The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U) with Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) to implement the KIC AgriTech Challenge Program at the regional level by training students in enterprises under the KIC mentorship program.
The partnership will see students from the university and youth of Bono Region get trained and exposed to vast opportunities in agri-entrepreneurship and innovation. The aim is to foster job creation, enhancement in agriculture and economic growth for the youth in the long-term.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, the Executive Director of KIC, Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, expressed his excitement about the collaboration, saying it is as an opportunity for the parties to leverage on their respective strengths, experiences, and resources to create impact in generating youth interest and changing mindsets while creating job opportunities.
“UENR provides leadership and management of energy and natural resources and is also a center of excellence in these areas. The signing provides KIC with the opportunity to connect with more young people in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation as our core mandate suggests,” the Executive Director of KIC said.
The Vice Chancellor of UENR Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, mentioned that the university was committed to partnering with relevant stakeholders who have the necessary tools, skills to assist students at the university and the youth of the region to secure their future.
The partnership with UENR is for a period of 3 years, starting from 2023 to 2025 but renewable on yearly basis. In this collaboration, KIC and UENR will join efforts to create job opportunities and empower vulnerable groups to aid a resilient agricultural sector.
KIC will be signing similar agreements with 4 more universities in 4 different regions this year, bringing to a total of 10 regions covered from last year. These Universities are Ho Technical University-Volta Region, Koforidua Technical University-Eastern Region, Takoradi Technical University-Western Region and Bolgatanga Technical University-Upper East Region.
Universities signed on the KIC program last year include University of Ghana-Greater Accra; University of Cape Coast-Central Region, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)-Ashanti Region, University for Development Studies-Northern Region and University for Business Integration and Development Studies (UBIDS)-Upper West Region.
As part of KIC’s collaboration with Mastercard Foundation, the program is expected to extend its impact across all the regions of Ghana by 2025, ensuring more young people with interest in entrepreneurship and agriculture are supported. The program also works with Agri-MSMEs in all the regions by supporting them to accelerate.
KIC will be signing similar agreements with 6 more universities in the remaining regions of Ghana in 2024 as part of the program expansion.
National Service Secretariat (NSS) also signed an MOU with KIC to develop the entrepreneurial skills of graduates under the KIC mentorship program where these graduates are assigned to KIC businesses to work and learn entrepreneurship the practical way.
KIC remains committed to focus on empowering young men and women to drive innovation in agriculture, the country's largest employer, and training them to lead sustainable, successful businesses. Since its inception, KIC has trained more than 1300 young people with business skills and entrepreneurship through participation and have nurtured some of the most promising youth-driven, agri-tech startups in Ghana today and 127 agri-MSMEs have been Trained.