Recognising individual for excelling in their fields of endeavour is the best way of motivating them and inspiring others to follow their stead. Several awards scheme have been instituted in Ghana over the years to motivate people to seek excellence and serve as mentors to others. Despite these efforts, young people in Ghana still find difficulties affecting society due to lack of befitting role models.
To turn the tide, Junior Chamber International (JCI) Ghana has instituted an award programme, Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) that seeks to award young persons below 40 years who have excelled in their chosen field and exemplify the best attributes of the world’s young people. For JCI by recognising young people, they and others are encourage to seek excellence and serve others.
‘JCI also hope to provide fitting role models for other young people by promoting prominent roles they have played and to inspire young people in shaping a better future for society’.
In that regard, JCI this year awarded ten outstanding young persons who through innovation, extraordinary achievement and dedication have created sustainable impact in their communities and across the country.
The award is opened to members and non-members of JCI in the following ten categories: Business, economic and/or government affairs, political, legal and, academic leadership and/or accomplishment, cultural achievement, moral and/or environmental leadership, contribution to children, world peace and/or human rights, humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership, scientific and/or technological development, personal improvement and/or accomplishment, personal improvement and/or accomplishment and medical innovation.
It is important to mention that members of JCI share the belief that to create positive change; members must first take collective action to improve themselves and the world around them. To pay back to society, JCI members engage in activities ranging from community development to international projects through participation. Members are therefore young entrepreneurs and innovators who have their own development and the development of their communities at heart.
Awardees and their profiles
Prince Adu-Appiah- Contribution to children, world peace and/or human rights
Adu-Appiah is the founder and chairman of 1 Billion Africa; an amazing problem solving movement in Africa that seeks to help turn the 1 billion problems in Africa into 1 billion projects to empower and create opportunities for Africans. 1 billion seeks to embark on key projects towards Africa’s transformation. Mr Adu-Appiah is a TEDx Accra 2015 speaker influencing 1000 youth and children in Ghana and other African countries through his leadership roles, commitments and article publications. He was honoured with the Unsung Hero People of Distinction Humanitarian Award in New York City for 1 billion Africa and community based initiatives.
John Stephen Agbenyo- Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership
Mr Agbenyo is the Founder and Executive Director of an ICT4D NGO, Savana Signatures. Savana Signatures has not only provided jobs for the youth in its area of operation, but it is also impacting positively through projects and programmes on the lives of beneficiary communities. Savana Signatures’ effort at helping Junior and Senior High Schools to integrate ICT into their curricular is bridging the gap in ICT education in the Northern and Volta regions of Ghana. Through the efforts of his organisation, in collaboration with Ghana Health Service, pregnant and expectant mothers are able to access pregnancy information from qualified midwives on how to take care of themselves and their unborn babies in order to ensure safe deliveries. This is contributing greatly in the reduction of maternal mortality.
Hikmat Baba Dua- Personal improvement and/or accomplishment
Ms Baba Dua is an advocate of girls/women empowerment as well as education, motivated by personal experience. After being told by her own father that it was useless to educate a girl, she embarked on a journey leaving those shattering words behind her to become the first female in her family to acquire university education. To ensure that other girls did not go through her experience, she founded League of Young Female Leaders which focused on girls/women’s empowerment through mentorship and literacy development, advocacy against child marriage and charity work for community development. She combines this role with her appointment as a local coordinator with LitWorld International and Global G.L.O.W. for her story initiative.
Regina Agyare- Scientific and technological development
Ms Agyare is a software developer and social entrepreneur with a passion for using technology to cause social change. She started a social enterprise called Soronko Solution that are experts in using basic mass technology to drive human potential. She is working on a project that will develop the next generation of innovators and problem solvers from the rural communities in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in Ghana and sub-saharan Africa. She is also working on how the disabled in Ghana can use technology to integrate better in their communities.
Raindolf Owusu- Medical Innovation
Mr Owusu is the founder and CEO of Oasis Websoft. His first software include deploying Africa#s first web browser called Anansi web Browser, Anansi Calcpad and Dr Diabetes, a simple web application that uses a predictive model to give you an idea about your status online. When Ebola hit the West African continent last year, he together with other change makers and key holders developed and deployed Ebola Ghana Alert. The aim of the Ebola Alert Ghana initiative was to provide people in Ghana and beyond with reliable and easy-to-use application for tracking, training and disseminating information to the public about the Ebola virus. His most recent project is called Bisa which means ask in twi. Bisa is an android application that provides users with a platform to ask health professionals issues affecting their health. Users can send a clear snapshot of the area they are concerned about and medical professionals will review and respond to their query with a short report.
John Armah- Personal improvement and/or accomplishment
Mr Armah has trained over 10,000 Youth in Leadership and Business Development, formalised over 400 Businesses, through his firm, the Ghana Center for Entrepreneurship Employment and Innovation. He has worked on many projects with a vast number of international organisations and institutions such as UKAid and the World Bank. Notable among his projects are pioneering the first Mock Africa Union Summit on the continent which has been running for two years and his Ghana Youth Employment Forum with the World Bank.
Richard Dugan- Business, Economic and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment
Mr Dugan is the Executive Director of McOttley Holdings and Chairman of Neny Transport and Investment Company Ltd. Prior to joining McOttley Holdings, he was the Head of Finance and Administration at Brooks Asset Management Ltd where he played a key role in the set-up of the entire company.
Mabel Simpson-Cultural achievement
At age 25, Ms Simpson started MSimps with an initial capital of Ghc 200 and sewing machine she borrowed from her grandmother. Today MSimps is fashion design house which specialises in hand made accessories including leather bags, clutch purses, slippers, loafers, iPad cases, travel luggage, laptop bags, cheque book holders etc. Five years after its establishment, MSimps has shown tremendous improvement as her products have been designed to meet international standards and currently rests on the shelves of some selected outside the country.
Yaw Barima Agyapong Addo- Business, economic and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment
Mr Addo started as a cobbler under a tree with no capital or resources. However, with high level of determination, focus, perseverance and commitment, he has grown his otherwise way side shoe business into a full-scale shoes manufacturing company. Starting with a capital 50 cedis, Mr Addo now impact shoe making skills to others. He produces shoes custom-designed to meet the taste of his clients.
Nana Adjoa Sifa Amponsah- Humanitarian and/or Voluntary leadership
Ms Amponsah is the President of Direct Impact Foundation, an organisation that seeks to bridge the gap between rural and urban education. She has initiated projects such as Pupils Academy in collaboration with Ghana Education Service and the Ghana Library Authority and Impact 24/7. The project offers opportunity for children to be taken through basic reading, speaking and computer skills. Ms Amponsah also heads Guzakuza, an organisation committed to growing healthy foods, wealthy farmers and great Agripreneurs. Guzakuza seeks to curb the growing menace of graduate unemployment by grooming graduates to be job providers and not job seekers through a six-month Agripreneurial incubation program. The project currently has clubs in five major universities in Kenya (Jomo Kenyatta, Egerton, Maseno, UoE and Nairobi) and three in Ghana (University of Ghana, UPSA and GTUC).
By these awards JCI hopes the recipients will be inspired to work hard to impact more positively on the communities they serve.
Source: ISD (Jotie N. Sule)