ORID Signs Collaborative Agreement with Kosmos Innovation Center

The Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID), on behalf of the University of Ghana, has signed a collaboration agreement with Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC), under a Mastercard Foundation Project dubbed “Young Africa Works”.

The UG-KIC collaboration agreement, which champions the vision of ORID to advance the application of innovation and facilitate socially mobile networks/platforms to develop entrepreneurial skills and create viable job opportunities for the youth, encompasses a four-year programme dubbed “Initiative for Youth in Agricultural Transformation (I.Y.A.T)”.

The Initiative for Youth in Agricultural Transformation (I.Y.A.T) programme, spearheaded by the School of Agriculture under the leadership of Professor Irene Egyir, Dean of the School, will train and expose young people to the challenges and opportunities of the agricultural sector, equip them with employable skills and provide support to create and sustain innovative solutions. The start-up projects generated from this initiative will serve as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to boost the agricultural sector. 

Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Development, who signed the agreement, in brief remarks, expressed excitement about the partnership that had been formed. He was delighted about the innovative opportunities the partnership would bring. “We will take opportunity from Kosmos to use it as a springboard for our various innovation hubs on campus”, Prof. Asante noted. 

Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Development

He stated that even though the focus is on agriculture, the value chain cuts across several fields. Prof. Asante mentioned that ORID would see how best other units could come in to support the value chain. He hoped that the opportunities under the programme would be accessible to students from other disciplines to acquire conceptual insights and share ideas for multidisciplinary application.

Mr. Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, Executive Director, Kosmos Innovation Center, was grateful to ORID and the University Management for hosting the KIC team. Outlining the ambitious plans of KIC to support the youth, he indicated that the partnership is a way of trying to bring entrepreneurship closer to the students. “We’re bringing it to them at the early stage of their lives when they are sensitive to opportunities to take advantage of them, instead of thinking about I want to leave school and go look for job”, Mr. Gyan-Kesse stated. He noted that collaboration is part of the core values of Kosmos Innovation Center and was hopeful that working with institutions like the University of Ghana will help KIC to reach its goal. 

Prof. Irene Susana Egyir expressed gratitude to the KIC team for the support. She mentioned that the School of Agriculture had embarked on various initiatives and the collaboration with KIC was one of such programmes that will enhance training. She expressed confidence in the benefits that would be attained from the programme and conveyed her willingness to extend the programme to other departments.

University officials present were Madam Irene Yeboaa Ashiley, ORID; Dr. Eric Kwesi Nartey, Head, Department of Soil Science; Dr. Comfort Freeman, Head, Department of Agricultural Extension; Ms. Mary Twum-Barima, Research Development Officer, ORID; Mr. Daniel Anafo, Publication Team Member, ORID and Ms. Joyce Akorfa Darko, Senior Administrative Assistant, ORID.

Members of the KIC team present were Nii Tachie Otu, Programme Manager; Mr.  Titus Michael Beyouh, Business Development Manager; Ms. Enyonam Damesi, Communication and Public Relations Manager; Mr. Karmil Nabong, Business Incubation Manager and Madam Linda Lamptey, Human Relations and Administration Manager.

A group photo after the signing