THE ADDISON International Center for emotional intelligence (AIECI) and Nananom are holding a three – day intensive Emotional Intelligence Summit aimed at developing the emotional capability of young people to grow to be self-confident and develop emotional skills.
The programme which started on Monday, December 10 and will end on Wednesday December 12, was the first of its kind in the country.
The audience was drawn from the length and breadth of the country and being hosted at the Knutsford University College behind Mensvic Hotel at East Legon in Accra by AICEI.
The event is giving opportunity to people to learn about why emotional intelligence is the key to family unity, youth cohesion and national resilience and prosperity.
The opening session saw the National House of Chiefs vice president, Daasebre Kwebu Ewusi VII and other top traditional leaders coming in to support the programme.
Daasebre Kwebu Ewusi made a clarion call to the political leaders and the overseas development bodies in Ghana to take note of the need to better equip young people with knowledge and skills for emotional safety.
He explained that this would help them to join a national capability building initiative that would establish social emotional skills development in the country ‘s educational system, especially from kindergarten to senior high school.
Delivering his key note address, an Independent Presidential hopeful, Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah, reminded the audience of the value in past decades of emotional safety in Ghana when the traditional leadership actually used emotional intelligence to stabilise the nation.
Mr Osei Yeaboah said as far back as the birth of African communities they have been using emotional intelligence for emotional balance in all that they do.
He, however said it seemed things had change a little and so “now is the time for investment in the human capital as the leaders for Ghana’s emotional safety and prosperity within a global community.”
A respected Ghanaian academic and faith leader,Reverend Professor Emmanuel Adow Obeng , said research had already proven that the value from teaching social emotional learning in children as young as five years is profitable.
He went on to say that the “faith communities need to play a role in guiding their people and teaching them Emotional Intelligence – as the trusted leaders apart from of Nanaanom within Ghana.”
Mr Jay Baughan, an international expert in social emotional development and the founder of the SESA Africa capability building initiative, set out how African educationists and also youth leaders are being trained, certified and supported to build the social emotional skills for ‘Emotional Intelligence.’
He gave an insight into how SESA connects into education and the non-governmental organisation (NGO’s) and faith groups to enhance their existing efforts, including the re-engineering of social and philanthropic investment to incorporate such capability building and certification.
He said through the partnership with AICEI and Nananom, two national programmes were already underway for 50 schools and 50 young leaders from NGO’s and faith groups.
Mr Jay Baughan said over a period of five years, they would together provide monthly intakes to increase the capability in schools and among youth in the communities.
An International expert and trainer, Ms Thecia Jenkins taught the audience about the way to build self-awareness and to strive forward – in four easy -to -use steps she calls B.O.L.D.
She explained how social emotional learning also factors into the life journey and trauma of learners – because no one learns until their emotions are settled and they feel safe.
Finally, another speaker Ms Dellasie, an international recording artist and UN ambassador for skin awareness and cancer in young black people in Africa, told the gathering about the rise in cancer rates due to a lack of self-esteem and identity linked to use of skin-lightening drugs/lotions.
She went on to say that Africans globally need to build self-confidence to be who they are and embrace their skin tone and not try to look like light-skinned role models.
Ms Dellasie personally said she was setting out to become a role model for young black Africans and tackle this use of skin tone lightening.
The event concluded with a question time, where the audience asked the panel to answer questions or make clarifications as audience feedback was extremely high, and generated lots of after- discussions.