Dr Tralance Addy, an Entrepreneur, on Thursday suggested that students should be mentored at the early stages of their lives so that they could translate knowledge into the national development agenda.
Dr Addy, Executive Director of the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED), said it took more efforts and time to unlock the creative potentials of people recruited in the workforce than it was in the classroom.
He was speaking to journalists in Accra on the fourth day of a week-long Community Outreach Programme rolled out by SEED.
SEED is a Stanford University wing of the Graduate School of Business which was established in 2011.
The outreach programme is to mentor students, particularly those in senior and junior high schools as well as polytechnics, to be innovative.
Dr Addy said: “The challenges we face in Ghana and Africa is not because we lack knowledge. What Ghanaians need is to transform their knowledge into action.”
It said most Ghanaians are creative, adding that what they need is self-recognition and confidence that could propel them to be innovative.
“If students from the junior and senior high schools are made to believe in their innovative and creative potentials, it helps them to look at the world differently and turn around challenges they face into opportunities,” he added.
Dr Addy said students should be groomed to take up challenges upon themselves.
“People should be made to be confident in their abilities and to say I can fix it by myself or I can be an agent to fix it,” he said.
Dr Addy said SEED established a Regional Centre in July, in Accra to serve as the focal point for the Institute’s regional initiatives to stimulate economic opportunities by accelerating new enterprise formation and scaling high-potential local and regional businesses.
Ms Kamael Ann Sugrim, Associate Director of SEED, expressed confidence that the Community Outreach Programme would be able to prepare the youth to take up responsible positions in the world.
She said the centre is expected to offer training and experiential learning to entrepreneurs and businesses in the West African sub-region to provide socio-economic opportunities for many.
Ingrid Ohene Nyantakyi, a student from the Aburi Girls School, told the Ghana News Agency that though she would want to become a scientist in future, she felt a sense of fulfilment that she could design something to meet the needs of people to make them happy.
SEED was established by philanthropic entrepreneur Robert King and his wife Dorothy dedicated to the practical application of innovation and entrepreneurship to create jobs.