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The Head of KNUST Centre for Business Development and the Country Acting Coordinator of the African Centre for Career Enhancement and Skill Support (ACCESS) Project has paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor (VC), Professor Richard K. Amankwah on 29th June 2021. The Head of KNUST Centre for Business Development and the Country Acting Coordinator of the African Centre for Career Enhancement and Skill Support (ACCESS) Project has paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor (VC), Professor Richard K. Amankwah on 29th June 2021.
Group picture of KNUST Team with Vice Chancellor and other Officials of UMaT
Group picture of KNUST Team with Vice Chancellor and other Officials of UMaT

The visit was to share details and invite UMaT to participate in the ACCESS Project.  The Project is a collaboration between universities, businesses and business associations in Germany, Ghana, Rwanda, Nigeria, Kenya, Tunisia and Benin.   The Project is an extension of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) sponsored project from 2013-2016 called Intelligence for Innovation (iN4iN) Africa Network and African German Entrepreneurship Academy (AGEA) Project also from 2017-2020. 
These projects promoted entrepreneurship in Africa through universities in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania. Practical relevance included the development of knowledge capacities of enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa. Under AGEA, two universities, KNUST, Ghana and INESRuhengeri, Rwanda were chosen as hubs to connect with other Higher Education Institutions (HEls), businesses and business associations within and across respective countries and served to share and transfer knowledge to enhance the existing stock of knowledge on entrepreneurship. UMaT happened to be one of the Higher Education Institutions in Ghana that benefitted from the AGEA Project.
The ACCESS Project seeks to develop, implement and roll out an innovative concept to promote graduate employability with Leipzig University, Germany as the lead in the cooperation with African Universities.  
The Country Coordinator of the ACCESS Project, Dr Henry Mensah, in briefing the UMaT Team, mentioned that the Project is hinged on four (4) Pillars, namely:
⦁ Capacity building for employability promotion at Higher Education Institutions.
⦁ Promotion of University Business Linkages. 
⦁ Employability research in the African context.
⦁ The already established African German Entrepreneurship Academy (www.ageacdemy.de).

The Head of the Centre, Mr Samuel Akomeah, shed light on the challenges that Higher Education Institutions face with regards to bridging the gap between academia and industry in the area of graduate employability. He bemoaned the practice of depending on only curriculum content to prepare students for the job market and suggested that the stand-alone teaching should give way to integrated teaching to enable students to acquire the necessary skills to turn knowledge into business ideas and other profitable ventures. 
The Vice Chancellor welcomed the Team and expressed his delight in choosing UMaT as a partner on the Project. He mentioned that in a bid to strengthen the curriculum and better prepare students to integrate well into society, courses in critical thinking, integrated thought, financial literacy to mention a few have been introduced.  He lauded the team for the desire to work hand in hand with UMaT to achieve the objectives of the Project and assured them of UMaT’s efforts to ensure that the objectives are realised.
The Pro Vice Chancellor, Assoc Prof Anthony Simons, on his part shared the views expressed by both sides and added that managerial and leadership skills are critical for the overall functioning of graduates.   
Present at the meeting with the Vice Chancellor and the Pro Vice Chancellor were Prof Samuel Agyarko Ndur, Dean of the Office of Research, Innovation and Consultancy (ORIC), Assoc Prof Solomon Nunoo, Vice Dean, ORIC, Mr Matthew Okrah, Registrar, Mr Isaac Duodu, Coordinator of the AGEA Project and Administrators at ORIC.

Dr Frank Boateng Chair of U Hub Management Team explaining a point to the KNUST Team
Dr Frank Boateng, Chair of U-Hub Management Team explaining a point to the KNUST Team

The Project Team also interacted with the management of the UMaT Business Incubation Hub (U-Hub) to explore ways to support the Hub.

Source: Florence Antwiwaah Aboh (Mrs), ORIC

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