Posted by: mhirdyounger | April 1, 2012

Let the Games Begin!

Oh, have I ever had a fun week! I went up North, to a village called Pong Tamale, to attend the annual Agricultural Colleges Games. The Games are run by the student union and involve a huge range of activities and competitions from sports, to social events and academic experiences.

The theme of the Games was “Agricultural Education, the Key to Reducing Unemployment Rate in Ghana”, which falls nicely in line with EWB’s work at the colleges increasing the entrepreneurship and innovation skills. It was a great opportunity for me to meet the students, lecturers and college staff and understand the system that I will be working in for the next several months.

The week started off Monday morning with the opening ceremonies – all the students, lecturers and officials sitting under tents, listening to speeches, dancing and kicking-off the competitive spirit of the Games. I learned a lot from the opening speeches about the politics of the agriculture colleges. The speeches from the college staff and student union involved going through a long list of things the colleges need to be more effective – hoping that the ‘big men’ that were present would hear their complaints and take them back to Accra. The list included things like support and equipment for the colleges. For example, it was brought up that the buses that brought the students to the Games are in disrepair – one of them even had the brakes fail going up a hill on the way to the games! Thankfully, noone got hurt. (This was one of the reasons that decided not to go on the field trip the next day.) Another interesting point in the speeches was that the colleges want academic and administrative independence from the University of Cape Coast, which standardizes and regulates the curriculum for the colleges. It was interesting to see that the colleges take advantage of the presence of political figures to advocate for their needs.

EWB was also in the limelight of many of the speeches – with college staff and officials thanking us for our work with the Agribusiness and Entrepreneurship course.

The rest of the week was spent watching football, volleyball and table tennis (I’m hoarse from all the cheering), listening to motivational speakers (Peter Awin spoke about the power of youth to take their future into their own hands and lead Ghana) and being amazing by an eating competition (this was the wildest thing I saw all week, sooo much fufu!).

I found it really inspirational to get to know Ghana’s future agriculturalists – see their passion, hear their worries for the future and just have fun and dance with them!

I think that pictures can sometimes tell a much better story, so you can follow more of what I did this week through the photos and captions below.

Two EWB colleagues, Siera and Rebecca cheering on the volleyball. Rebecca was cheering for Kwadaso and Siera for Pong Tamale.

Myself with Siera

Much of the week was spent drumming and dancing with the students to cheer on their classmates.

I found it really interesting to see the different things that were made into musical instruments for the cheering of the games. You can see here a piece of metal that has been folded over, and then is hit with a metal rod to make a metallic drum sound.

Next we have a metal ring and a metal plate that are clapped

Warm Ups!

Myself, Ishak ( A & E lecturer at Kwadaso), Robin and Siera at the Opening Ceremonies

Peter Awin, the motivational speaker that got the young agriculturalists thinking about entrepreneurship and the role that they can play in leading Ghana in the future.

Finally, the week ended with a trip into the field with Siera. We visited a farmers group that is doing the Agriculture As a Business Training, an EWB initative to give farmers the knowledge and skills required to grow their farms as businesses.

A trip to the field would be incomplete without playing with some kids.

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Responses

  1. I’ve never tried the tire-stick game!! Were you any good?

  2. No way, at least compared to the kids. They all thought it was absolutely hilarious that I couldn’t play it well though!

  3. […] A National Agribusiness Competition at next year’s Agric Colleges Games (ACSU Games), bringing in teams from across the country to exhibit their agribusiness […]


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