President Akufo-Addo has called on African leaders to rise up and introduce polices that will promote an entrepreneurship culture to address unemployment problems which have flooded the continent and also develop it to move beyond aid.
Speaking at the maiden Africa Netpreneur Summit held in Accra and organised by the Jack Ma Foundation, the president said a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities exist on the continent, hence governments must build the needed enabling environment to make doing business easy in order to attract the youth into entrepreneurship.
“It is time to take entrepreneurship seriously. Entrepreneurship is a vital component of economic growth. It is embraced globally as one of the important drivers of development. There is now firm recognition from most governments and international organisations that development of entrepreneurial talent is key to addressing the challenges of unemployment.
“Let us rise together and build Africa. Let us leave a legacy that we can be proud of for generations unborn. We cannot continue to lose our loved ones in the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert. We must create the necessary enabling environment to unleash their entrepreneurial skills for national and continental development.
“I have said that I firmly believe we can build a Ghana and indeed an Africa beyond aid – that is a prosperous and self-confident Africa which is in charge of economic prospects; a transformed Africa prosperous enough to be beyond aid; an Africa engaging competitively with the rest of the world in trade and investment. We can only do this if we invest in entrepreneurship and ensure that our populations are aggressive in pursuing their entrepreneurial agenda,” he said.
Also speaking at the summit, Co-Founder of the Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, called for African entrepreneurs to be supported as drivers of change and economic prosperity on the continent; urging entrepreneurs to focus on building their business around the needs of their communities and coming out with solutions to address them.
“Entrepreneurs don’t wait for the right conditions to start a business; they create the right conditions. I think Africa will be changed because of entrepreneurs. Let’s start to help; let’s start to inspire; let’s start to support and empower startup spirit and entrepreneur spirit,” he said.
Ban Ki moon, former U.N Secretary General, also said for Africa to develop, the promotion of entrepreneurship and youth empowerment is critical, as this will secure a more prosperous, inclusive and sustainable future.