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: Lifeline

ABCDE Maiden Awards for Excellence

Former Chief of Defence Staff of The Ghana Armed Forces; Brigadier General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah was among a host of others awarded for their excellence in Educational as well as Industrial mentorship by the African Business Centre For Developing Education (ABCDE) at the British Council, Accra on 19th December, 2017.

The awards night was held to commend and appreciate Individuals, Corporate entities as well as Sponsors for their immense contribution in empowering the youth for the next generation. According to the Chairman of ABCDE, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Gabrah, he and a few others started the NGO in order to nurture the upcoming youth in knowing what the real world looks like and also guide them into becoming better people in future with the right employability skills for the current job market. In his opening remarks he said “The Government till now does not recognise or acknowledge the need to invest significantly in Career Guidance and Counselling for the youth hence the need for an organization like ABCDE”.

Brigadier General Nunoo-Mensah addressing the gathering mentioned that leaders must invest in the youth of the country if they want a better Ghana. He also said, “If at my age I still believe in myself forgetting about how I had to work to earn money to further my education; then I will use this opportunity to challenge the young ones not to look up to any Government but rather develop and position themselves for the job market”.

An Awardee, Ms. Petra Aba Asamoah the General Manager Commercial, Media General Ghana Ltd revealed that ABCDE means a lot to her because after accepting their request two years ago, she has been able to change some lives. “It was a platform for me to meet up with young people who have seen me on TV and nurture them to become like me or other” She mentioned.

Awardees for the night were

Corporate Sponsors
British Council Ghana
Ecobank Ghana
The Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC)
Margins Group Company Limited

Mentors
Mrs. Petra Aba Asamoah
Brigadier General Nunoo-Mensah
Dr. Michael Agyekum Addo – Chairman, Mikaddo Holdings
Unilever Ghana

Hosting ABCDE Interns
Ms. Kathleen G. Beegle – World Bank Ghana

Club Patrons
Mr. Francis Opare Aniagyei – Accra Girls SHS
Mr. Tony Nii Ayertey – Achimota SHS

Interns
Baaba Sampson – World Bank Ghana
Gilbert Martey – British Council Ghana

ABCDE RECEIVES DONATION FROM GCNet

The African Business Centre for Developing Education (ABCDE) received a generous donation of GH¢35,000.00 from GCNet to support its operations in helping to bridge the gap between industry and education in Africa. Presenting the cheque, the General Manager of GCNet, Mr. Alwin Hoegerle, reiterated the need for students to be mentored and given internship opportunities to prepare them for the real world of work. The donation was received on behalf ofABCDE by Mr. Felix Yirdong and Mrs. Matilda Arthur, the National Coordinator and Business Development Manager respectively. They expressed the profound appreciation of ABCDE’s Board Chairman and ABCDE staff to the entire GCNet Management Team for their continuous support to ABCDE in cash and in kind.

GCNet has for the past couple of years supported ABCDE in mentoring students in Senior High Schools and providing opportunities for internship for graduates. In May ABCDE partnered with GCNet to provide internship opportunities for four (4) graduates of British Council/Barclays Bank Blazing Trails Project. GCNet resource persons also provided carrier guidance skills to ABCDE Trainees.
ABCDE is delighted about the partnership and support from GCNet over the past years and is committed toward using the donation to promote mentoring among students in some selected secondary and tertiary institution in Ghana. Student members of ABCDE club benefit from the rich experiences shared by corporate leaders, mentors and entrepreneur about respective soft skills needed for the 21st century world of work.

Article for GB&F magazine for Sept. 2016
(23rd August, 2016)

MANDELA INSTITUTE FOR DEVELOPMENT STUDIES (MINDS) CIVIC WORKSHOP

The Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) is a continental institute that seeks to address the short, medium, and long-term development challenges in Africa in a holistic and comprehensive manner. The National Coordinator of African Business Centre for Developing Education (ABCDE), Mr. Felix Yirdong was selected to join about 28 youth leaders from North and West African Countries to participate in MINDS civic workshop on elections and governance held in Dakar, Senegal.

The workshop sought to equip the various youth leaders with the skills required to be effective leaders. Resource persons sought to enhance the awareness, knowledge and skills of participants in electoral and governance processes, and effective communication skills in order for participants to be able to mobilize their colleagues to actively participate in the electoral and governance processes in their communities and nations. The two (2) day workshop which was sponsored by MINDS was held at Savana Hotel in Dakar from 19th – 20th March, 2016.

During the opening ceremony Dr. Nkosana Moyo, the founder and Executive Chair of MINDS challenged the youth leaders present at the meeting to start working towards the Africa they want to see instead of sitting unconcerned and hoping for change to come from some politician. He further retreated the need for the youth leaders to begin to think of how they can network to help Africa in the years to come since “irrespective of our nationality, we are all Africans”. At the workshop we were challenged to work to earn respect, work towards the betterment of Africa and stop

complaining, develop the needed skills so as to be relevant to Africa’s development, and identifying yourself as an African. According to Dr. Moyo, the youth in Africa constitute 60% of the population and hence the choice of a leader for any African country is heavily dependent on the youth and their choice of a leader. Therefore it is important for youth leaders to appreciate the power and the role they play in electoral and governance related issues in their respective countries and share these knowledge with their colleagues. Participants

for the workshop were youth leaders from Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon, Senegal, Togo, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Gambia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, South Africa, Central Africa Republic, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Benin and Gabon.

    Topic treaded at the workshop included:

  1. Understanding Democracy
  2. Establishing indicators of democracy
  3. Identifying features of transparent, free and fair elections
  4. Understanding the electoral system
  5. Governance issues in Africa
  6. Ensuring transparency, accountability and participation in governance
  7. How to engage stakeholders for election, governance and development effectively
  8. Effective communication
  9. Leadership skills
  10. How to mobilize a team to achieve a common goal.

At the event, participants from English speaking countries were presented with ABCDE 2016 brochure. There was a discussion between the National Coordinator of ABCDE and the organizers of the MINDS workshop towards holding similar civic education workshop in election and governance for youth in Ghana. MINDS was grateful for the suggestion and have requested for a proposal to that effect.

Certificates of participation were presented to respective participants at the end of the workshop. Overall, the event was successful and insightful. I am grateful to God for the opportunity to be selected for such an important event. I am thankful to Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah (Founder and Chairman, ABCDE) and Ms Susan Mensah (CEO, ABCDE) for their immense support to me always. I am also grateful to all ABCDE staff for their enormous support towards me.

As a follow-up to the workshop ABCDE will consider incorporating the various models from MINDS on leadership, governance and electoral issues into its current curriculm to enlighten the various ABCDE club members on these matter.

ABCDE OUT OF SCHOOL PROGRAM

The African Business Centre for Developing Education (ABCDE) held its maiden Out of School Program for students mentored for 3 months under the ABCDE Club. The program saw two pioneer schools Accra Girls Senior High School and Ghanata Senior High School being awarded certificates for being mentored.

The program was held at the British Council forecourt, in attendance was the Minister of Trade and Industry, staff and volunteers of ABCDE and the media. The program commenced with a welcome address by the National Coordinator in the person of Mr. Felix Yirdong, the National Coordinator in his address entreated the mentees to wise in making choices and decisions, and he entreated them to put to good use the mentoring they had undergone by effectively managing their time. He encouraged student to remain focus and draw more to God. To end his speech he wished them well for the just ended WASSCE the mentees had written.

A patron of the ABCDE club in AGISS in the person of Mr. Aniagyei shared his views on the mentorship sessions held on their campus. He said the sessions were encourage and had seen a positive change of attitude in students who were ABCDE Club Members. He said he also learnt a thing or two from the sessions and encouraged ABCDE to continually support mentees in this regard

From the presidents of the two schools that were mentored they were full of praise for ABCDE. They recounted some of the topics they were mentored on. The president of AGISS indicated the mentoring session of effective learning habits helped her to improve her ways of studies, that notwithstanding she could now effectively manage her time and all these were through the mentoring sessions she underwent through the ABCDE Club. From Ghanata the president indicated she had learnt a lot from the branding session held, a colleague also indicated he was also better equipped with ideas and how to start a business and all was due to the various mentoring sessions he participated in.
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The chairman and Founder of ABCDE Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah interacted with the students; he gave them nuggets of wisdom. He encouraged the student’s to aspire higher, he encouraged the student to choose courses that was relevant to today’s market and not to just do courses for the sake of degrees. He urged the mentees to be industrious in relation to that he spoke on the Industrial Studies Project being carried out by ABCDE.
After the interaction with the Founder, certificates were awarded to participants by him; the mentees were elated about such an honour given them. ABCDE expressed its appreciation to the patrons of the various schools and encouraged them to give off their best. The mentees has a photo session with the Minister to end the night.

British Council Ghana and ABCDE Sign MOU

Accra. The British Council Ghana and the African Business Centre for Developing Education (ABCDE) on 14th January, 2016 signed an MoU that will see the latter provide internship training and mentoring opportunities for young people in the British Council’s Blazing Trails Programme. The British Council’s Blazing Trails Programme is a skills training development programme that is being run in partnership with Barclays Bank. The focus of this initiative is to provide comprehensive training for unemployed youth, graduates and budding entrepreneurs to equip them with lifelong employable skills.

As part of the MoU, eighty (80) trainees will be placed in ABCDE partner organizations to allow trainees access to and opportunity for on-hands experience. This partnership is in line with ABCDE’s commitment to providing opportunities that enable young people connect the dots between the classroom and industry as they work out challenges in the work environment. The advantage of these internship and mentoring opportunities for the trainees are immeasurable when viewed in light of the soft skills that this exposure will equip them with.
Present at the signing were ABCDE Board Members and Ms. Gifty Amedi and Emily Swale Thomas of British Council Ghana. Ms. Susan Mensah, the CEO of ABCDE signed the MoU in behalf of ABCDE while Emily Swale Thomas signed in behalf of the British Council Ghana.

Trainees for the Blazing Trails Programme were oriented in a brief event on Friday, 29th January, 2016 at the British Council premises. The internship and mentorship aspect is to last for a period of three months.

About ABCDE

The African Business Center for Developing Education (ABCDE) is a Pan-African Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) based in Ghana.

ABCDE’s mission is to harness the core assets of major industries—such as innovation, technology, product design and creation, financing, corporate knowledge, skills and experience, labour networks and advocacy to provide effective strategies that bridge the gap between the expectations of the industry and reality of education in Africa to help produce relevant graduates for tomorrow’s world of work.

At the heart of our efforts is building partnerships, initiatives, and curricula that prepare young men and women to succeed as citizens, employees, entrepreneurs, and change-makers. ABCDE envisions a world where all young people achieve their full potential and shape the future with power and confidence. ABCDE prepares young people to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens.

ABCDE is bridging the gap between current employment opportunities and today’s young jobseekers. This multi-stakeholder initiative aims to close the gap between youth skills and employer demand for a qualified workforce in Africa.

A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone

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