Okokyeredom Sakyi Ako II, the Vice-President of the Bono Regional House of Chiefs, has urged the youth to take advantage of government’s policies and programmes to establish their own businesses to reduce unemployment rate in the country.
He said government policies and programmes meant to support small and medium scale enterprises in the private sector were targeted at particularly the employment of the teeming unemployed youth for wealth-creation to reduce the over-reliance on public sector jobs.
Okokyeredom Ako II, also the ‘Drobomanhene’ (Paramount Chief of Drobo Traditional Area) in the Jaman South Municipality of the Bono Region gave the advice when he spoke at the Busia Memorial Lecture ’21 on Friday in Sunyani.
Under the theme, “The Youth in a Free Enterprise Society”, the programme was organised and sponsored by the Busia Institute for Rural and Democratic Development (BIRDD), a think tank working to promoting good democratic governance, rural development and youth empowerment in the country.
It was attended by people from all walks of life including students, the media and political party activists in the region and chaired by Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Techiman North and currently the Board Chair of Public Procurement Authority.
Other notable personalities at the event were the clergy, which included the Most Reverend Mathew Kwasi Gyamfi, Catholic Bishop of Sunyani and the Right Reverend Daniel Kwasi Tannor, the Methodist Bishop of Sunyani.
Okokyeredom Ako II, a Development Planner and Economist by profession, expressed concern about the “get-rich-quick”, either fair or foul means mentality of wealth acquisition by many young people nowadays in the country.
He said making money in a genuine and honest way was the best for the progress of the individual and the society at large, and therefore stressed the need for the youth to refrain from the dubious means approach for money and rather work hard to become giants in businesses.
Okokyeredom Ako II therefore reiterated the need for government to create an enabling environment to help individuals to explore their capabilities in entrepreneurship with minimal restrictions to operate within the confines of the law.
Touching on unity and healthy social cohesion for the political and economic stability of the country, he advised politicians to be mindful of their utterances by speaking to unite and demonstrate politics of decency in their debate and expression of ideas at any gathering and fora.
Okokyeredom Ako II entreated political party communicators too to be decorous in their discussions of issues to help in promoting sanity to avoid creation of tension and enmity in the country.
Speaking at the event on the topic “Fixing the Country: The Need for a Paradigm Shift”, Dr. John Ampontuah Kumah, the MP for Ejisu, said that the topic was a direct call to the Ghanaian youth to be creative and innovative in identifying and finding solutions to problems in the society.
According to Dr. Kumah, also a Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, “gone are the days when companies pitched camps to draw students leaving colleges and universities into their fold for immediate employment”.
The new trend across the globe, he said “is to encourage and empower young people to create wealth by solving problems”.
Mr. Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, a former MP for Sunyani West, and a Minister for Local Government and Rural Development during the regime of ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor, made a presentation on behalf of the latter.