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Academia, private sector partnership needed to create jobs — Graphic Board Chair

BY: Elizabeth Nyaadu Adu
Prof. Olivia Frimpong Kwapong, Board Chair, GCGL

The Board Chairperson of the Graphic Communications Group Ltd., Prof. Olivia Frimpong Kwapong, has called for a partnership between academia, private and informal sector to strategise and harness resources to help create employment and wealth for the youth.

That, she said, was necessary because the government alone as an entity could not solve all the unemployment challenges.

Prof. Kwapong made the call at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting held in Accra on June 14.

“The government is one entity and we are more than the government, therefore, the onus is on us industry, academia, private and informal sector to help the unemployed.

“We must build their capacity, set them up, create opportunities, monitor them, guide and give them leadership direction to survive,” she said.

Breakfast meeting

The second quarter edition of the thought leadership programme organised by the country’s foremost business and financial newspaper, the Graphic Business, and the leading financial institution in the country, Stanbic Bank Limited, was held on the theme: “Tackling unemployment to create wealth: Opportunities for Ghana”.

The event chaired by the Managing Director (MD) of Unilever, George Owusu-Ansah, brought together entrepreneurs, academics and corporate executives to deliberate on the unemployment situation and give solutions.

It featured a panel discussion with Dr Sarkodie, who spoke on ‘The causes of and solutions to unemployment’; the Managing Consultant of Purple Almond Consulting Services, Florence Hope-Wudu, who spoke on ‘Insights on existing and new opportunities’, and the President of the Private Enterprises Federation (PEF), Nana Osei Bonsu, whose topic was ‘Avenues for jobs and wealth creation’.

Creating wealth

Mr Owusu-Ansah said it was critical for the country to create jobs that had the potential to create wealth and other jobs to make it a self-serving cycle.

He said while most of the young people were ready to work hard to earn decent living, the system could not afford the incomes of their toils, resulting in them settling for meagre pays in spite of the amount of hard work put into it.

This, he said, needed to stop and thus pledged the commitment of Unilever to explore solutions to the canker.

Entrepreneurship programme

Outlining a number of initiatives being rolled out by the bank to help solve the unemployment challenge faced by the country, the Chief Executive of Stanbic Ghana Limited, Kwamina Asomani, said key among them was the ‘Stanbic Bank Incubator’ (SBI), an entrepreneurship programme under its corporate social investment (CSI) initiatives that aimed to promote the development of entrepreneurship among the youth and women.

He said the bank was positioned to support entrepreneurs to drive their dreams which lead individual business development and the country’s overall economic growth.

“At Stanbic our brand centres on finding new ways to make dreams possible. The dreams of parents wanting to offer their children the best education, the dreams of graduates wanting to enter the workforce and put their newly acquired skills to good use, and equally, the dreams of the budding graphic designer, retailer or technician to catalyse their business aspirations,” he said.