Students of the Institute’s MSc Development Management programme on Saturday, 25th March, 2023 held their 6th Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy Conference (SEaP) under the theme “I am a problem Solver”. The programme was held at the Conference Centre of the Institute.
In his address, Dr. Jones Opoku Ware, the Co-ordinator of the Programme said the SEaP Conference is organised annually as part of the Development Practicum course of the MSc Development Management programme. He added that the Conference has been an annual event on the calendar of the programme since the year 2017 but the COVID-19 pandemic did not make it possible for the Conference to be organised physically for the past few years. He explained that the Conference affords students of the programme, the opportunity to showcase to the world, their community developmental intervention projects for critique and fine-tuning by fellow students and experts.
He said the students of the programme are unique graduates because they are equipped with special knowledge and practical skills to identify problems in society, and marshal the material and human resources to solve the problem with the application of innovative tools. This way, the students utilise their classroom knowledge to the solving of real-life development challenges in different communities across the country. The Co-ordinator of the Programme reminded students that considering the fact that the problems so identified by students of the programme must of necessity find space within the broad framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), solutions proffered should also be sustainable in nature for the benefit of the community.
In his remarks, the Guest of Honour of the Conference, Mr. Nana Abrokwa Asare, Administrator of the National Premix Secretariat said society expects graduate students to do more in solving societal problems. He added that the students must see problems as a great opportunity for them to contribute their quota to the development of society. He used the story of the four leprous men in 2nd Kings 7:3 – 20 of the Holy Bible to admonish students to be agents of positive change in society.
On the part of Prof Matthew Glover Addo, Director of the Institute, he said that there was the need to build managerial competence for the development and implementation of policies and practical solutions to our social, economic and environmental challenges. The MSc Development Management programme of the Institute was, therefore, mounted in collaboration with some international partners to provide students with cutting-edge skills, knowledge, abilities and managerial tools needed to solve practical developmental challenges.
He placed on record, the numerous developmental interventions and projects that have been implemented by students of the programme, in partnership with philanthropists, development experts, community members and other stakeholders. He, therefore, commended the students, facilitators and collaborators for helping to bring the gown to town in an attempt to make higher education, more relevant and impactful in the life of the ordinary Ghanaian.
He recommended that a lot of postgraduate programmes should annually organise a similar conference or an exhibition to showcase what students in concert with development partners have been able to do with respect to their research and development activities. This way, the real impact of the activities of higher education institutions would be felt, highly appreciated and supported by the ordinary Ghanaian. He challenged the Programme Co-ordinator and the team of facilitators to come out with a video documentary, a book or a publication that will help chronicle all the various developmental inventions of students of the programme.
The Director used the occasion to call on philanthropists, well-meaning Ghanaians and development partners to support students of the programme in whatever way possible in their effort to bring development to the ordinary Ghanaian.
Present at the ceremony were Prof. Matthew Glover Addo – Director of the Institute, Mr. Nana Abrokwa Asare – Administrator of the National Premix Secretariat and Dr. Jones Opoku Ware – Co-ordinator of the Programme. The rest were Prof. Henry Kofi Mensah – Examinations Officer of the programme, Mr. Abraham Adusei – Assistant Registrar at the Institute, Dr. (Mrs) Victoria Nyamadi – facilitator and a host of other facilitators and students of the Development Management Programme.