Nestlé Ghana Limited and the University of Ghana (UG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for youth development.
The MoU, which was signed between Madam Philomena Tan, the Managing Director of Nestle Ghana Limited and Professor Samuel Kwame Offei, the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs, UG, was witnessed by Madam Agnes Forson, the Human Resource Manager, Nestle Ghana Ltd and Professor George Oduro Nkansah, Director, Institute of Applied Science and Technology, UG.
The two-year renewable agreement would offer students practical learning opportunities to enhance their skills in the area of nutrition, science and technology.
This is at the core of bringing to life Nestlé purpose of “enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future”.
The partnership which is the first of its kind within the Central and West Africa Region where Nestlé has been functional in over 62 years; would support mutually agreed initiatives including scientific research collaborations that responds to the needs of consumers and industry; and student practical study in relation to the food and nutrition value chain.
While the partnership forms part of Nestlé’s commitment to youth development under Nestlé’s Global Youth Initiative” which aims to help 10 million young people have access to economic opportunities by 2030, it also aligns with the UG’s mission of creating an enabling environment that is increasingly relevant to national and global development through high quality teaching and learning.
Madam Tan in her remarks, highlighted the relevance of youth in sustaining economic development of nations.
“Young people, when given the right opportunities to learn become assets to society and contribute to developing nations with their ingenuity and skills set,” she said.
“This partnership with the UG, will offer students additional opportunities to improve their skills and practically apply knowledge that will benefit industry and society at large.”
Madam Tan said the partnership would spur innovation and development; declaring that “As a leading nutrition health and wellness Company, we ensure that we strike the right partnerships that contribute to societal development”.
“We are partnering today with the UG because we both believe in youth development; they have a strong interest and so do we, particularly in the area of nutrition where Nestlé focuses its business.”
The Managing Director said noted that the partnership would help equip students with practical knowledge and skills which would be an add-on to what they study in their various courses.
With regards to some of the benefits for students under the partnership, Madam Tan said students would benefit from industrial attachment with Nestlé specific to their area of study.
She mentioned that there were also opportunities to jointly undertake scientific research with Nestlé.
“We will also share practical knowledge with students in seminars, symposia and guest lecture as part of their academic curricular,” she stated.
On his part, Prof Offei said, he was optimistic that the partnership with Nestlé would provide students of the University with opportunities for experiential learning and the necessary industry expertise as they enter the world of work.
He said, he was excited with the prospects of the partnership and engagement with Nestlé, which he said looks promising.
Prof Offei said the formal relationship between the two institutions would guide them in the way that they operate, partner and conduct their activities.
“Training of youth is our hallmark, is our core activity. And it is one of our strategic core objective as a University to ensure that we incorporate practical knowledge and experiential training in the youth to enhance their skills, so that they would be fit for work as soon as they complete their education in the UG,” the Pro-Vice Chancellor said.
He said partnering with corporate industries and organisations was one of their strategic objectives at the moment, so as to ensure that whatever they do would have industrial practical base.
Prof Nkansah said the partnership would cover areas such as nutrition, food processing engineering, agronomy and public and consumer sciences.
BY: Maxwell Ocloo