Reverend John Ntim Fordjour, the Deputy Minister of Education, has charged Ghanaian youth to be innovative and develop entrepreneurial attitudes to make them distinct and successful in their professional lives.
He noted that the world had grown to the stage where the youth had to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship to contribute effectively to national development.
Rev Fordjour made the call on Saturday when he spoke to graduates at the first session of the 21st Congregation ceremony for 844 students from Ghana, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Gambia in Accra.
The graduates had pursued various Bachelor of Technology programmes from the Faculties of Engineering, Built Environment and Apllied Sciences of the Accra Technical University (ATU).
He said the average expectation of graduates in any part of the world, including low-income and advanced countries, was to get a job after a successful programme of study.
He added that it was the determination of the few outliers who dared to venture into the unknown and embraced innovation and through entrepreneurial skills that became outstanding and successful.
The Minister indicated that such people were those that invented new businesses and technologies and proffered solutions to the myriad of challenges facing the world today.
They, therefore, are: “The ones that create jobs, question the status quo, and are the ones whose names are known.”
Citing the example of Bill Gates, a global technology icon, he said: “At the time that Bill Gates and his colleagues will enter into a room and be able to play with the computer, which needed a room as big as this [auditorium of ATU] those that said it’s impossible for a computer to be reduced to a sizeable form that can be held by just one hand are those who were left behind.”
He said: “But he made it a possibility and dared to dream beyond the average expectation of graduating and expecting someone or the government to put a job on his table, and today through his courage and exploits many people have been employed.
The Assin South legislator said this to encourage the graduates of ATU and every Ghanaian youth who would graduate from any tertiary institution to have the mindset of being innovative and entrepreneurial rather than depending on others for jobs.
Dr Wilfred Kwabena Anim-Odame, the Council Chairman of the University, encouraged the graduates to go and impact the Ghanaian economy and the global job market with the academic and technical skills they had gained.
He was confident that the graduates had been equipped with adequate skills and knowledge to contribute on the national and international platforms, and said: “I urge you all to go and impact the Ghanaian economy, as well as the global market.”
He said though the COVID-19 pandemic had made things difficult for all economies, the technical and vocational training presented a niche for the graduates to be resourceful in the job market.
Dr Anim-Odame said the Council would continue to ensure that the increase in student population was accompanied with the required infrastructure development to promote excellence in teaching and learning.
He noted that the University’s five-year strategic plan with eight well-defined roadmaps would enable the attainment of ATU’s vision of becoming the top technical university in Ghana with strong regional influence.
Professor Samuel Nii Odai, the Vice-Chancellor of ATU, asked the graduates to join the Alumni and become ambassadors of ATU by continually pursuing self-advancement.
Reading the valedictory address on behalf of his colleagues, Mr Richard Djabanor-Lameh, said their journey at ATU was made fruitful through the support of both the teaching and non-teaching staff.
He expressed appreciation to everyone who contributed to their successful stay at ATU and urged his graduating class to sacrifice for what they wanted in life and be guided by the principle of integrity, creativity and service.