Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, Aug. 15, GNA
- Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Dean of School of Languages at the University
of Ghana (UG), has called on young academics to take mentorship very seriously.
Prof Amfo, who also
urged young academics in a mentee-mentor relationship to set personal goals,
noted that mentorship was mentee-driven because the mentee was the bigger
beneficiary in the process, hence the need for the mentee to define what he or
she wants out of the relationship.
mentorship is a process where someone gets guidance from a more experienced
person; mentorship is critical to career success and it shortens the journey to
the top”, she said.
She said without
it, success is possible but it would take a longer time, saying in mentorship
one gets to learn from successes and the mistakes of the mentor.
Prof Amfo said this
at BANGA-Africa Workshop and Mentoring Session 2019, hosted by the UG- Carnegie
Scholars Network (CSN).
UG-CSN seeks to
bring together all beneficiaries of the Carnegie “Next Generation of Academics
in Africa” project at UG, to network and share ideas and research findings.
The workshop was
held under the theme: “Mentorship: A Tool for Enhancing Academic Research and
objectives was to provide some eye-opening experiences to young academics, to
understand life within academia and as well provide an opportunity for them to
identify people who can help them grow.
The sessions in the
workshop would also help participants who submit abstract to get feedback from
experienced academics and would help them ask questions on how to publish their
Prof Amfo said the
key role of mentors was to provide critical feedback, provide guidance and as
well point out opportunities to mentees.
“When you are
looking up to a mentor, that person is usually a busy person, so it is not for
your mentor to be shadowing you; it is for you be shadowing the person and
trying to get attention because you know what you want; you shape how the
relationship should go," Prof Amfo said.
Nyigmah Bawole, Dean of UG Business School, in an interview with the Ghana News
Agency (GNA), described the academic community as a social system, where people
required some social support.
He said, for
instance, there are students who did not understand how to relate to
supervisors and how to relate to colleagues, adding that “once you get into a
mentoring session it helps you to be able to appreciate and pick up social
skills that enable you to function within an academic community.
Prof Bawole, who
stepped in for the Director of the BANGA-Africa Project -Prof Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu
as the chairperson for the occasion, said psychologically, going through PhD
and higher learning was tough, hence the need for the experienced to provide
the social and psychological support to such individuals.
mentee-mentor relationship could be abused particularly when the mentee sees
the mentor as a financial backbone and when a mentor finds something and passes
it on to the mentee, anticipating that the mentee will follow up and he or she
Dr Collins Badu
Agyemang, Coordinator for Pan-African Doctoral Academy and Public Relations
Officer (PRO) of UG-CSN, also told GNA that the Network was interested in how
influential mentorship could be in training people and was of the view that in
this modern era, the advent of social media and others was not making people
avail themselves to be mentored.
He said it is about
time the experienced and those in leadership positions develop an interest in
nurturing and mentoring the up and coming ones.
conference, even though we are a young association, we are interested in how we
can hold the hands of one another, groom ourselves, support ourselves, so we
will be able to shoulder the demands of our time,” he said.
Dr Agyemang, who is
also a Lecturer at UG’s Department of Psychology, said mentorship should be
driven by the mentee and it is expensive from the view point of the mentor;
mentors must be ready to sacrifice their time, must be patient and malleable.
Osafo, Head of Psychology Department at the University of Ghana, in his
goodwill message, admonished the mentees not to abuse the mentorship
opportunity offered them.
He also charge
mentors and mentees to be committed to strengthening each other.