… as it trains first batch of over 750 students
Over 750 students have successfully completed the intensive 6-week ‘Ghana1000 Program’ – an initiative by Industry Immersion Africa (iiAfrica).
The 6-week intensive training arrangement was designed to equip participants with a fine blend of soft, business, digital and data skills at zero cost to them. The Ghana1000 initiative forms part of iiAfrica’s ambitious drive to help up to one million Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates find meaningful employment by 2030 – a vision curated to contribute to reducing the startling unemployment rate in Africa.
This is in line with its vision to make employment a key driver of sustainable development with key focus on bridging the gap between academia and industry.
Speaking at the inaugural graduation ceremony, the Managing Director for iiAfrica, Dr. David Attipoe, noted the importance of equipping individuals with the skills necessary for the evolving landscape.
Dr. Attipoe emphasised how optimistic he is about the graduates’ potential to lead Ghana and Africa’s efforts to position themselves as talent hubs for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and to advance into the digital economy.
“As we are trying to move into the 4th Industrial Revolution, we are hoping that most of our students will be at the forefront of this change to help Ghana and Africa to receive the 4th Industrial Revolution talents and to move into the digital economy that we are all hoping we can get into,” he said.
A total of 1,928 applications were received and 1,030 offer letters were sent out to qualified applicants. Of this number, 794 students confirmed their participation in the program, birthing the first cohort of the maiden edition of the Ghana1000 Program in Ghana, which kicked off on October 9, 2023.
In his address, Special Advisor at iiAfrica, Mark Heerden also stressed the need for industry to join the life-altering journey that will transform Ghana, Africa and the rest of the world, reiterating a change in the status quo for industries to stay relevant.
“In as much as iiAfrica has prepared these students for participation and employment in industry, for this to be truly successful as a national program, we need industry to be ready to receive these talents into the workplace.
“The great thing about the talents that are coming through the Ghana1000 Program is that they are bringing new skills into the workplace. They are not replacing skills; they are not replacing accounting skills or marketing skills… they are taking the information generated in accounting, marketing, in the field or from the CEO’s office and they are converting that into business intelligence.
“I am sure you are all well aware that the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) has overcome the world as we know it. Change in the workplace, in employment and in markets is accelerating and from all the research that is being provided by the big consultancy firms, this change is only going to accelerate over the next decade. So, for businesses to survive and for industry to remain relevant in their markets, they have to harness this change, and this change is very much a case of data science being brought into the workplace,” he said.
President and CEO of the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), Dorothy Nyamdi, in her remarks, commended iiAfrica for an excellently curated program with very rewarding outcomes.
The Managing Director of insendi – the online platform which collaborated with iiAfrica as the official technology partner for the Ghana1000 initiative and hosted all the courseware for the program – James Connor, expressed profound elation at the fruits of the partnership. He further congratulated the graduating students and the entire iiAfrica team on their joint achievements, in his brief remarks.
A lecturer with the University of Victoria in Canada and a representative of Academics Without Borders (AWB), Professor David Dunne, who taught the participants a vital business skills course, Design Thinking, urged the graduates to remain resilience adding that: “Whatever you do, you will need resistance and you will need courage and persistence to carry you through.”