Young entrepreneurs advised to form partnerships
Young entrepreneurs have been advised to form partnerships and establish multinational companies that can leverage Africa’s over 1.2 billion consumers under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of Kings Innovation, Nana Owusu-Achaw, it was only deliberate partnerships that would enable young citizens to take advantage of the single African market.
“You need to identify some good colleagues among yourselves and start thinking about which business to develop because it is through partnerships and collaborations that we as a country can establish multinational companies under AfCFTA,” he added.
Mr Owusu-Achaw, an entrepreneur with 10 years experience in real estate, agriculture, technology, sports and industries, was speaking at the third Youth School at the University of Ghana in Accra.
He said with the establishment of the AfCFTA Secretariat in the country, young entrepreneurs needed to make a conscious effort to make a difference by adding value to raw materials.
The youth school is designed to serve as a national platform to harness the potential of the next generation of leaders in the country under the auspices of the Annual New Year School and Conference (ANYSC).
It is the initiative of the School of Continuing and Distance Education (SCDE) of the University of Ghana (UG).
This year's school, the 74th, was on the theme: “Positioning the African market for sustainable economic development through AfCFTA”.
The three-day event which has since ended brought together experts and people from academia and the public and private sectors to discuss topical national issues.
Students who participated in the youth school were from Accra Girls Senior High School, Presbyterian Boys' SHS (PRESEC), Legon, Achimota SHS, Accra High SHS, and West Africa SHS (WASS).
Mr Owusu-Achaw offered two students internship programmes at Kings Innovation and presented them with some products from his agro-processing firm after the beneficiaries had answered some questions.
The Dean of the School of Continuing and Distance Education, Prof. Olivia Frimpong Kwapong, said the youth school initiative was designed three years ago to help prepare the youth for the future.
“As the future of the new year school, we want to educate young people and ensure a smooth succession of the new year school initiative,” she said.
The Coordinator, (Ghana), at the national AfCFTA Coordination Office, Dr Fareed Kwasi Arthur, said 54 out of the 55 countries in Africa had come together to create the largest free trade area in the world, adding that “we need to produce to feed the huge market created under the AfCFTA”.
For his part, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor in charge of Research, Innovation and Development at UG, Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante, said the university sought to enhance opportunities for hands-on learning and experimentation to encourage young people to develop problem-solving and critical-thinking potential.
He, therefore, urged young entrepreneurs to play an active role in the AfCFTA initiative by continuously developing their competences, skills and professional capacities to stay relevant in the ecosystem.