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25.04.2005 General News

NGO to help create economic opportunities for students

By GNA

Accra, April 25, GNA - Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), a non- governmental organization that aims at creating economic opportunities for people through education, on Monday launched a new programme with the theme: "Creating Economic Opportunity for a Better Ghana".

The programme, also termed: "The New Phase of SIFE" to be implemented from October this year, would be extended to all tertiary institutions to enable members to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. As part of the new phase, SIFE would involve an independent panel of business leaders, who would help to select 30 members from various tertiary institutions.

Those selected would be given an opportunity to develop their leadership and communication skills through learning, practising and teaching people the principles of free enterprise.

Mr Williams Essiam, President of SIFE, at the launch in Accra on Monday explained that students with entrepreneurial mindset would find better ways of doing things in the public sector and in private businesses.

SIFE focuses mainly on changing economic lives of people, especially those in the rural communities, through their philosophy, which states: "Tell me and I will forget, Show me and I Might Remember, Involve Me and I Will learn".

Mr Essiam said it was important to develop the human capacity and turn the country's natural resources into sources of wealth for individuals.

"We are like people, who have a gun but do not know how to pull the trigger...I have been doing a lot of training in various tertiary institutions and I have been amazed by the talents on the various campuses. This country has a great future," he said. Mr Essiam said that all over Africa individuals, businesses and governments had come to realize that the youth was a hope for the future.

Ms Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines and a member of SIFE Board, emphasized that SIFE had the potential of transforming the country's economy.

The youth, she said, had a mental attitude and could use it to change the lives of people positively.

"Each generation creates its own good times and we need to reach beyond the sky," she said.

Mr Samuel Buame, Faculty Adviser for SIFE, who represented the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, urged the youth to change their attitude in addition to developing their knowledge and skills. He said it was important that students stayed in the country instead of travelling outside to seek greener pastures. "We have all the potentials to change our economy," he added.

Mr Lom Ahlijah, President-elect of the Students Representative Council, called on the students to contribute meaningfully not only to student matters but also to help in shaping national policies. SIFE was founded in 1975 and is now the largest on-campus programme in the world. It is represented in 42 countries with over 1,700 tertiary institutions.

In 2000 SIFE expanded its programmes to Africa and is now in over 10 countries in Africa and 88 tertiary institutions. The programme encourages members to help to empower people economically by providing them with necessary skills needed to be competitive.

SIFE advocates free trade by exhibiting various creative potentials by students, who enter into projects that focus mainly on developing natural resources into economic products.

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