The partnership will see students from the university and youth of Bono Region get trained and exposed to vast opportunities in agri-entrepreneurship and innovation.
It seeks to foster job creation, enhancement in agriculture and economic growth for the youth in the long-term.
The Executive Director of KIC, Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, in a statement issued by KIC in Accra, expressed excitement to the collaboration, saying it was as an opportunity for the parties to leverage on their respective strengths, experiences, and resources to create impact in generating youth interest and changing mindsets while creating job opportunities.
“UENR provides leadership and management of energy and natural resources and is also a center of excellence in these areas.
“The signing provides KIC with the opportunity to connect with more young people in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation as our core mandate suggests,” he said.
He stated that KIC remained committed to focus on empowering young men and women to drive innovation in agriculture, the country's largest employer, and training them to lead sustainable, successful businesses.
He said since its inception, KIC has trained more than 1300 young people with business?skills and entrepreneurship through participation and have nurtured some of the most promising youth-driven, agri-tech startups in Ghana today and 127 agri-MSMEs have been trained.
Future of the youth
The Vice Chancellor of UENR, Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, noted that the university was committed to partnering with relevant stakeholders who have the necessary tools, skills to assist students at the university and the youth of the region to secure their future.
He said the partnership with UENR was for a period of three years, starting from 2023 to 2025 but renewable on yearly basis.
He added that in this collaboration, KIC and UENR would join efforts to create job opportunities and empower vulnerable groups to aid a resilient agricultural sector.
KIC will be signing similar agreements with four more universities in four different regions this year, bringing to a total of 10 regions covered from last year.
These universities are Ho Technical University-Volta Region, Koforidua Technical University-Eastern Region, Takoradi Technical University-Western Region and Bolgatanga Technical University-Upper East Region.
The universities that have signed on the KIC programme last year include University of Ghana-Greater Accra; University of Cape Coast-Central Region, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)-Ashanti Region, University for Development Studies-Northern Region and University for Business Integration and Development Studies (UBIDS)-Upper West Region.
As part of KIC’s collaboration with Mastercard Foundation, the programme is expected to extend its impact across all the regions of Ghana by 2025, ensuring more young people with interest in entrepreneurship and agriculture are supported.
The programme also works with agri-micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in all the regions by supporting them to accelerate.
KIC will be signing similar agreements with six more universities in the remaining regions of Ghana in 2024 as part of the programme expansion.