The African Business Centre for Developing Education on Wednesday 19th June 2019 held another successful mentorship program at Achimota Senior High in Accra. The program which was aimed at encouraging the students to use the internet and social media to brand and promote themselves was themed “The Internet as a catalyst for Youth Skill Development; Social Media as a tool for Personal Branding”
Guest Speakers for the program were Mr. Derek Laryea, Head, Director, Ghana Chambers of Telecommunications and Miss Joyce Owusu, CEO, Purple Trendz Ghana.
Using the internet to brand and promote one’s talents and brand
Speaking on the benefits of using social media to brand one’s self and whatever business one is engaged in, Ms Owusu narrated how she has never paid money, boosted her page to appear on various platforms or paid any site to promote her work, neither has she ever owned a shop where people can walk in to view her products, but solely use her created pages on social media to promote her brand.
She has worked with Miss Universe, Miss Malaika, Ghana Fashion Week among many others and said these organizations contacted her after seeing her work on social media platforms.
She was of the notion that whatever the students are good at doing, be it bead making, clothes making, playing football, singing or even dancing, they could just make use of their phone’s camera by taking videos of them doing these talents and uploading it on their social media platforms. She added that people who need talents as that could get in touch with them and help them develop those talents whiles making money out of it.
Chairman of ABCDE, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah spoke next running the students through his career paths and how he didn’t comprise on any opportunity that came to his way whiles in school and even after completion and thus has brought him this far. The former Minister of Trades and Industry, Former Minister of Education, Former Minister of Energy, Former Minister of Communications and Former Ambassador of Ghana to the United States of America thus used this medium to encourage students to grasp without hesitation such opportunities as the mentorship programs that comes at a no cost at all as they wouldn’t get their subject teachers at school spending these amount of time talking to them about what goes on in the industries before they get the chance to actually experience it, bridging the gap between the classroom lessons and the expectations of the industries they will be absorbed in when they come out of school. He also advised the students to share educative information with their friends so they don’t miss out on great opportunities as this.
Staying abreast with the fast growth of technology and digitalization
The second speaker for the day, Mr. Derek Laryea took over and took the students back to time in memorial when Ghana’s first mode of communication was the use of drums to assemble people so the drum beater can disseminate an information he’s been asked to share, so when the country used signals that could enable messages to be sent through waves passing through the clouds, to when Ghana made its first ever international call after a satellite was built at Kuntunse under Former President Hilla Limann’s administration. This call was to the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth, among many others. “The Queen was not in the office so the first international call made from Ghana was a missed call”, he added laughing.
These scenarios were aimed at educating the students about fast growth and improvement in the use of technology to communicate in the world today. This was to prepare them to embrace future changes and use them to their advantage.
Talking about the introduction of Cryptocurrency by Facebook, Mr. Laryea said, very soon the whole world is going to be using such currencies for transactions leaving behind the “cash system” which is even safer compared to the latter.
Advising students on making use of the internet to their advantage, he said one didn’t need to be too silent or too loud on social media, instead all they needed to do was make good contacts, give opinions and engage in discussions that will be helpful in their growth to be present to become a digital citizen. Also, he warned them about plagiarism and encouraged them to credit whatever source they get information from so as to have a good record on social media.
Bringing his speech to an end, he further advised students against the kind of pictures and statements they make on social media as the world of digitalization does not have the “delete” button because whatever you post there can be fished out in a hundred years to come. He said instead of wasting data to post behind secret accounts and make unnecessary statements, students should rather take control of what the world of digitization has to offer and use it to their benefit. He encouraged the students to always be confident about going for opportunities they are interested in instead of thinking they are below such opportunities. “Be cool, be bold, be confident and go for what you want”, he concluded.