President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is optimistic about the potential of Ghana's private sector, saying the future looks promising.
The sheer energy and can-do spirit demonstrated by the private sector, culminating in job and wealth creation, had contributed significantly to economic growth and development, he noted.
'The Akufo-Addo Administration is indeed building an entrepreneurial nation as part of the Government's quest to move our nation beyond aid.'
Addressing the opening ceremony to usher in the Presidential Pitch Season Four, in Accra, the President cited the significant successes chalked under the initiative.
'Under Seasons One, Two, and Three of the Presidential Pitch, 702 direct and thousands of indirect jobs have been created by our winners, with majority of these jobs being established in rural communities,' he said.
The vision is to build an inclusive, integrated, innovative and conducive entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.
The Presidential Pitch is a special entrepreneurship initiative designed by the Ministry of Business Development and the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) in 2017.
Since its onset, the President himself has supervised the first three editions.
The purpose of the initiative is to offer young Ghanaian entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35, the opportunity to pitch their business ideas in the hope of obtaining funding to operationalise and scale their businesses.
Some thirty young entrepreneurs have so far been awarded cash prizes to help set up, and scale up their enterprises in varied fields of the Ghanaian economy after they presented their business concepts.
Their activities, especially business operations, are constantly monitored by the Ministry of Business Development in conjunction with the NEIP, implementers of the Pitch.
Ghana's economy is dominated by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that struggle to grow, according to the latest Country Economic Memorandum Report of the World Bank.
MSMEs provide important job opportunities for women and young people, meaning that addressing their challenges is a major way to improve inclusion, says the world's apex financial body.
'The country's population is projected to rise to 45 million by 2040, with 58 per cent of the population under 30 years old.
'This implies that around 10 million Ghanaians will enter the labour force between now and 2040, therefore, addressing the job challenge is critical.
'This will require creating more and better job opportunities for lower- and mid-skilled workers,' says Katherine Stapleton, World Bank Economist, and co-author of the Report.
President Nana Akufo-Addo noted that the fastest way to deal with the challenges confronting the economy and the unacceptable rate of unemployment 'is the fusion of technology, entrepreneurship and business'.
To deliver productivity growth and boost innovation and entrepreneurship, the country will need to drive technological transformation through the adoption of digital and complementary technologies in domestic firms.
Mr. John Kumah, a Deputy Finance Minister, assured that the Government was committed to providing the requisite assistance to accelerate firm upgrading and spur innovation and entrepreneurship.
This was critical to driving growth of higher quality jobs in the country, he noted.
The Government is earmarking some GHS2.5 million for the top 30 contestants of the Presidential Pitch Season Four.
The overall winner will receive GHS150, 000.00 as prize money, up from GHS100, 000.00 in the previous year.
Source: Ghana News Agency