Ghana Politics

Don’t sit at home waiting for gov’t jobs; create one, leverage social media – Adu Boahen to youth

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Charles Adu Boahen

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta told the truth when he recently said the public payroll was full, Mr Charles Adu Boahen, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance has said.

Speaking at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting on Tuesday, 2 November 2021 about the direction of the yet-to-be-presented 2022 budget, Mr Adu Boahen said the fiscal policy document will “…last but not the least, focus on job creation, especially targeted at the youth and also entrepreneurship because we believe that – especially in the environment we are today – we really need to find ways to create a more entrepreneurial society: a society where everybody is not afraid to venture out and try a business or some kind of occupation and provide them with the tools and the training to be able to do so”. 

In his view, “if we all or a lot of us try something entrepreneurial, more likely than not, we might create two, three, four jobs in the process”. 

“I think it was two weeks ago [that] my minister mentioned that the public sector payroll is full much to the consternation of a lot of people but I think he was just telling the truth”, he noted, adding: “And, if we have that mindset, I think we’ll start to look outside of the box and outside of the typical employment channels to see what there’s available”.

Mr Adu Boahen observed that some young Ghanaians are leveraging social media to expose and market their talent, craft and startups to the world, which he commended and encouraged.

“I must say I’ve been very impressed by what I see online and the creativity and the resourcefulness of the Ghanaian people; and, if you go on Instagram and you see the fashion and artistry and creativity of Ghanaians who now have a global platform of the likes of Amazon and Instagram to be able to showcase their works; so, that challenge we had when we were growing up where if you wanted to start something, you had to virtually go from door to door or spend a lot of money on advertising, you really don’t have that barrier-to-entry now, in terms of trying to come up with your own products and I must say there are some really talented people around”, he admired.

Citing some examples, he recalled: “There was a text going around the other day about a gentleman who is doing furniture and there were pictures of it and his number was on the bottom and I saw some of the furniture and I was like: ‘Whoa; this is really good stuff!’ And, you know, with WhatsApp and Instagram, he can reach tens of thousands of people”. 

“So, maybe, the only challenge or impediment for people like that is startup capital. So, we need to figure out a way to provide that $5,000 or GHS10,000 for startups and same in the agricultural sector”, he noted.

Mr Adu Boahen also recalled listening to a radio station earlier this year which “interviewed a gentleman who had a piggery and you know, when you listen to him and where he started from and what he has today, you realise that you don’t really need a lot of money to start a piggery and it can be quite a lucrative business”.

He continued: “And then they also interviewed a lady who had gone into palm in a joint venture with some chiefs and now has a pretty sizeable plantation and I was very impressed”. 

“And there was another gentleman they spoke to who was growing corn and the sort of analyses he had applied to corn-growing – I was like ‘whoa!’ – including spacing, how to maximise every acre. And I was like: ‘We are thinking’”. 

“And, so, I think we need to really encourage that entrepreneurship drive and find a way to create a more entrepreneurial society right from the curriculum in the schools so that we provide the youth with the right tools to be able to capitalise on that rather than sit at home waiting for that public sector job”, Mr Adu Boahen stressed.

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