• Ashesi University recently held a stakeholder’s forum to discuss ways how stakeholders can collaboratively develop and engage with young Kenyan talent through the Mastercard Foundation Scholars (MCF) program.
  • Several employers, internship supervisors, alumni, students, parents/guardians of students, and personnel working within school systems managed to grace the two-day event held at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa spoke to Araba Botchway, Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Ashesi University to understand ways Africa can mentor and empower its young population.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” said anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.

The saying couldn’t be truer, especially for a continent like Africa where 77 per cent of the population is below the age of 35 years. Education has never been more important.

Every year, millions of University graduates across Africa join the job market. Not every graduate is, however, that lucky to get a job immediately after they finish school.

Some of Ashesi graduates.

During a recent stakeholder’s forum, organized by Ashesi University to discuss ways how stakeholders can collaboratively develop and engage with young Kenyan talent through the Mastercard Foundation Scholars (MCF) program, Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa spoke to Araba Botchway, Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Ashesi University to understand ways Africa can mentor and empower its young population.

However, even in the best institutions like Ashesi who intentionally introduce concepts such as entrepreneurship during university which makes most students better off than the norm, the MasterCard Foundation scholars who are primarily first-generation college students still require additional support beyond the university setting to thrive at work.

“We have noticed that a number of these first generations scholars who have graduated most of them don’t yet have the network to survive in the new environment, so, what we are trying to do is to try and build a network of young professionals including Mastercard foundation program so that there is a safety net for them when they finish school and start looking for jobs” Botchway told Business Insider.

Araba Botchway, Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Ashesi University

Several employers, internship supervisors, alumni, students, parents/guardians of students, and personnel working within school systems managed to grace the two-day event held at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.

While students may excel on campus, their ability to thrive in the working world is not always automatic and they require a helping hand.

“Yesterday we had a season with employers in Kenya, firstly we needed to understand what the gaps were so that would inform us as we train these young Africans and secondly we also wanted to understand how corporate Kenya, corporate Rwanda, corporate Gambia, corporate Ghana, etc. can partner with institutions of higher learning to train the kind of workforce they need. So, we need various stakeholders to partner together and create the kind of workforce Africa needs,” said Botchway.

Also read: We spoke to the assistant director of career services at Ashesi University on 5 tips fresh graduates need to know in order to land that dream job

Ashesi University and The MasterCard Foundation.

Ashesi University, located in Ghana is recognised as one of the finest universities in Africa, with an educational experience proven to successfully prepare students for rewarding lives and careers.

“I believe Ashesi University is unique because we have already started doing all the necessary things required for our students and society to prosper. We have a multi dispensary core that every student is exposed to so you come in and in the first year Ashesi University ensures that no matter your background your studying also incorporates the foundation of design and entrepreneurship, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, everybody is doing a bit of computer and literacy coding so at the end of the day whether you are a business student and you have graduated with a business degree you still know how to do computer coding, you might also be a computer science major but you know how to start and run a business so that multiple skills is very unique to Ashesi University,”

Araba Botchway, Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Ashesi University.

At the end of the day when all is said and done, Ashesi University is going the extra mile to

empower its students and ensure they don’t just churn out job seekers but problem solvers as Well.

“Secondly because of our unique mission which is to train Africa’s entrepreneurs and leaders we are focusing on academics and leadership. So, alongside the four-year academic curriculum, you have a four-year leadership series that every student goes through, so you come out with the mindset of solving problems not just getting a job so those are some of the things which make Ashesi unique,” said Botchway.

Students walk past the Cornfield and Archer Courtyard at Ashesi University