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07.02.2012 Education

Illiteracy Still Problem In Africa - Mensa Otabil

By Sammuel Doe Ablordeppey - Daily Graphic
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Speakers at the Springboard 2012 Roadshow have called for a new generation of African citizens with a new culture and mindset of excellence to move the continent forward.

Lead speaker at the National Convocation organised by the Springboard Road Show Foundation, Dr Mensa Otabil, stressed that Africa was still characterised by illiteracy, widespread poverty, disease, outmoded technology and war that needed to be dealt with through a change of mind towards the pursuit of excellence.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Promoting Excellence through Innovation & Technology’, the keynote speaker, acknowledged, however that it was a complex problem that could not be solved easily.

“We must think, choose and act on our own. The future belongs to people who can think on their own with the competition in mind,” Dr Otabil, who is also the Founder and General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), said.

He added; “to build a culture of excellence, we must originate new ways of possibilities and create a preferred future for ourselves. If we’re going to develop as a continent, we have to shift our focus from targeting political opponents to targeting development. If Africa wants to grow, we must surpass excellence, we must be a generation of thinkers,” said Dr Otabil, also the Chancellor of the Central University College.

The national convocation of the Springboard Road Show which took place at La-Accra was a massive assembly of successful chief executive officers, corporate executives and students in both secondary and tertiary institutions.

It attempted to equip participants with requisite tools to develop themselves and commit to continental transformation by promoting a culture of personal excellence, career enhancement, planning, investment and entrepreneurship.

The Springboard Road Show is a personal-development conference put together by Springboard Road Show Foundation, a non-profit civil society organisation, in conjunction with Legacy and Legacy and a host of corporate partners.

The Executive Director of the Springboard Road Show Foundation, Mr Albert Ocran, dared participants to dream big and think globally in everything they do.

He challenged the youth of Ghana to be informed, principled and excellent in their work. “This will help build a better society and a stronger continent and raise Africa’s own success stories”, he added.

He explained that the current knowledge economy rewarded relevant information and problem-solving applications and that ignorance had no place. “Feed your mind with information and find solutions to problems,” he advised.

For his part, Daniel Asiedu, Managing Director of Zenith Bank Ghana, observed that Africa was currently coming under the spotlight of the international community.

“This calls for aggressive and sustainable development strategies to equip the youth, who are indeed the future of the continent, with tools and practical knowledge on technological advancement and innovation grounded on a culture of excellence. “If there is a time when we need an informed and capable youth in the nation, it is now”, he stressed.

Outlining advantages of Africa’s youth, he said: “Africa is blessed with natural resources; some are yet to be discovered and the continent is an emerging market with a lot of untapped areas. “We live in the age of the youth, who are hungry for success and can be the driving force behind economic prosperity on the continent.”

Mr Kwaku Sintim-Misa also said, “In Ghana, mediocrity prevails over excellence. We glorify things that are below average. You must make a conscious effort to shun mediocrity.”

He explained that one of the steps to achieve excellence was not to be afraid of failure. “Don’t be afraid of failure, it’s an opportunity to learn. The first time l did a show in Ghana, l sold 13 tickets but that did not discourage me.”

The Springboard Road Show is now held in the nine other regional capitals, having started from the Fountain Gate Chapel in Bolgatanga on February 4; Radach Memorial Hall, Tamale, February 7; and University of Development Studies (UDS) Auditorium, Wa, on Saturday February 1, 2012.

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