On Friday, August 6, 2021, the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, launched the University of Ghana Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programme (UGIEP), at a colourful ceremony held in the Cedi Conference Centre, Department of Economics, University of Ghana, Legon.
Delivering the keynote address prior to the official launch, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who was the Special Guest of Honour, congratulated the hardworking team of partners who put together the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programme, adding that it is at the heart of such initiatives in places of higher learning that the development of nations lies.
The Vice President expressed his delight to have been invited at a time when the University was going through the process of selecting a new crop of leaders to propel the Institution to continue its path as the leading centre for research, teaching and learning in Ghana.
He pledged Government’s determination to continue to create the enabling environment to allow the initiatives and companies started through the UGEIP programme to thrive.
Dr. Bawumia noted that it was the expectation of Government that the UGIEP will work with existing initiatives such as the Youth Development Authority, the Youth Enterprises Fund, the NEIP, the Ghana Enterprises Agency and others to help young people create sustainable job opportunities.
He urged all key stakeholders including students, alumni, faculty, agencies and corporates to work collaboratively to ensure that the approach yields the expected results.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, gave a broad overview of the Programme which she indicated was to serve students and alumni across the country.
She noted that the purpose of the launch was to make innovation and entrepreneurship more formal in the University.
Prof. Amfo disclosed that the Programme will provide essential services to enhance students’ creativity and competitiveness in the present complex world.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor explained that the programme is a facility that will go beyond the classroom and theories to aid young minds to innovate, collaborate and create financial, administrative and business support.
In a televised congratulatory message, Mr. Jonathan Ortmans, President of Global Entrepreneurship Network, lauded the University of Ghana and the Global Entrepreneurship Network–Ghana (GEN-Ghana) for designing the University of Ghana’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programme, an idea which was conceived as far back as 2008, when he visited Ghana at the beginning days of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
He was optimistic that the UGIEP will unleash the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurial leaders to make the world a better place for all.
Earlier in his welcome address, Prof. George Oduro Nkansah, Director, Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST), mentioned that the UGIEP will stimulate innovative thinking by enhancing support structures at the University of Ghana. He was hopeful that with the dedicated
team built to support innovative activities, the programme will be at the forefront facilitating special business, administrative and mentoring platforms to interested stakeholders. He also extended immense appreciation to all stakeholders for the effort put into making the UGIEP a reality.
Prof. Justice Bawole, Dean of the University of Ghana Business School and Mr. Stephen Gyasi-Kwaw, Country Director, Global Enterprises Network–Ghana, in brief remarks, congratulated the IAST for putting the UGIEP together.
They further conveyed their readiness to collaborate with IAST to ensure the success of the programme to the benefit of all stakeholders and the nation at large.
The programme was interspersed with cultural performances by the Abibigromma Cultural Group.
The University of Ghana Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme is a programme that seeks to foster Entrepreneurship and Innovation Culture at the University, through extracurricular programmes and projects that support creative thinking, venture creation and growth towards the advancement of innovation and entrepreneurship development in Ghana.
The programme will help unlock the ideas of students, alumni and faculty, and translate new ideas, products and services into employment and economic growth.
The UGIEP is a non-academic programme under the auspices of the Vice-Chancellor’s office. The five unique programmes under the UGIEP namely the UG Start Up Challenge, the UG Incubator, the UG Venture Accelerator, the UG Venture Fund, and the UG Alumni Angel Investor Network, will serve as the pillars through which the objectives will be achieved.