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Private sector has capacity to absorb youth job seekers – Oppong Nkrumah



Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has reiterated that the private sector has the capacity to absorb the country’s teeming youth seeking for job opportunities.

According to him, even though a vibrant public sector can provide some number of employments, the main purpose of the government is to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs to flourish in the private sector.

He argued that even the most efficient public service cannot be a substitute for the role that the private sector and entrepreneurship play in helping answer the questions of economic fortunes as a nation.

“Orienting our people, that it lies within our own hands to innovate, develop technologies and solutions that make our society better off, as against waiting for an expansion of the public sector to accommodate all our interests, is a challenge which however we have not met very well as a nation.

If entrepreneurship, private business, innovation and technology is what will be a most significant pillar in economic recovery, then our best energies, our best attention, must be directed there,” Mr. Nkrumah made this remark at the opening ceremony of Day-2 of the Ghana Economic Forum (GEF) in Accra organized by the B&FT.

He explained that entrepreneurship is the most significant instrument that can get the majority of the people, particularly the young, economically engaged and rewarded, thereby, calling for a renewal of the mindset and encouraging the youth to venture into it and take advantage of the good policies initiated by the government.

The information minister further said that entrepreneurship, when taken seriously, will enable the country build its own products and services, thereby, increasing exports to improve the balance of payment position of the economy.

Making some recommendations, Mr. Nkrumah said the conversations around entrepreneurship, its prospects, resolving its bottlenecks and highlighting its rewards must be mainstreamed as one of the most important conversations in this country.

He advised that public conversations on traditional media, digital media and all other platforms must reflect what citizens believe is the most important value driver for economic transformation.

“We cannot spend all our times discussing allegations and suspicions of one another. We cannot spend all our time comparing pastors, debating partisan political positions, and for the younger ones, we cannot spend all our time amplifying social media beefs and expect that entrepreneurship will gain its pride of place”.

He added that to stem entrepreneurship in the minds of the youth, the education system should include entrepreneurship in the curricular of every level of schooling.

“My point is that whatever we choose to include in academic curricular, one field of academic work which 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.

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah, however, stressed the need for government to step up its efforts in promoting entrepreneurship, despite programmes that are already in existence to achieve the purpose.

“I believe we all can agree that looking at the enormity of the challenge ahead, we need to quadruple our efforts as a country at the minimum. We need to provide avenues for more technical support, patient capital and paradigm orientation if truly we want to see more young people take up entrepreneurship. Government policy, must be bolder and larger and more focused in support of growing entrepreneurship in Ghana and indeed across the continent,” he said.


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Manufacturers now have a market of 1.2billion people due to AfCFTA – Akufo-Addo



President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is providing a market with 1.2billion population to manufactures, traders, and producers.

Mr Akufo-Addo told the CBCNAfrica after he was named the African of the Year by Forbes Magazine that the AfCFTA has a firmly established political will backing it to succeed.

“This project, building a common market in Africa has been on the table for a very long time , talked about over and over. But suddenly the pollical will to bring it into being has been found on the continent and that is the important first step.

“It means we are now talking about the possibilities, the rules are still being made as we are going on, but trading has begun. We begun trading on the 1st of January.

“Considerable amount of of rules and regulations that need to be in place to make it function equitably for the nations on the continent are now in place.

“The implications are enormous. Suddenly, traders, producers manufacturers, exporters have a market of 1.2billion people as their target.”

The AfCFTA is a free trade area founded in 2018. Trading commenced on 1 January 2021.

It was created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 54 of the 55 African Union nations.

The free-trade area is the largest in the world in terms of the number of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization.

Accra, Ghana serves as the Secretariat of AfCFTA and was commissioned and handed over to the AU by the President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo on August 17, 2020 in Accra.

The agreement was brokered by the African Union (AU) and was signed on by 44 of its 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21, 2018.

The agreement initially requires members to remove tariffs from 90% of goods, allowing free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022.

The proposal was set to come into force 30 days after ratification by 22 of the signatory states. On April 2, 2019, The Gambia became the 22nd state to ratify the agreement, and on April 29 the Saharawi Republic made the 22nd deposit of instruments of ratification; the agreement went into force on May 30 and entered its operational phase following a summit on July 7, 2019.

The general objectives of the agreement are to:create a single market, deepening the economic integration of the continent, establish a liberalised market through multiple rounds of negotiations, aid the movement of capital and people, facilitating investment, move towards the establishment of a future continental customs union, achieve sustainable and inclusive socioeconomic development, gender equality and structural transformations within member states, enhance competitiveness of member states within Africa and in the global market, encourage industrial development through diversification and regional value chain development, agricultural development and food security, resolve challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships.


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Sad as Cocoa Farmers boycotted National Farmers’ Day celebration



Members of the Ghana National Cocoa Farmers Association (GNACOFA) boycotted this year’s farmers’ day celebration following what they described as the Ghana Cocoa Board’s (COCOBOD) failure to address their concerns.

According to them, COCOBOD has over the years, not heeded to calls to address their concerns even after incessant calls on them to do so.

They also accused COCOBOD of not using harmful chemicals on their farms without any prior consultation.

National President of the Association, Stephenson Anane Boateng, in an interview, said: “We have boycotted the celebration because the kind of treatment we get is not fair to us. We’ve sent them a lot of petitions. We’ve written to all the authorities but nobody has said anything and even there has been no reply. COCOBOD contracted some of our people to do mass spraying, they used chemicals that have affected our people, and they are not being taken care of. COCOBOD has not provided them with medical care. It is just bad.”

According to research by the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA), Ghana is estimated to have 1.5 million cocoa farmers, of which 60% are poor; although prices of cocoa have gone up significantly in recent times.

Recently, cocoa farmers threatened to protest over the implementation of the cocoa farmers’ pension scheme by withholding produce from markets.

The government launched the scheme to provide guaranteed retirement benefits to over 1.5 million cocoa farmers across the country.


But the farmers are kicking against the scheme’s implementation and have questioned the composition of the board used by the Ghana Cocoa Board to carry out the program.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his remarks during the celebration of the National Farmers Day in Cape Coast commended farmers for their critical role in ensuring food security in Ghana.


He further outlined various steps being taken by government to solve agric sector challenges and create a conducive atmosphere for booth farmers and fishermen to thrive.


The theme for this year’s 37th National Farmers Day celebrations was “Planting for Food and Jobs – Consolidating food system in Ghana”.


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Gov’t digitalization agenda to “suffer loss” if e-levy is implemented – Tesah Capital



Government’s drive towards digitalising will be negatively affected if plans of imposing 1.75% levy on electronic transactions is carried through as captured in 2022 budget statement.

This is according to Tesah Capital, an asset management and investment firm.

The government through the office of the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has been championing commendable digital initiatives in the bid to formalize the economy particularly the informal sector. One of such initiatives is the introduction interoperability which allows seemingless transfer of money across different networks and banks.

But since the introduction of the e-levy in the 2022 budget presented before on Parliament, many stakeholders have questioned government’s intent towards financial inclusion.

In an elaborate post budget review, Tesah Capital noted that the e-levy is unpopular among Ghanaians because it will affect low-income households -which constituent the masses – disproportionately in its current form.

According to the investment firm, countries like Uganda and Congo, where a similar policy was implemented resulted in immediate decrease in the value of electronic transactions.

However, Tesah Capital in their post budget commentary also noted the e-levy offers the government an opportunity to increase domestic revenue which is key in achieving its sustainable development goal

“The success or failure of this policy is likely to depend on how the incremental change affects the consumption behaviour for electronic transactions in Ghana. However, in the long run the value of electronic transactions will return to pre-tax levels and continue to grow. Given the dire state of public finances in Ghana, a temporary decrease in the value of electronic transaction following the implementation of the policy will be considered a huge success for the government.” it added.

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