The Africa Internship Academy (AIA) under the auspices of the People Initiative Foundation has begun its first Work Integrated Learning Program by offering its first 50 cohorts a full tuition-free scholarship.
The program was launched with an open house on Saturday, 5th November 2016. The open house saw the likes of experienced corporate and business people like the CIMG Marketing Practitioner of the year 2015 – Mr. Jesse Agyepong, Miss Rita Kusi of Kusi Consults and 360Gh, Mr. Emmanuel Awumee of Sesil Consult, Madam Anna Samake, Managing Director Lundin Foundation, Mr. John Armah of Orios Foundation listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 and Samuel Agyeman-Prempah of Role Model Africa.
The various speakers touched on the importance of internship and encouraged the audience with their life experiences and the various roles internships played in their success stories. Mami Serwaa Amoakohene (3Ps Solutions) and J N Halm (Capital Line Group) both facilitators for the program were present to give insights into the program.
According to AIA’s Regional Business Development Manager, Mr. Daniel Amoako- Antwi, AIA has 4 key drives which are Work Integrated Learning, The Social Business Lab, Mentoring program and support for 4 Social Development Goals.
He further explained that, with the Work Integrated Learning Module, all interns go through a world-class training program for one to three months, where they are prepared with technical skills as well as soft skills to excel in both corporate and entrepreneurial environments. He said that AIA stands to bridge the gap between academia and industry by training the interns and giving them the chance to gain work experience within the same facility.
He also touched on the “Social Business Design Lab” an incubator program which fostered innovation and entrepreneurship, the lab he said, was created to birth ideas and build upon them for implementation. AIA Interns are given the chance to utilize the lab for development of their business concepts and enhancement of their ideas.
On Mentorship, he said that our youth need concerned adults to guide them through their struggles with growing up while learning to make responsible choices. Mentorship, he said is key because it is crucial to the growth of an individual. Hence, all AIA interns and any young person who applies are assigned mentors who serve as role models for nurturing and guidance. He said the program was free and invitations were open for both Mentors and Mentees to sign up across the continent.
The Regional Research and Policy Analyst for AIA, Mr. Emmanuel Leslie Addae said AIA was contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Africa. He pointed out that AIA directly supports SDG8 on inclusive growth, productive employment, and decent work for all; SDG4 on equitable education and skills development; SDG1 on ending poverty and SDG16 on Peace, Justice, and Strong Institution (because limited economic opportunity can fuel conflict and instability).
He invited Organizations which seek are aligned towards these areas of work to come on board and partner with AIA to work towards the fulfillment of their purposes and the growth and development of the continent. He outlined some packages available for the various stakeholders of AIA.
Mr. Addae also called on students from pre-tertiary and tertiary institutions across Africa to register and enroll in the January 2017 Internship program. He encouraged young people to sign up for the free mentorship program AIA offered and that for prospective mentors, coaches and facilitators AIA offers an opportunity to impart knowledge and experience to the next generation to help shape and transform Africa.
He invited Corporate Organisations, to outsource their Corporate Internship Training programs to AIA and encouraged them to source the best fully rounded talents for their job openings from AIA.
For other partners and donor agencies, he noted that partnering and contributing to the cause of AIA would positively determine the future of the continent by helping shape the manpower resource of the next generation. AIA hopes to be scattered across many Africa cities in 2017.
Finally, Mr. Addae assured Pre-tertiary and tertiary institutions across the continent that, AIA could solve the challenge of students scrambling for Internships as part of their basic graduation requirements.