Dr. Seidu Alidu
Educational Institutions have been urged to redevelop their curriculum to provide hands-on training to students to enable them contribute towards the successful outcome of the implementation of the African Continental Free trade area (AFCFTA).
Head of Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Dr. Seidu Alidu, made the call during the launch of the Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference AFCFTA Club of the University of Ghana chapter at Legon in Accra.
He said, “We need to redevelop our curriculum, redesign it, re-tool it to be able to meet the needs and plans that are required to be able to move the African continent out of poverty to deepen intra-continental trade amongst countries. There is a huge disconnect as a result of little interaction between academia and industry as institutions do not know what is required of industry and how the curriculum should feed them”.
This, he however stated, could be addressed by the academic institutions when students are taught through the use of case study methods, simulation, research as well as building the capacity of students.
Dr. Alidu said these practical skills combined with the use of technology in teaching and learning processes will not only provide the students with the requisite skills and knowledge but will also go a long way to make AFCFTA more meaningful for the economic benefits of the continent.
CEO of GITFIC, Selasi Koffi Ackom said AFCFTA could have made more progress far more than it was currently doing if there were enough collaboration between academia and the Secretariat in its information dissemination, knowledge sharing, among others.
He said the club would therefore offer students the platform to meet industry players while offering them opportunities to learn and benefit from capacity building programmes apart from their academic work.
Chairman of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Tsonam Cleanse Akpeloo, for his part advised the students not to over concentrate on academic work at the neglect of other capacity building programmes provided by some organisations on campuses.
He indicated that though industries required some level of working experience from graduates, students who could solve problems and ready to learn were appreciated better than students who could only boast of certificate.
Dean of Students Affairs of the University of Ghana, Prof. Rosina Kyeremanten, and Dr. Rosina Foli of the Department of Political Science, both asked the students to use social media positively to improve on themselves rather than using it for activities that do not help them achieve their goals as students.
In their view, students could use these social media platforms to acquire knowledge, skills and trade across the globe especially at a time when trade barriers were been removed due to the implementation of AFCFTA in the sub region.
By Ebenezer K. Amponsah