The United States of America Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, has emphasised the role of the private sector in pushing Ghana forward economically.
He stated the importance of the private sector in dealing with Ghana's economic challenges, including the issue of unemployment.
In an interview with The Finder, he said, "The government cannot create all the jobs that are needed for the people that are emerging from Ghana's senior high schools, universities and technical schools. The private sector has to do that."
The Ambassador said that the advancement of the private sector could help solve the issue of an insufficient number of taxpayers in Ghana.
"When you have 29 million people and only a little over 1 million [are] taxpayers, you have serious imbalance. That has got to change, and only the private sector can change that," he said.
He argued that Ghana could continue to progress through cultivating "the spirit of entrepreneurship."
"Whether we're talking about ‘One District, One Factory’ or the government's entrepreneurship initiative, the focus needs to be on job creation and innovation," he said.
"Entrepreneurship, in all of its forms, can lay the foundation for Ghana to go beyond just exporting raw materials to really being industrialised."
The ambassador did, however, say that public trust in the private sector is improving, suggesting that this attitude has changed since Ghana’s independence.
"If you date back to Ghana's independence, there was a real scepticism about the private sector and real emphasis on government taking the lead," he said. "Some of that mentality is still present, but I think that's changing."
Mr Jackson praised President Akufo-Addo's role in this shift, stating that he "clearly has a vision for wanting the private sector to play the leading role and for government to provide the enabling environment”.
The ambassador was hosting an event promoting ties between the American business community and Ghanaian entrepreneurs part of the Young Africa Leaders Initiative (YALI), a programme launched by President Obama in 2010.
Speaking about the United States' role in facilitating Ghanaian economic development, he told The Finder that the US has "always thought Ghana was a leader" and wants to help "ensure that the next generation gets the training and support so it can assume a leadership role”.
"Through YALI, we are laying that foundation," he said. "We are training people for entrepreneurship...and they are using that training to create businesses to make government more effective, to grow this economy and to make it more prosperous and to have something that Ghanaians believe will take their country to the next level.
"I am convinced that through programmes like YALI, we can build Ghana into something even greater than it is today."
Source: The Finder
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