Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has reiterated that the private sector has the capacity to absorb the country’s teeming youth seeking for job opportunities.
According to him, even though a vibrant public sector can provide some number of employments, the main purpose of the government is to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs to flourish in the private sector.
He argued that even the most efficient public service cannot be a substitute for the role that the private sector and entrepreneurship play in helping answer the questions of economic fortunes as a nation.
“Orienting our people, that it lies within our own hands to innovate, develop technologies and solutions that make our society better off, as against waiting for an expansion of the public sector to accommodate all our interests, is a challenge which however we have not met very well as a nation.
If entrepreneurship, private business, innovation and technology is what will be a most significant pillar in economic recovery, then our best energies, our best attention, must be directed there,” Mr. Nkrumah made this remark at the opening ceremony of Day-2 of the Ghana Economic Forum (GEF) in Accra organized by the B&FT.
He explained that entrepreneurship is the most significant instrument that can get the majority of the people, particularly the young, economically engaged and rewarded, thereby, calling for a renewal of the mindset and encouraging the youth to venture into it and take advantage of the good policies initiated by the government.
The information minister further said that entrepreneurship, when taken seriously, will enable the country build its own products and services, thereby, increasing exports to improve the balance of payment position of the economy.
Making some recommendations, Mr. Nkrumah said the conversations around entrepreneurship, its prospects, resolving its bottlenecks and highlighting its rewards must be mainstreamed as one of the most important conversations in this country.
He advised that public conversations on traditional media, digital media and all other platforms must reflect what citizens believe is the most important value driver for economic transformation.
“We cannot spend all our times discussing allegations and suspicions of one another. We cannot spend all our time comparing pastors, debating partisan political positions, and for the younger ones, we cannot spend all our time amplifying social media beefs and expect that entrepreneurship will gain its pride of place”.
He added that to stem entrepreneurship in the minds of the youth, the education system should include entrepreneurship in the curricular of every level of schooling.
“My point is that whatever we choose to include in academic curricular, one field of academic work which I believe should now be taught across all levels of education as a core subject just like literacy, numeracy and science, is entrepreneurship. So that no matter what else a Ghanaian child has studied, he / she is also equipped with the basic orientation to use that technical knowledge even in building on their own, a business out of it,” he said.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah, however, stressed the need for government to step up its efforts in promoting entrepreneurship, despite programmes that are already in existence to achieve the purpose.
“I believe we all can agree that looking at the enormity of the challenge ahead, we need to quadruple our efforts as a country at the minimum. We need to provide avenues for more technical support, patient capital and paradigm orientation if truly we want to see more young people take up entrepreneurship. Government policy, must be bolder and larger and more focused in support of growing entrepreneurship in Ghana and indeed across the continent,” he said.