Kofi Annan had passion for job creation — IFAD

BY: Hani Elsadani - Salem, IFAD Country Director, Ghana
Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Ghana will remember the former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, the late Kofi Annan, for his passion for creation of jobs and employment of the youth in productive sectors of the economy. He demonstrated this when he paid a working visit to the IFAD and AfDB-financed Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) site at Mankessim on  March 9, 2017.

He had interactions with the project clients and encouraged them to take their activities seriously, a message that he delivered and I quote:

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“Agriculture can be a very powerful bait for economic development and creation of jobs. We tend to think of agriculture as farmers and their produce. But between the farmer and the produce and getting the produce to the supermarket, in between as we see here we can create many jobs, from farm production to transport, to storage, to processing, to marketing. Each stage you are creating jobs. And quite a few of you are doing just that.”

He reiterated how small businesses became the centre of growth by creating employment and economic growth, and how countries such as Germany and Switzerland  had developed through vocational training as was being done under the REP saying.

“I asked several of you how many people do you employ? Some said five, six. In most countries, the real jobs are created by the small and medium-scale enterprises, not the big companies.  And so you are making a contribution to this economy, and I am really excited that the government is going to focus on agriculture as a basis for broadening our development efforts and encouraging you to create your own businesses.”


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He will always be remembered by IFAD for his commitment to creating business opportunities for the rural youth.