President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday said nation’s rapid development is hinged on the imaginative, creative and innovative capacity of the youth.
Ghana could only be competitive and productive through enterprise, novelty and originality, he added.
He said there was therefore the need to develop the capacities of young entrepreneurs for the progress of the country.
President Akufo-Addo said this when he presented cheques ranging from GH¢30,000.00 to GH¢50,000.00 to the 10 finalists of the maiden edition of the Presidential Pitch Programme, at the Jubilee House in Accra.
The Presidential Pitch, launched by the President last June, is a business ideas competition aimed to stimulate entrepreneurial revolution to drive economic growth.
The competition, which seeks to create and promote the conducive climate to support young indigenous businesses and start-ups, draws young people with creative business ideas, through a selection process, to compete through presentations, and the best supported with financial assistance and ancillary packages to actualize their ideas.
A 19-year old lady from Gwollu in the West Sissala District, Vanessa Aisha Limann, came top in the maiden edition and for this, she received GH¢50,000.00 and the President added GH¢25,000.00 to the amount for being the youngest among the contestants.
President Akufo-Addo commended the winners for their determination and creativity and encouraged them to continue to develop their talents and skills.
He said the finalists, in their presentations at the programme, demonstrated that they held the key to the future progress and prosperity of the country, urging them to develop new ideas, as this was the major tool for the development of the country.
The President expressed optimism that the contributions of the 10 would lead to more youth incubating ideas and developing them into Enterprises that would create jobs for the teeming youth of the country.
He said if they were able to attract the right market and further developed their ideas, they would be making meaningful contribution to the development of the nation and would feed into the vision of his administration to move Ghana from being an exporter of raw materials to that of a net exporter of value added goods and services.