Youth

GiftsWorks to hit Ada, Swedru, Dunkwa and Akropong

Speak to anyone who grew up in the 80s and they will tell you that they had to build their own toys. Ghana was very disconnected from the world in those Rawlings-militia years. There was a famine at some point to go with it too. But there was a good side to that internet-free and lacking-of modern child development niceties period. Young people were forced towards creativity. You literally had to build your own toys. What you built determined what you are made of and you built what you could with what you could fine. For raw materials in the vehicle business, milk and milo tins which were only obtainable from the rubbish dump of posh families.

Folks were creative and out of those empty tins they designed and built some fantastic things. Creative juices were flowing like everybody’s business. One Christmas we built Christmas houses out of palm leaves. While most Christmas houses were simple single-room structures, we decided to take things to a new level. We built a sophisticated five bedroom house complete with washrooms. The idea was that we team members must each have a room to which we will take our imaginary new girlfriends. We worked hard and finally by the 23rd we were putting finishing touches to the most outstanding Christmas house anyone had ever seen. We were stars in our own rights. I led the design while my friend Coffie in whose parents’ compound this whole venture was taking place led the construction. In the end there were no girls and I wasn’t even allowed to spend my Christmas-eve in my groundbreaking Christmas house.

 

Cars and Christmas houses were not the only things kids built back then. Folks built musical instruments of all kinds, door mats out of corn husks, hats made from coconut tree leaves, door mats, wheeled vehicles of all kinds.  Even guns and bazookas from chuck Norris movies were in constant production. It was a fun period. A fellow I know built a vehicle out of broomsticks and the jethropha fruit. Looking back I realize now that there was a lot talent and the environment we were in forced it out. I saw guys play football at almost miraculous levels. We could have produced Lionel Messis of our own—these kids were that talented. There were kids who could invent their won languages and this is no exaggeration. Everyone had something. Now I can imagine how valuable a build-Something competition would have been valuable to the nation at that time. Sadly we have lost all that talent. Most of those guys now in their 40s all have office jobs among other things. Nothing came of all that talent and the creative juices that flowed. The reason is simple; nobody was interested enough to nurture and focus them on careers that could have led to something great.

The truth is that most teachers and parents don’t know how to identify talent in young people. And even when it is self-evident and glaring, they do not know what to with it. They watch it die and in many cases they are responsible for killing it. This inability to identify and harness talent is to a large extent behind the state of our nation. We import literally everything and build nothing—it is an expensive life style for a nation. From my era, those who did not make it up the academic ladder now live in poverty— talent and all.

It is said that “in the abundance of water the fool is thirsty”. In our case; in the abundance of talent a foolish nation suffers.

Could things have been better if we had harnessed all those talents and directed them the right way. What would have happened if those kids had maximized and monetized those talents. Even now the in year 2017, we still do not have a national program for mobilizing, harnessing and maximizing gifts. The schools don’t even think about I as they simply load students with information they don’t even know how to use. But all these is about to change.

Giftworks is a project created to curb this menace that threatens the very future of our nation and continent. It will ameliorate what can only be described in “chrife-longo” as an affront to God’s purpose. The program is a workshop consisting of three parts. Part one has three presentations on gifts and their importance in the life of the individual. It also treats purpose and how they are connected to gift and finally the personal power that can be generated from gifts. The second part takes participants through gift testing systems to help them identify what their gifts are as most do not know. The third part is a group coaching session that will help them develop products and services around the identified gifts. They are then taken through a monetization process that involves building business models and marketing strategies. At the end of the program participants leave with a business built around their natural capability. No one fails doing what they are gifted for especially if they have coaches to help them along the way.

While the program has started earnestly in Accra, the organizations behind it, Performance Academy and Hopeman Ministries intend to take it to every district in collaboration with members of Parliament and District authorities in the quest to substantially reduce unemployment and poverty. Creator of the project Nene Katey Aklie who is also a Minister and Performance Coach said;

“Everyone has something inside of them. It has been provided by God to ensure their welfare. To ignore it is to limit a person’s life and to trap them in poverty. One’s power rest in the will of God for their lives and that will is the reason he gives us gifts and talents. The best things we can do for any young person is to help them find it. This is not always an easy task for parents and teachers who do not have the requisite skills. In some cases the gifts are very apparent but guardians do not know what to do with them. That is why coaches are extremely important. GiftWorks will help in this regard.”

 

Team Giftworks® is looking forward to working with youth groups in churches schools, district authorities, government departments, NGOs and everyone else to help shape the future of our young people. Giftworks is likely to be a key weapon in the so-called-fight against poverty. Targeted at young people from age 16, the program is on tour across the nation and planned to reach Swedru, Winneba, Dunkwa-on-ofin, Akropong and Ada before the end of December 2017. You may reach the team on 0268388560 for participation, sponsorship, volunteering.

Join an European Army

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According to Lt. Gen. Joseph Smith, out of total applicants of 46,124 who applied to be enlisted in the Ghana army in 2010, only 7,357 candidates were short listed from the mammoth pool. Out of that figure, only 1,200 were chosen from the previously short-listed applicants. The Ministry of Defense had stated that the candidates must be chosen from all the 10 regions, and gender balance observed. This affirmative action clause, positive as it may be, further narrows down that chances of getting enlisted.

A victim, Forgive Francis Amedeka said in 2006 when he graduated from the prestigious University of Ghana, himself and a few friends decided to try the Military Academy. After several attempts, it was shocking to hear one Colonel Kojo Damoah tell one of his friends that his “body configuration was not in proportion.” How ridiculous? “For me, I was told it was not a family business so I should retire home though I meet all requirements.”

Every year, a similar number apply to join the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) but out of the number only 1200 or even less make it. The rejects when they know what to do end up in other armies around the world where they can put their gifts and abilities to work. The story of Anthony Owusu is the classic example. In 1998, he was among over ten thousand applicants of that year. He had just graduated from the Cape Coast University with dreams to excel as a military officer. His whole life has been lived around this vision. He served in boys scout as a juvenile; he served in the cadet corps of Mfantepim College and Cape Coast University respectively. His national service after sixth form was with the Ghana armed forces. “Iron” as his friends affectionately called him has been involved in everything that required physical endurance and a militant persona. He has been deeply involved in two forms of martial arts namely; Taekwondo and Shotokan respectively. You could say he was born for the military life. One would imagine that entrance into the Ghana Armed Forces will be a walk in the park. Master Owusu was in for a surprise.
He was rejected for no clear reasons as was many others like him who felt their lives depend on a career in the Army. As Ghanaians, the GAF was the only hope for military career. Welcome to the never discussed conundrum concerning security services recruitment in Ghana. Many can identify with the story as it is not so different with the rest of our security agencies.

There are many reasons why most applicants are rejected and the issues are often beyond the applicants’ inability to meet the requirements. Among them is the fact that the GAF is among the smallest armies in the world and offer very limited opportunities career-wise. At a mere 13,500 active men and women, the GAF can only accept so many applications per year. The result is that even the most qualified will end up on the waiting list or get rejected completely. This one problem alone can derail one’s career and send them in the wrong direction leading to failure in life. High performance and the attendant success require one to function in an area where they are naturally gifted. Second to this is that there is little opportunity for even those who make the list.
Many armies around the world offer opportunities that dwarf what is offered by the GAF and other typical African armies. A good example is that the French Army provides five years contracts with educational opportunities that will put officers in good positions in any chosen industry when they choose to leave the arm at the end their contract. The upshot is that one could join the army with limited education, access educational opportunities from the army platform and probably end up with a master’s degree by the end of a five year contract in a typical case. Our hero is now Captain Owusu commanding a thousand men in a Special Forces unit of the US army. He now holds a master’s degree in the health sciences. He was not just lucky, he also found out what to do.

Recently, a Ghanaian born officer with the British Army was elevated to the prestigious position of equerry. He was the first black man to ever be appointed into the position. The Equerry’s work involves guarding the queen of England during meetings etc. Bigger armies with more resources at their disposal provide more opportunities to people from around the world who are interested in a military career. This also comes with citizenship status. Notable armies in Europe like France and Britain and the USA are in this category and have opportunities for applicants from specific countries. Ghana is one of such countries and Ghanaians have a good record with the UN and other armies around the world. It is perhaps important to emphasize that many countries in Africa do not make the list of eligible countries and this places Ghana in an advantageous position.

In Ghana Jam international Academy has introduced a program that enables participants to access the British and French armies among other things. For those who are interested, the process starts by attending free seminars that will provide prospective applicants with all the information and resources they need to begin the process. They are later put through a test program to ensure their eligibility. Between 2017 and 2018 Jam International aims at recruiting 500 persons into both the British and French army. Prospective applicants can call 0209606577 for more information on the program.

PESC 2016 at hand



Last year our very own Shakiru Akinyemi aka the Shakmellon was at PESC’15. He filed this tastefully detailed report that almost captured everything that was said at the event. We are especially excited about PESC because we believe entrepreneurship can eliminate poverty from the continent. High Performance in entrepreneurship can definitely do even more. We have to have entrepreneurs but we have to have results producing high performing entrepreneurs who can take us to the next level.  PESC is promising in this regard.



There are many entrepreneurship events in town these days. But they are not all the same. For any event like this one to be useful, two factors must be considered. Content; what is being said and who is saying it. The second is structure; how has the event been organized and how is it being delivered—this influences participant experience. The participant must leave feeling inspired and eager to start something.

PESC has achieved this consistently for the last three years. It is for this reason that we recommended the program to all entrepreneurs and even those who are waiting to make the jump.

Project SPiD-UP® supports PESC ’16. We think you should too.

“YOU CAN RAISE CAPITAL IN THIRTEEN DIFFERENT WAYS” CALEB AYIKU

The guest for the second edition of the Role Model Africa Corporate Dialogue addressed the theme “Financing the African Business”. Caleb Ayiku, who is a corporate trainer, business coach and entrepreneur drew insight from his rich experience in business in addressing the concerns of participants. He has strong business development skill; he is a strong leader with exceptional strategic, communication and networking skills capable of building teams for flawless execution of business strategies. He is the founder of the renowned management consultancy, Breakthrough Consult and a co-founder of the Camarie Group and Rex Oil, an Oil Marketing Company in Ghana. Caleb has worked in a number of corporations across the continent, where he has gained key experiences and knowledge in business. He is a former Managing Director of Engen Ghana, Engen Kenya, Engen Tanzania, Herbalife and Oando Ghana. He is a Chemical Engineer by profession and offers career and life coaching to young and aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs. Caleb is also a Management Consultant, and has trained and consulted with several corporations including Barclays Bank, Citi FM, Enterprise Insurance and FEDEX. He is also an author books covering the areas of business, motivation and health.

Caleb, during the dialogue, educated the audience on the nuances of entrepreneurship and business. He emphatically stated that, the path to financial success requires a multiple stream of income. Hence, the need for entrepreneurship, exploring new ideas and transforming the ideas into profitable ventures. He postulated that, every business must have a business plan. He described a business plan as a document that spells out how you want to implement your business ideas. “As one who wants to start a business it is imperative to have a business plan.” He added that a business a business plan is the surest and best way to secure way to secure credit.

He further took the participants through some ways of securing funding to start a business and expanding it. According to him, raising capital as an entrepreneur is one of the many challenges faced and not the only one. The sources of funding, he mentioned include: one’s own money, through partnerships, free money from family and friends, loans form family and friends, loans from financial institutions, venture capitalists and private equity funds, angel investors, listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange and benefitting from government programs and from donors.


Caleb, in the course of the dialogue spoke against the Ghanaian mentality of wanting to own a business solely. He thus encourages partnerships among businesses. He urged the youth to learn to collaborate in partnerships in doing business. He stated that, “There is magic in partnership” he said as the discussion came to a close, stressing that, “credibility is the currency of business”. In a more compelling tone, he instructed all who have business ideas to start their businesses. He encouraged them not to be afraid of failure, but rather embrace it in order to learn new ways of doing things.


The Role Model Africa project comprises a variety of packages including an Exclusive One-on-One mentoring session, the Business Mentoring Class, the Mentoring Hubs on the various tertiary institution campuses and the Corporate Dialogue. The maiden edition of the Role Model Corporate Dialogue was held on Sunday 27th September 2015 under the theme, “Doing business with Integrity”. Dr. Samuel Onwona, an Ex-World Bank official was the role model for the first edition.


Role Model Africa, is a mentoring platform that seeks to engage African personalities whose influence span beyond Africa. The initiative, a project organized by INVENTS on a quarterly basis is designed to identify African personalities whose contributions to the continent and beyond are worth emulating. In a story telling format, a guest (role model) is engaged in a discussion by a host to a live audience. The dialogue engages the personality of the individual together with their corporate experiences.


The dialogue was moderated by Dr. William Okyere-Frempong a medical doctor by training and the country Chief Executive Officer of the HuD. The Co-founder and C.E.O. of Galaxy Capital, Mr. Samuel Bright-Kaitoo delivered the keynote address to start off the dialogue. He emphasized in his address, the role of mentorship in national development. He cited examples of some noteworthy individuals who attained notable feats by reason of their association with mentors. He mentioned Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg was mentored by Apple founder Steve Jobs. In a similar fashion Bill Gates was mentored by Warren Buffet. He further encouraged the participants to submit to role models in humility.


There were other high profile individuals present at the Corporate Dialogue, they included Mr. Martin Luther King (C.E.O., Journalist for Regional Integration), Henry Afrifa (Migrations Officer, British High Commission), Johannes Akuffo (C.E.O., ASN Financial Services), John Ntim Fordjour (2016 Parliamentary candidate), Edem Adzaho (C.E.O., Spec Consults) among others.


INVENTS Co-founder, Samuel Agyeman-Prempeh expressed excitement at the many young people who were present at the dialogue. He also announced that plans are underway to connect young people with mentors of different backgrounds. Mr. Agyeman Prempeh used the opportunity to award some executives who have been dedicated in their service to raising magnates and dynamic leaders across the continent. In concluding, he excitedly announced the date for the next edition to be on Sunday, 22ndMay, 2016. Further details will be made available in the press, he assured.  The date for the next edition was announced to be on Sunday, 22nd May, 2016 at 3pm under the theme “Employing the media to sustain the African Business”.


Role Model Africa is an initiative by INVENTS, a mentoring organization that focuses on raising young people as Leaders and Entrepreneurs before they turn 25. Since October 2007, Invents has been consistent in using personal Leadership models and projects to reach out to millions of young people. Our flagship programs include: She Magnate Project and Ideas Pulpit. Our events have attracted remarkable personalities such as Bishop N.A. Tackie-Yarboi; Founder and Presiding Bishop of VBCI, Dr. Yaw Perbi; Global C.E.O. of the HuD Group, Dr. Mrs. Ellen Hagan; Founder and C.E.O. of L’aine Services, Mrs. Comfort Ocran; Co-Founder of Legacy & Legacy, Dr. Samuel Onwona; Former World Bank Official, and Mr. Caleb Ayiku: Co-founder of Rex Oil..

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