“No man is capable of self-improvement if he sees no other model but himself” – Conrado I. Generoso.
Until some months ago, I had always been content with the outcome of my efforts not because I had a heart of content. It was because I always looked within and had no standard to measure the outcome of my efforts. There was nothing to challenge me to step beyond my comfort zone. Today, I can proudly say the table has turned.
The Young Africa Works Summit 2017 ended several months ago yet its impact is continually felt by the few youth delegates who had the opportunity to be part of the mentoring program. It really gladdens my heart to be a part of this mentoring journey.
My previous post emphasized on the great networking experience, overcoming my reserved and anti-social nature and finally the cassava processing initiative- all as a result of the mentoring opportunity.
I anticipated that by the time I write this post, I would be providing figures of the employment avenues created by the enterprise and how much poverty has been alleviated in the Mafi-Kumasi township of the Volta Region of Ghana, West Africa. It is rather unfortunate that the initiative has been paused as a result of the time and attention demands of academics and other projects. I am currently tasked by the Agribusiness Students’ Association of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). I am to work with a team to start a rabbit project for the association among others. The demands necessitated that I put the cassava processing initiative on hold. However, the mentoring journey continues.
Two months ago, I had a one-on-one coaching session with Pam, the coach for the mentoring program. It was an opportunity to refine my career objectives and to device an objective oriented career path for the successful attainment of my career and professional goals of ensuring food security in Ghana and Africa and ensuring legal sanity in the business world. It is believed that those who do not know their goal will hardly work at it. Thanks to Pam for that awesome session.
John C. Maxwell said, “The best way a mentor can prepare another leader is to expose him/her to other great people”. I could not have a face-to-face conversation with my mentor – Agbe Edem – for the past two months. His unavailability was rather an opportunity to meet other great people. I had the opportunity to have a face-to-face conversation with Agbe Kafui, the Ghana YPARD representative and brother to my mentor. I also had interactions with Kamal Yakub, CEO of award-winning Trotro Tractor and YPARD member. The privilege to meet these people has really strengthened my network and has opened opportunities for some mind-blowing agribusiness ideas. One of the things I value about them is how much they can challenge you to step out of your comfort zone.
I must also say that I have received an amount of USD 300 as travel and communication bursary. This fund was initially intended to cater for communication and the face-to-face discussion with my mentor. However, upon approval from my mentor, I have used some amount of this stipend to undertake an executive diploma course in Team & Project Management with London Center of Management (Orion College). This course will equip me with the necessary skills and knowledge to plan, execute and monitor projects successfully. I will be completing the eight weeks distance course this November.
Interesting of all is the opportunity to present on YPARD at an entrepreneurship clinic at KNUST. The Agribusiness Students’ Association of Ghana (ABSAG) at KNUST organized the second edition of the entrepreneurship clinic. This program was organized to inspire students to see the lucrative potentials of agriculture. Having submitted a letter of proposition, I had a slot to present on the opportunities of being a YPARD member. Unfortunately, colleagues who tried signing up via mobile phone encountered challenges and eventually couldn’t sign up. I hope this challenge will be rectified and resolved for the ease of subsequent sign-ups.
The mentoring program as per YPARD, is to span for the rest of 2017. As such, I should say a very big thank you to the MasterCard Foundation, to YPARD specifically Courtney, Michelle, Emmie and Pam. YPARD may close formalities on the mentoring program but it is actually the beginning of greatness.