After the delivery of that insightful speech by Professor Stephen Adei, the next speaker to mount the Podium was Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa. If you have no idea about who Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is, here is a brief Bio of him.
Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is currently Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary Education. He was appointed by President John Dramani Mahama in February 2013.
He doubles as a Legislator representing the good people of North Tongu in the Volta Region in Ghana’s Parliament. He was elected Member of Parliament in 2012 winning 90.5% of total votes cast. In Parliament he serves on the Appointment and the Roads and Transport Committees.
He was previously appointed by the late President Prof. John Evans Atta Mills as Deputy Minister of Information from April 2009 to 6th January 2013.
He is a former President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS). He later became Managing Director of Savvi Solutions. In his foray into national politics, he was a member of the then candidate John Evans Atta Mills Campaign Communication Team in the 2008 elections and until his appointment as Deputy Minister of Information served on Government’s Transition Team.
His interests include youth development, community support initiatives, political communication and education. He has been guest speaker at many local and international events.
Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa has received numerous awards including the TNG Corporate Excellence Awards – Accra, 2010, Outstanding Youth Leader in West Africa by the West Africa Students’ Union (WASU) – Kaduna, Nigeria 2009, Special Alumnus Award by the National Union of Ghana Students’ (NUGS) – 2009, Old Vandal Award – 2008, Award of recognition by the Volta Hall JCR of the University of Ghana – 2005 and a special Fellow of the Private University Students Association of Ghana (PUSAG).
The Students Representative Council of the University of Ghana, Legon during their Excellence Awards in 2013, presented him with the Platinum Vessel Award in recognition of his meritorious, dedicated and selfless service towards national development.
He is a PRINCE2 Project Management Practitioner level holder, member of the Institute of Public Relations, Ghana, member of the African Leadership Network (ALN) and an alumnus of the American Council for Young Political Leaders.
He is an old boy of Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School (PRESEC), Legon. He read Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Ghana for his first degree and has remained a proud ‘Vandal’ having resided in Commonwealth Hall for four years. He also holds a certificate in Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School of Governance, USA.
Too rich a Bio for a young man of his age right? Hon. Ablakwa is a living testimony of what the younger generation is capable of doing when it comes to contributing their quota to national development.
He arrived a little late and asked to be pardoned because he had to join his other colleague legislators to bid a final farewell to one of Ghana’s finest Legislators Hon. JB Danquah who was brutally murdered in his house earlier this year. May his soul Rest In Peace.
Hon. Ablakwa commenced his speech by giving a history about the role students played in the post independence era which made me drift into my dream land because I don’t have an affinity for history. From the countenance of the other participants present I think they also shared in my feeling. That not withstanding, he made some profound statements getting to the end of his speech which jolted me up and motivated me.
He said as upcoming leaders, whatever we set our minds on doing we should start now. We shouldn’t think of finishing school before we start pursuing our dreams. The job market is full of innovators and if you wait till you reach the job market before pursuing your God given abilities, someone might have accomplished what you intend doing. He made reference to Tech Moguls like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates who pursued their dreams when they were in school and have now changed the scope of the world.
HONORABLE OKUDZETO ABLAKWA RECEIVING A CITATION AT THE JUST ENDED GHANA TERTIARY STUDENT CONFERENCE 2016
Hon. Ablakwa recounted how way back in the University he started writing articles and posting them on the notice board of his hall of residence. The humble beginning of writing articles propelled him to become the editor of in chief of Echo Magazine which was a campus magazine and later became President of The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), This position became a launch pad for him into the world of Partisan Politics.
This interesting revelation became an eye opener to me that I should never give up in my journey of writing but rather be indefatigable in my quest to be a great writer. I think it is also a wake up call to every participant at the conference and readers of my blog that whatever dreams, you are nurturing start making it manifest now. The advantage of starting whatever dream you have when you are in school is that, you have the laxity to make mistakes, and enough time to correct them and improve. You also attract the right experts to coach you because you are considered a student who is now learning the rudiments of your chosen dream or goal. I’ve always said that God has imbibed us with so many talents to make us successful in life but we choose not to discover it and make the bold step of faith to bring it into fruition. If every young person should discover their talents and develop them, unemployment would be not rife in Ghana.
Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa remarked that, we are becoming docile as a younger generation and I strongly share in his observation. He went on further to say that, most of us are only interested in matters of Academia. Our aim is to go for lectures, return to our hostels, learn hard and attain First class honors at the end of our tenure in school. We don’t socialize with others to engage in healthy discourses to develop our analytical and problem skills thereby building a strong network.
The honorable deputy Minister Concluded his speech with an advice. “DO NOT DESPISE LITTLE BEGINNINGS”. “START NOW”.
Many thanks to Echo of Leadership Africa and the Student Representative council of Central University for organizing an educative and life transforming conference of this nature.