A Ghanaian businessman, Cyril Aklasi, has encouraged the youth to actively participate in the nation’s development and ultimately their personal life successes through entrepreneurship.
Speaking to the media, Mr. Aklasi emphasized the important role entrepreneurship played in developed countries including America and other European countries but mentioned that in most of the cases, the successes were backed by an aggressive state policy.
Without limiting entrepreneurship to trading as done in most instances, he emphasized how the various sectors of the economy could benefit from a buoyant and aggressive youth entrepreneurship drive. He stated; “a look at our economy and statistics should inform us that initiatives are needed in all sectors of the economy ranging from manufacturing, services, agriculture and the financial sector”. He emphasized the importance of manufacturing to a growing economy such as Ghana’s and mentioned that in 40 years, China has developed to become an economic power through manufacturing, production and a consistent and achieved state policy.
The high rate of unemployment among the youth is a challenge to national security and national development and therefore a priority on every government’s agenda. Apart from the government, there are other private and non-governmental organizations that exist to support youth initiatives from initiation to a self-sustainable stage. He therefore encouraged the youth to take advantage of existing opportunities nationally and globally since one great idea can transcend the borders of Ghana and go global.
The World bank estimates that one of every two Ghanaian youth is unemployed; a worrying but startling statistic that requires the right attention to reduce and improve the standards of living. Ghana currently has a Ministry of Business Development mandated to assist businesses and startups to transform their ideas into reality through coaching, training and in some cases, access to grants. The National Entrepreneurship and Innovative Plan (NEIP), formerly Youth Enterprise Support (YES) is also an initiative to develop new businesses and provide support including financing. It is therefore important that the youth capitalizes on the available platforms, mentor groups and incubator groups to kickstart their initiatives and build businesses.
Mr. Aklasi called for increased government support to youth entrepreneurship not only through grants and loans but through the establishment of bodies that can mentor and monitor the progress of youth entrepreneurial initiatives.
Mr. Aklasi is founder and CEO of FH&C Company Limited; a Ghanaian owned business firm specialized in commodities trading, real estate, construction and civil works, investor representation and agribusiness. He co-owns Viva farms; a coconut plantation located at Awukugua, a town in the Eastern Region of Ghana.