Let’s support young entrepreneurs – Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has called for private sector support for young entrepreneurs in Ghana.

 Speaking to a journalist on the side-lines of the Ghana Economic Forum on Tuesday, October 19, he said both the public and privates sector must scale up support for young entrepreneurs in the country.

“A public service that can, as quickly as possible, on-board as many of our young people who want to support public service delivery but it cannot be a substitute for what the private sector, if supported to develop properly, can do for the advancement of the Ghanaian economy.

” It is important that we do a number of things to support the private sector particularly young entrepreneurs to succeed in this space.

“By main streaming the conversation about entrepreneurship. we cannot be a country that spends all our time and our best energy focusing on some other conversation and yet we expect entrepreneurship to excel in its rightful place, it must be , for me, the most important conversation that we should be highlighting, promoting this country.

“Number two, state support for entrepreneurship need to be stepped up and I refer to what Kufuor administration did, what Mills administration and Mahama administration did, what the Akufo-addo administration is doing, and make the argument that however we need to, at the minimum, quadruple our efforts in terms of funding technical support and building an entrepreneurial echo system for young entrepreneurs in this country.

“Three, we are asking  the private sector to  support entrepreneurship, value chain, supply chain  support,  mentoring and technical  support,  these are the things we must make available to private sector  particularly young entrepreneurs.”

His comments come after the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has revealed that the government’s payroll is full.

Mr. Ofori-Atta revealed that 60 per cent of Ghana’s revenue is spent on salaries and remuneration for workers on the government’s payroll.

He described this situation as unsustainable.

He however assured participants at the Springboard Youth Dialogues and all Ghanaians youths across the country that the next budget statement of the government will prioritize programmes that will support the youth become their own bosses.

He said the government is determined to create an enabling environment for the youth to create their enterprises.

This, according to him, will reduce the over-reliance on the government for jobs and also lessen the burden on the payroll.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony at UPSA on Friday, October 15, he said “So, the future for you with regards to jobs is the most important thing at this stage. We have gone through a period where most people look for jobs from government etc.  That payroll is full because we are spending some 60 per cent of our revenue on remunerating some 650,000 people and that is not sustainable.

“The question then really is has UPSA trained you to be entrepreneurs, and your question will be where the financing is coming from. But you do, in you, have the skills set to be able to do what you have to do.

“Our responsibility as government is to create the environment and the macro stability, currency stability and ensure that you have access to the relevant skills and financing.

“This budget that we are going to be doing is going to really focus on the youth and we will have a programme here, looking at the youth and demands and how we can structure, in the next two or three years, the Ghana Obaatanpa Programme to ensure that you become your own bosses and you become entrepreneurs. ” So there is a new world out there, it is not a factory that employs  ten people, but individuals like you  employ two or three of four five people  to create that energy for our country to transform.

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