Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, says conversations around entrepreneurship and its prospects must be one of the most important discussions in the country and not partisan politics.
He said if entrepreneurship, private business, innovation, and technology were what would be the most significant pillar in the economic recovery, then “our best energies, our best attention, must be directed there.”
Mr Nkrumah was speaking at the Day two of the 10th Ghana Economic Forum on the theme: “Strengthening Home Grown Policies to Underpin the National Digitisation Drive and Shared Financial Prosperity,” organized by the Business and Financial Times Newspaper.
The second Day of the Forum dubbed, “Youth Economic Forum,” was on the theme: “Driving job creation through entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation”.
The Minister said, “We cannot spend all our times discussing allegations and being suspicions of one another, we cannot spend all our time comparing pastors, debating partisan political positions,” because, “A nation that spends all its time, discussing issues that do not align with its true value drivers, will hardly motivate its teeming youth to align with the value drivers.”
He said though successive governments had introduced initiatives, interventions and programmes to gainfully engage the youth, the State must offer more support to the youth to grow an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.
Mr Nkrumah said the country needed to provide avenues for more technical support, capital and paradigm orientation, if truly “we want to see more young people take up entrepreneurship”.
He said Government’s policy must be bolder, larger, and more focused in support of growing entrepreneurship, saying, “We need to de-risk failure for young entrepreneurship”.
The Minister said the risk of failure for young entrepreneurs was too high in the country in terms of finances, reputation and regulatory compliance.
“The risk to entrepreneurship is way too high in Ghana today, but if the statistic of entrepreneurial success globally is anything to go by, not even 50 per cent of start-ups will survive,” he noted.
He commended organisers of the Ghana Economic Forum for the initiative and said the Forum had over the years evolved into the most credible stage for an objective analysis of the Ghanaian economic status, its prospects, and challenges.
Mr Nkrumah said, “I share in the demand for an efficient public service and one that works with the highest sense of urgency to resolve the challenges that bedevil our people”.
However, he said the most efficient public service could not substitute the role that the private sector and entrepreneurship could play in helping the country answer the questions of its economic fortunes as a nation.
The Minister said it was important for the people to be oriented to innovate, develop technologies and find solutions to problems that made the society better as against waiting for an expansion of the public sector to accommodate all interests.
Mrs Kosi Yankah-Aryeh, Executive Director, Ghana Enterprise Agency, said the Agency was working to strengthen its coordination with other stakeholders to continue to support businesses thrive and contribute to economic development.