Former President, John Agyekum Kufuor, has called on the youth to emulate the shining examples of indigenous entrepreneurs who through perseverance have established successful businesses that currently employ thousands of people.
“We needn’t go far as the developed world to see where some youth have shown leadership and broken through the mould. 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, but now he’s listed among the 20 richest people in the world – creating many jobs for people not only in Nigeria but also in Ghana and Senegal. He’s everywhere,” he said during a courtesy call on him by executives of Ghana Job Bank to interact with the former leader and call on him to be a patron of the initiative.
“Zoomlion [Joseph Siaw Agyepong] looked around, seeing that there is so much filth around us. In earlier times we depended on the local government authorities, but unfortunately the workers came around and just worked superficially. They were not even regular, but this man comes around, organises and employs a lot of people, and it is now a household name,” he said.
He praised the exploits of Osei Kwame Despite and his brother, Ofori Sarpong, in establishing many industries that employ thousands of Ghanaians.
“Every day you tune in 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.”
He encouraged the youth to believe in themselves and strive to be employment-generators instead of relying on government for non-existent jobs.
President Kufuor 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 not been weaned as a society, with everyone looking up to government.
“If we want to go that way, I am 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 would form a ministry to lead 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.”
Education Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh; Deputy Communications Minister, George Andah; NSS Executive Director, Ussif Mustapha; and musician Sarkodie were in attendance.