Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, the Okyenhene, has urged students to shift focus from non-existing public sector jobs and apply innovation and creativity to start and grow their own small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“The easiest way to create a business is to identify a problem near you and begin to think of providing a solution. You create a business out of the solution to the problem,” the Okyenhene said in his keynote address at the University of Professional Studies’ Graduate Practitioners Forum, 2021 on the theme, “Revamping Strategies for Business in Crises: Ghana Our Past, Present, and Future.”
He advised students to develop and sustain a practice of self-discipline and eschew moral decadence and moral turpitude.
“Adopt a habit of making good friends with positive influence and endeavour to keep such friends for good,” the Okyenhene said.
He urged them to get the best education with cutting-edge skills; saying “skills, I mean education without skills is like a dam without water.”
He indicated that the age-old “chew, pour, pass and go” did not hold sway anymore.
The Okyenhene said employers were looking for persons with the right skills, not just degrees.
He said education was expected to equip graduates with critical thinking skills; adding that, that was undoubtedly an important success factor.
He reiterated that universities were centres of excellence with very useful postal addresses but above all, they were arguably the most fertile grounds for building networks.
“Make a radical departure from the proverbial Ghanaian attitude towards work – the reason Indians, Philippinos are taking over our well-paid jobs,” the Okyenhene said.
He also advised students to adopt a new meaning of the words “impact and legacy.”
He said wealth was important, but Ghanaians should not always see their existence as “cedis and pesewas or dollars and cents.”
“Above all – when it is well with you remember where you came from, every Ghanaian comes or hails from some town or village.
“Remember to go to the ‘Macedonia’ and help. Don’t forget your roots. Make a mark. Do something for the village or town.”
The Okyenhene said: “I dream a new Ghana. A Ghana with a reinvigorated sense of purpose.
“A Ghana devoid of unnecessary politicking and rancour. A Ghana devoid of abject poverty, deprivation and squalor.
“A Ghana which has taken its rightful and deserving place in the comity of nations.
“A Ghana in which hard work and integrity are rewarded.
“A Ghana in which a child born in anywhere within its boundaries has a fair and reasonable chance to make it to the pinnacle of society.
“A new Ghana we all embrace and call our happy home. But we can only make this grand dream a reality through collective concerted efforts. All hands must be on deck.”
He said undoubtedly, Ghana was at a crossroad; adding that other countries had experienced similar moments in the past, saying, Singapore was in similar circumstances in 1965 and less than a decade, they became one of the most prominent economies in Asia, hosting businesses like Samsung whose products would soon be found across the World.
Okyenhene said though the COVID-19 pandemic had unsettled economies and businesses, he believed that Ghanaians could leverage their ideas, bold strategies, and their will to succeed and create sustainable businesses that could take root, grow into emerging players, and transit into global champions.
He said he looked forward to reading about the practical solutions developed by UPSA students one day, which promoted business sustainability, growth, and enterprise across Ghana.
“I am confident that each one of you has the will and ingenuity to make this happen.”
Nana Akomea, Managing Director, Intercity STC Coaches Limited, in his presentation on the Intercity STC Coaches Ltd, noted that through prudent management under his leadership, the fortunes of the Company were being turned around for good.
Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, Vice-Chancellor, UPSA, said the University placed a lot of premium on offering and teaching their students how to perform in the job market.
Dr John Mawutor, Dean, School of Graduate Studies, UPSA, said the Annual Forum was to afford students the opportunities to learn from the experience of captains of industries.