Academics help enhance graduate employment in Africa

A conference in Ghana has harnessed University of Plymouth expertise to address Africa’s problem with graduate employment.

The Ghana Entrepreneurship Conference 2018 took place at the University of Cape Coast, in partnership with the Plymouth Business School at the University of Plymouth.

The aim of the conference was to try and address the huge graduate unemployment problem in Africa by promoting entrepreneurship.

A programme of talks by academics from both institutions generated discussion around the role of entrepreneurship in employment creation, the role of research, and how to encourage and support potential entrepreneurs through better education and facilities like business incubators and hubs in universities.

Speaking at the event were University of Plymouth academics Dr Victoria Hurth, Dr Haya Al-Dajani and Dr Rumbi Mukonoweshuro, one of the organisers of the conference. Peter Reid, founder of the Plymouth Ghana Link, was also in attendance and delivered closing remarks.

Dr Mukonoweshuro said:

“This event has cemented the University of Plymouth’s leadership role in promoting entrepreneurship education and training in Africa, and opened up future research opportunities. We want to improve prospects for graduates in Ghana and across Africa, by giving them the skills they need to develop into entrepreneurs. As a result, we hope they will be able to take their future into their own hands, by setting up sustainable businesses to benefit not just them, but the economies of their countries.”

Dean of the University’s Faculty of Business, Professor Nikolaos Tzokas added:

“This conference has strengthened our links with the University of Cape Coast and become the foundation supporting our joint efforts to enhance entrepreneurial activity and entrepreneurship scholarship in Ghana and the region. I look forward to seeing the outcome of this event in the form of joint research projects and exciting opportunities for young entrepreneurs, researchers and scholars.”

Conference co-organiser and Dean of the Centre for International Education at the University of Cape Coast Professor Rosemond Boohene said: 

“Cape Coast and Plymouth are both important maritime cities with a rich history, and as such our partnership is a perfect match. It was a pleasure to welcome colleagues from the University of Plymouth to this conference, and I hope that we can continue to build a mutually beneficial relationship.”

The conference further strengthened ties between Plymouth and the West African nation, following a visit by a Ghanaian delegation to the city in January 2016. That visit, aimed at forging international trade links, was organised by the Devon Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Plymouth Ghana Link and the Plymouth Business School.

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