Students in a queue. Inset: Florence Larbi
The Managing Director of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Florence Larbi has called on Government, educational institutions and Ghana?s development partners to help empower the country?s teeming youth to reduce the unemployment situation.
According to her, this could provide employment opportunities to university graduates who would in turn employ their mates and ease the burden on Government to create jobs at all costs for the people.
Speaking on theme: ?Prospects and Challenges of Entrepreneurship in Ghana? at the second Entrepreneurship Clinic at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi recently, Mrs. Larbi said the slow rate of building Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) had affected youth entrepreneurship in Ghana since most youth tend to lose interest in setting up their businesses.
The second Entrepreneurship Clinic was a week-long activity organized by the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Centre for Business Development to assist all final-year students to gain general knowledge in all aspects of entrepreneurship and small-scale business management.
It was also to help them discover and utilize their potential in life and understand the business financing systems of Ghana.
Mrs. Larbi said that the inadequate policy and backing for private sector businesses and bureaucratic bottlenecks that choked business set-ups had affected entrepreneurship in Ghana, hence the need for more support and collaboration between Government with the private sector to ensure the creation of Ghanaian-owned businesses such as the UT Bank, Zoomlion and Tobinco Pharmaceuticals, among others.
Mrs. Larbi also urged academic institutions not to focus on courses that only equip students with knowledge suitable for white collar jobs but also introduce courses that will enable them to start their own businesses as well.
?I believe students should not focus solely on theoretical aspects of the academic work but also transfer academic knowledge into practical knowledge for employment creation and wealth generation,? she said.
She said the state should not be seen as the ultimate employer and as such all graduates should see themselves as capable of setting up their businesses and creating wealth in the country.
?In Ghana and other African countries, the educational systems trains graduates for white collar jobs and not to set up their own businesses. Today, in Ghana, most young graduates expect the Government or other companies to employ them. In the absence of government employment, they cannot do anything for themselves.?
No matter the challenges, nothing is unachievable with determination and hard work, she said.
She implored the students to adopt positive attitudes to realize their dreams.
A business desk report