Closeout Workshop held for Design Thinking Project Curated to Empower Agribusiness Practitioners

Date:

Share post:

In a concerted effort to enhance the problem-solving capabilities of Agribusiness practitioners, the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at the School of Agriculture recently hosted a closeout workshop for their Design Thinking (DT) project.

This initiative, which began in 2021 and concluded in January 2024, aimed to instill innovative methodologies within the agricultural sector and was funded under the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF), a flagship programme of the Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET), an Africa-led, World Bank-affiliated initiative.

Addressing participants at the closeout workshop held at the Forest Hotel, Dodowa, Principal Investigator for the project and Dean of the School of Agriculture, Prof. Irene Egyir, underscored the project’s mission to foster innovation within the agricultural sector in Ghana.

She mentioned AGRA, RMG Ghana Limited, and Agri-impact Consult as collaborating partners that contributed to the success of the project, developed to nurture resilient agribusiness practitioners, adept at transforming challenges into commercial opportunities.

Prof. Egyir reiterated the significance of encouraging a culture of innovation within the agricultural sector and outlined the transformative potential of the Design Thinking approach in identifying and capitalising on opportunities within the Agribusiness sector. The Dean also expressed optimism about the project’s legacy and its contribution to shaping the future of agricultural education and practice in Ghana.

Touching on the key results achieved since the commencement of the project, Prof. Egyir mentioned the establishment of a Pilot Design Thinking Development Centre at the School of Agriculture and the training of over 70 students and staff in the DT Approach.

She further stated the formation of an online platform, the Network of Product Development, in partnership with the UG School of Agriculture and other organisations and the integration of the DT approach into the curriculum of a Level 100 course titled,  Introduction to Economics, at the School of Agriculture.

Prof. Irene Susana Egyir

Pro Vice-Chancellor responsible for Research, Innovation, and Development, Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante, who chaired the workshop, in his remarks affirmed the importance of integrating the Design Thinking Approach (DTA) into students’ academic experience. He advocated for its inclusion as a University Required Course (UGRC), noting its potential to equip students with vital problem-solving skills.

Prof. Asante announced initiatives to foster innovation, including the development of an innovation policy and the allocation of funds to support innovative ideas and projects. He stressed the significance of innovation in garnering support for universities and emphasised the need for comprehensive training to cultivate a new generation of innovators.

Prof. Asante also commended the progress made on the project and encouraged the project team to explore opportunities for further expansion.

Prof. Felix Asante

During the workshop, Prof. Elvis K. Tiburu, Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, who representing the Provost of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences (CBAS), conveyed congratulations on behalf of the CBAS Provost. Prof. Tiburu underlined the significance of the project in addressing food security challenges in Africa while highlighting the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to agricultural problem-solving and commended the project team for their efforts.

Prof. Elvis K. Tiburu

For his part, the Director of the Institute for Applied Science and Technology (IAST), Prof. David Dodoo-Arhin, acknowledged the crucial role of DT in tackling complex agricultural challenges. Prof. Dodoo-Arhin highlighted ongoing collaborations with the School of Agriculture aimed at translating research results into actionable solutions for communities, with the ultimate goal of making a tangible impact.

Prof. David Dodoo-Arhin

PASET-RSIF Grants Manager, Dr. Moses Osiru, based in Kenya, commended the team for their efforts in successfully executing the project since its inception. He acknowledged the pivotal role of universities and researchers in offering crucial solutions to societal challenges.

Dr. Osiru believed that DT should be an essential skill set for agribusiness practitioners to ensure success. He expressed satisfaction with the achievements thus far and conveyed optimism for additional opportunities for future collaborations.

There were remarks from the representatives from the Agriculture Department of the Ghana Prison Service, the National Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programme (NEIP) as well as the Kofi Annan Enterprise Hub for Agricultural Innovation at the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (KAEHAI-KGL Foundation).

The workshop culminated in a pseudo-hackathon, providing some trainees with a platform to showcase DTA-tailored solutions with opportunities for commercialisation.

Notably, Team Greenwealth, consisting of Christiana Frimpong, Constance Terkutei, and Emmanuel Boabeng, emerged as winners with Team Sea Motion, led by Kelvin Campbell Agbodzah, Winnifred Amissah Aba Akwanowa, and Joy Rachael Adoley Allotey clinching second place. Other standout teams included Team SweetifyGH, Team Pine Hub and Team Grain Care Alliance, each presenting unique and impactful solutions during the event.

The workshop was attended by the Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Elizier T. Ameyaw-Buronyah as well as Heads of Department, faculty and students from the School of Agriculture, along with representatives of project partners and selected members of the University community.

Vincent Amedzake
Vincent Amedzake
Experienced Communications Specialist skilled in strategic communication, public relations, digital marketing and research, with a passion for writing and storytelling. My goal is to leverage my expertise to drive impactful communication campaigns, advance organizational missions, and tell compelling brand stories, with a special focus on agriculture, research, youth development, migration, and other relevant subjects across Ghana and Africa.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

spot_img

Related articles

Modernization of TVET Training Crucial for Ghana’s Development, Says Seloart CEO

Mr. Selorm Betepe, Founder and CEO of Seloart Group, has called for urgent modernization of Technical and Vocational...

International Week 2024 Celebrated at UG

The University of Ghana, through the International Programmes Office (IPO), has marked the 2024 International Week with a...

IAST’s 7th Industry-Academia Interaction Series Focuses on Partnerships in Sustainable Energy and Climate Change

The Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) is living up to its mandate of enhancing the transfer...

UG and Imperial College London Renew Collaboration to Spur Student Entrepreneurship

Budding student entrepreneurs at the University of Ghana have been given another promising opportunity to develop their ventures...