Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has indicated that it is about time the education sector took up the role of intensifying entrepreneurship-teaching by making it a core subject at all levels of education in schools.
He said the move will equip young ones with the ability to translate what they have learnt in school into a business idea, especially in these times when the role of the private sector and entrepreneurship cannot be ruled out in the country’s effort toward building a strong economy.
He added that it is essential because education is one of the most important parts of young people’s formative years.
“My point is that whatever we choose to include in academic curricula, one field of academic work I believe should now be taught across all levels of education as a core subject – just like literacy, numeracy and science – is entrepreneurship. So, that no matter what else a Ghanaian child has studied, he/she is also equipped with the basic orientation to use that technical knowledge even in building, on their own, a business out of it,” he said.
He made this comment at the B&FT’s Ghana Economic Forum, reiterating that the principles of economic self-determination which lie at the heart of any country’s ability to build its own products and services – and then export them to other territories – must be ignited, particularly in the young ones.
He said the country has not done much in orienting its citizenry to believe that it lies on them to innovate, develop technologies and solutions which would make the society better off, as against waiting for an expansion of the public sector to accommodate all their interests.
For that matter, the conversations around entrepreneurship, its prospects, resolving its bottlenecks and highlighting its rewards must be mainstreamed as one of the most important conversations in the country, in order to motivate the teeming unemployed youth to align with its value.
“If entrepreneurship, private business, innovation and technology are what will be the most significant pillars in economic recovery, then our best energies, our best attention, must be directed there,” he said.
Mr. Oppong further suggested that in order to drive economic development through entrepreneurship, technology and innovation, the state must offer more support to growing the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“We need to provide avenues for more technical support, patient capital and paradigm orientation, if we truly want to see more young people take up entrepreneurship. Government policy, must be bolder, larger and more focused in support of growing entrepreneurship in Ghana, and indeed across the continent,” he added.
He also noted that there’s a need to de-risk failure for young entrepreneurs in the country.
“The risk of failure for young entrepreneurs is too high. In terms of finances, reputation and regulatory compliance and its consequences, the risks to entrepreneurship are way too high in Ghana today. But if the statistics of entrepreneurship across the world is anything to go by, then not even 50 percent of start-ups will survive.
“The ecosystems that have succeeded in making entrepreneurship the norm and not the exception must, among other things, make the risk of failure minimal and provide safety nets for those who will fail,” he said.
He also charged the private sector to prioritise mentoring and providing technical support for young business owners to help grow the next generation of Ghanaian businesses.