The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with Thunderbird School of Global Management has launched a Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Virtual Bootcamp scholarship scheme worth 200,000 US dollars for 200 Ghanaian youth to realize their entrepreneurial dreams and elevate their careers as innovators within the global space.
The scholarship was launched in Accra at the sidelines of the YouthConnekt Africa Summit 2021, by the UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa during her engagement with young people on digital economy and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Addressing the youth on how they can leverage digital technologies to transform their businesses and participate in the Single African Market, Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa underscored the need for young people to be at the centre of the implementation of the AfCFTA. She pledged UNDP’s support to youth who are ready to break new ground with their innovative ideas and called on young people to create jobs for the future we want.
“Your ideas and innovations are already changing the digital landscape and creating new products and services that can be traded across borders. We want to continue to walk with you to promote digital innovation and help position you to take full advantage of AfCFTA, to create more jobs”, noted Ms Eziakonwa.
Philip Thigo, the Senior Director for Africa at the Thunderbird School of Global Management noted that digital technology is changing the world quickly, requiring about 30% of the workforce to be reskilled by 2022. He emphasized that the Entrepreneurship & Innovation programme is to enhance capacity to make African youth ready for the global market.
“The Global Entrepreneurship & Innovation scholarship will boost the capacity of young entrepreneurs to adopt innovative approaches in running their businesses to respond to the evolving needs of the changing world”, noted Mr Thigo.
The UNDP Resident Representative for Ghana, Angela Lusigi, thanked the Thunderbird for the partnership with UNDP to expand access for young entrepreneurs to cutting edge skills and networks. She added that “digitalization is about the present and the future, so as young people, you have to make yourselves digitally ready and build the skills that you need not just for today but also for the future”.
In his remarks, the Dean of the Faculty of Integrated Communication Sciences at the Ghana Institute of Journalism, Dr Modestus Fosu, commended UNDP for its leadership role in supporting the youth to build their capacity in innovation and entrepreneurship in the fast-changing technological landscape.
“The UNDP has been at the forefront of mobilizing, particularly young people, to work towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This scholarship programme is indeed at the heart of youth empowerment and job creation. We need to create stronger partnerships with the media so that young people can be equipped with information on the opportunities from AfCFTA,” Dr Fosu remarked.
The Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Bootcamp has a unique focus on global dynamics in an era of disruption and rapid change. The curriculum features 16 themes key to global entrepreneurial success in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This timely and interactive program offers new dimensions in online management education tailored for maximum flexibility to empower global entrepreneurial leaders and innovators.
There will be a call for applications from UNDP for the Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Scholarship programme, targeting young innovative Ghanaian entrepreneurs from across the country.