February 15, 2021

Developing entrepreneurship modules in Ghana

This article was originally written by Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship. You can find more information on Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship here. If you want to see the original article, click here.

Last month, Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, together with Dutch Centers for Entrepreneurship, finished an online training programme for staff members of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) in Ghana. The programme kicked off in December last year and is part of a longer tailor-made training project that is made possible by Nuffic, the organisation for the internationalisation of education, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairswithin the scope of the Orange Knowledge Programme. The goal of the project is for the trainers from WACCI to develop an extra-curricular entrepreneurship module and to execute the module for their students. To that end, Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship facilitates a Train the Trainer programme and will continue to coach the participants in the following five months.

Prof. Eric Danquah, Director of WACCI

“The partnership with the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship was timely and would allow the WACCI faculty to hone their skills and expertise in the delivering of modules on entrepreneurship to launch innovative programmes at its Kofi Annan Enterprise Hub for Agricultural Innovation.”

Building partnerships

In order to realise impactful international projects, having good partners is key. We are proud to work with an established partner such as WACCI. The program was hosted by the Kofi Annan Enterprise Hub for Agricultural Innovations (KAEHAI) which was launched at WACCI in 2019 to curb unemployment challenges in Ghana and the sub-region through the training of the youth in Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Business Development. Prior to this, in 2019 KAEHAI partnered the MIT Global Startup Labs to train 26 young people in Agribusiness and ICT projects development at WACCI, University of Ghana in a 5-week intensive program.

The Centre is part of University of Ghana, the largest university of the country and located in Accra. Next to short courses, WACCI offers graduate and PhD programmes in topics varying from seed science & technology to genetics & plant breeding. Seeking regional and international cooperation, WACCI has broadened its reach through partnerships with, among others, the World Bank through the Africa Centers of Excellence (ACE) network. To read more about WACCI, visit www.wacci.nl.

When writing our proposal one year ago, we connected to WACCI via the Director of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) in Ghana, whom we got to know through the Director of GEN Nigeria from back when we organized the #CoCreateMyCity Lagos challenge in 2019! Read more about our activities in Nigeria in this impact story.

Bottlenecks

While the project officially started in April 2020, due to the travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19 the Dutch trainers were unable to travel to Accra and provide the training physically. Fortunately, as flexibility and dealing with the unexpected is part of entrepreneurship, the partners agreed to offer the training programme online!

Making use of Canvas as the online learning environment, the participating trainers had access to class materials, case studies and recordings.

What’s next?

Focusing on the joint development and execution of an extracurricular entrepreneurship module, the online training sessions cover topics ranging from entrepreneurial ecosystems, university incubators and startup finance. For the continuation of the project, the trainers will identify and work on different pilot projects that are to be incorporated in the Agricultural Innovation Hub that will be established by WACCI. After the online training programme finishes, the participants will receive guidance during the implementation of their designed pilot projects.

Sharing entrepreneurial skills beyond the Netherlands

In our quest to encourage entrepreneurship not only at home but across the globe, we are excited to share our knowledge and expertise in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation with our Ghanaian counterpart. As our training programmes focus on developing entrepreneurial skills in general and not in a specific sector, it is very exciting to see how the teachers of WACCI will use the insights from the training as an addition to their specific knowledge on the agricultural sector.

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