Mr David Douglas Tengey, Executive Director of the David Douglas Leadership Forum (DDLF), has urged students in senior high schools and universities to have a change of mind-set, attitude, and be prepared to take initiatives and risk to pursue their aspirations to achieve success.
He said students needed to have an entrepreneurial mind-set and must not rely solely on what they were being taught in school by taking up courses such as engineering, carpentry, masonry, fashion design, construction and architecture to develop personal skills to set up their own businesses.
He made the call at the 2023 edition of the David Douglas Leadership Forum (DDLF) in Accra, on the theme: “The Importance of Entrepreneurship in National Development”.
Mr Tengey said there was the need to train young people from the tertiary and senior high level to be innovative and ready to embrace the difficulties that come with putting together new ideas to help transform society and also ensure economic growth.
“Training development opportunities and access to markets must be intensified at various educational institutions across the country,” he said.
He said it was imperative that as students received education in their various subjects and disciplines, they were also given education on entrepreneurship to prepare them for the job market and also help achieve the much-longed desire to close the industry academia gap.
He advised parents to intentionally guide their children to think outside the box from infancy by training, mentoring and educating them for developmental opportunities.
However, he called on educational authorities to revisit fully the integration of art and crafts practical’s, agriculture lessons, carpentry, masonry and catering to the educational curriculum to enable students take decisions on entrepreneurship as an additional option.
He added that young people, especially students, had several options and opportunities to learn and venture into entrepreneurship for the development of themselves and the country.
Professor Pikay Richardson, lecturer at the University of Manchester, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said students must be well educated in leadership skills to become effective managers of their businesses.
He noted that most graduates in Ghana did not know the difference between a leader and being in the position of authority.
Being appointed as the director of a company is not a leader, a leader is someone who can mobilise, accomplish and have the charisma to make sure something is done for the benefit of all, he said.
He said students should not only rely on money when they become leaders of institutions but rather work with integrity and accountability.
“If we are able to teach, train and inculcate the youth on who a good leader is, then they can change the current situation of our country because, they are the future leaders,” he added.
The David Douglas Leadership Forum seeks to empower young people to strive and become ethical leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators and agents of change within the Ghanaian economy.
The entrepreneurial leadership conference was attended by students from twelve Senior Secondary Schools and three universities.