Former President Kufuor has encouraged youth in the country to emulate the entrepreneurial spirits of Kwame Despite, owner of Peace FM and Joseph Siaw Agyapong, the man behind Zoomlion to reduce the escalating unemployment rate.
The former President intimated that these individuals have excelled in their various fields and created wealth and employment which has given opportunity to hundreds of people.
He was emphatic that it was time the youth took their destinies into their hands and acted smart by identifying solutions to the various challenges faced in the country.
This he believed will not only serve as a source of employment but also as a means of creating wealth which will reduce the poverty levels in the country.
“We needn’t go far to the developed world to see where some youth have shown leadership and broken through the moulds. Look at Nigeria now we hear of Dangote. Dangote started when he was a youth, In a way like many of you here perhaps even younger in his 20s and 30s. I don’t think he’s more than 60, now he’s listed among the 20 richest people in the world creating many jobs for people not only in Nigeria but he’s in Ghana and Senegal. He’s everywhere” he noted.
“Even here in Ghana, the list is very exhaustive. Every day you tune to Peace FM and you hear of Dr. Osei Kwame Despite and his brother, Ofori Sarpong. See the industries they are creating, the employment. They own Special Ice mineral water, This Way Chocolate Drink, Neat Fufu. With all due respect, I don’t think it is their book so much as it is their smartness.
“Similarly, Zoomlion started around and seeing that there is so much filth around us. Earlier times we depended on the local government Authorities, unfortunately, the workers come around and just work superficially but they were not regular but this man comes around, organises, employs a lot of people and it is now a household name” he remarked.
Former President Kufuor was of the view that many people misconstrue the role of the government in development and wealth creation.
He insisted that it’s not government’s responsibility to do business but its focus should be on creating the right atmosphere for the private sector to thrive.
He said “What I want to say to the youth of Ghana is that you must believe in yourself that you can do it. Unfortunately, it looks like we have been weaned as a society with everyone looking up to government. If we want to go that way, im afraid it will take umpteen years before we get there. Government is there alright but government is to govern, government is not to do business. This is why when I got the opportunity to lead the government of Ghana I decided we form a Ministry to lead the private sector development.
“We wanted our society to appreciate that the private sector can only be an infrastructure for the public sector, prepare the grounds, set the framework so the citizenry, the individuals will take up the challenge of doing things for themselves.”
Mr. Kufuor gave these remarks in a short ceremony at his residence in Accra when he was called upon to be a patron to an initiative that is intended to nurture and facilitate access to funds and exposure for young entrepreneurs and graduates.
The initiative dubbed “Ghana Job Bank” will assist graduates to develop their business ideas and also give them hands-on training with partner firms in India, Middle East and America.
Accepting the honour to be the patron, former President Kufuor expressed satisfaction at the idea and hoped that many people will benefit from the initiative and also create wealth that will help develop the country.
In attendance at the ceremony were the Education Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Deputy Communications Minister George Andah, NSS Executive Director, Ussif Mustapha and entertainment personalities such as musician Sarkodie and TV personality Joyceline Dumas.