vast opportunities in agri-entrepreneurship and innovation. The aim is to foster job creation, and enhancement of agriculture and economic growth for youths in the long-term.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, the Executive Director of KIC, Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, expressed his excitement about the collaboration, saying it is as an opportunity for the parties to leverage their respective strengths, experiences and resources to create impact in generating youth interest and changing mindsets while creating job opportunities.
“UENR provides leadership and management of energy and natural resources, and is also a centre of excellence in these areas. The signing provides KIC with an opportunity to connect with more young people in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation as our core mandate suggests,” the Executive Director of KIC said.
The Vice Chancellor of UENR, Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, mentioned that the university is committed to partnering with relevant stakeholders who have the necessary tools/skills to assist students at the university and youth of the region to secure their future.
The partnership with UENR is for a period of 3 years, starting from 2023 to 2025 but renewable on a yearly basis. In this collaboration, KIC and UENR will join efforts to create job opportunities and empower vulnerable groups to promote a resilient agricultural sector.
KIC will be signing similar agreements with 4 more universities in 4 different regions this year, reaching a total of 10 regions covered from last year. These universities are Ho Technical University-Volta Region; Koforidua Technical University-Eastern Region; Takoradi Technical University-Western Region; and Bolgatanga Technical University-Upper East Region.
Universities which signed onto the KIC programme last year include the University of Ghana-Greater Accra; University of Cape Coast-Central Region; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)-Ashanti Region; University for Development Studies-Northern Region; and University for Business Integration and Development Studies (UBIDS)-Upper West Region.
As part of KIC’s collaboration with Mastercard Foundation, the programme is expected to extend its impact across all the regions of Ghana by 2025; thus ensuring more young people with interest in entrepreneurship and agriculture are supported. The programme also works with Agri-MSMEs in all the regions by supporting them to accelerate growth.
KIC will be signing similar agreements with 6 more universities in the remaining regions of Ghana during 2024 as part of the programme-expansion.
The National Service Secretariat (NSS) also signed an MoU with KIC to develop the entrepreneurial skills of graduates under the KIC mentorship programme, whereby these graduates are assigned to KIC businesses to work and learn entrepreneurship the practical way.
KIC remains committed to its focus on empowering young men and women to drive innovation in agriculture – the country’s largest employer, and training them to lead sustainable, successful businesses. Since its inception, KIC has trained more than 1,300 young people in business skills and entrepreneurship through participation; and has nurtured some of the most promising youth-driven, agri-tech startups in Ghana today… and 127 agri-MSMEs have been trained.
Kosmos Innovation Centre: The Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC) invests in young entrepreneurs and small businesses which have big ideas and want to see their country grow. The KIC was established in Ghana in 2016, with programmes focused on inspiring and empowering young entrepreneurs to drive change in their own country.
Since its inception, KIC has focused on innovation in agriculture – the country’s most important sector and largest employer. More than 1,300 aspiring entrepreneurs have participated in KIC Ghana programmes, resulting in the creation of promising start-ups that have gone on to secure seed funding, additional business training and capital investment.
Master Card Foundation and KIC Partnership: Mastercard Foundation and KIC announced the launch of a multi-year partnership to train the next generation of young leaders and entrepreneurs in Ghana’s agriculture sector in May 2022. Other key aspects of the partnership include the AgriTech Challenge Classic, AgriTech Challenge Pro, Incubation – the KIC Incubation, Business Booster, and the Blue Skies Foundation School Farm Competition.
The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR): The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) is a public-funded university established by an Act of the Parliament of Ghana, Act 830, 2011. The university provides leadership and management of energy and natural resources, and is a centre of excellence in those critical areas.
UENR approaches its programmes and research by emphasising interdisciplinary collaboration and taking into account areas such as economics, agriculture, law and policy, management, science, technology and engineering, as well as social issues affecting energy and natural resources. UENR emphasises integrity and makes an impact by taking cognisance of entrepreneurial and other developmental soft skills.