Vice President for West and Central Africa (WECA) at MTN Group, Ebenezer Twum Asante has urged Ghanaian university graduates to look beyond securing jobs and focus on using their skills to create solutions for the country’s problems.
“Pursue your lofty dreams and ambitions by carving a niche within your control that can help solve problems beyond securing the sorely-needed employment,” he said while delivering a speech at the University of Ghana (UG) Legon for an audience of School of Graduate Students.
Mr. Twum Asante told the new graduates that irrespective of the degree they hold – from Archeology, Business, Classics to Zoology – there is a mighty difference each can make when they look at it from a value proposition of problem-solving.
In pursuance of this, the graduating students were advised “to be sober enough to appreciate that we cannot be islands to ourselves; because we operate in an ecosystem and not ego-system with our degrees or letters. An ecosystem of work, human connectivity, food cycle, leveraged learning and global inter-dependency.
“The academic laurels attained today is one thing to demonstrate your potential, a really huge one; but the impact you make out there will depend on how you apply yourself, work with others and, indeed, seek greater collaboration to get the best out of yourself and others. Please maintain the attitude to constantly learn; and keep your sense of enquiry acquired from your studies active, not shut,” he urged the graduating students.
Mr. Twum Asante further observed that there are myriads of problems in the country, among them poverty, inequality, unemployment, global talent competitiveness gap, corruption, governance and institutional malaise, poor sanitation, poor urban planning, doing business issues, low-industrialised non-diversified Economy and Climate Change – all resulting in a low human development index.
To tackle the problems, he stated, it is about time Ghanaians critically appraised and simplified them for resolution through their deep-rooted causes rather than defining them by their symptoms.
“Rigorous Root-Cause-Analysis may reveal that the many, diverse and multi-sectoral issues could actually converge at the yoke; a key part of what we are dealing with could be polemic really – Cultural yet Technological. Cultural because the generational problems created have lived with us for a long time, crystalised and have set their own unenviable standards, behaviours and attitudes. Technological because the endemic issues should be resolved smartly, with the force of scale and speed autonomously if we want to leapfrog,” he noted.
He further encouraged the graduating students to allow their passion to be driven by purpose and ethics, and asked them not to abandon some of the ingredients that have brought them this far as they must also serve their future.
“Your social licence to lead anyone is your Ethics, and the impact it makes must transcend generations. That is why you should be an atom of societal change and not, for instance, join the bandwagon of Corruption being shamefully retailed at all levels of societies,” he said.
The MTN boss further gave a clarion call that everyone should embrace the National Identity Digitisation by government, because it serves “as a single-source identification for everything, everywhere you go, and should fast-tracked as a prerequisite for building a modern society and economy”.
He then congratulated the students for the great feat they have achieved, especially in this COVID-19 era.
“I would also like to congratulate all of you for studying and graduating in a most globally disruptive pandemic period. In these times of uncertainties and anxieties, it takes some stubborn courage to pursue a demanding programme such as postgraduate studies in an equally demanding university,” he added.
In attendance were the Chancellor of the University, Mary Chinery-Hesse; the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo; the Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof. Gordon A. Awandare; Registrar, Mercy Haizel-Ashia; the Dean of Graduate Studies, Prof. Robert D. Osei, and several other members of the convocation.