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Diasporia News of Tuesday, 20 May 2008

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World's Kwahu’s in Diaspora conference in Hamburg.

Embrace the concept of modern entrepreneurship, says an analysts, Kwaku Boatin

Hamburg-Germany-- Modern concept of entrepreneurship and micro-enterprise financing through small money management should be encouraged and intensified in Ghana to boost-up the economy, says a political analysts, Mr.Kwaku Boatin.

Mr. Boatin, a member of Swiss delegate to a 2-day conference of World’s Kwahu’s in Diaspora, pointed-out in a press interview that the concept serves as a wheel to contribute significantly to economic growth, social stability and equity.

The conference themed “Community development”, was organized jointly by the German-Hamburg branch of the Union and the USA-United Kwahu Union. Over 30 delegates drawn from USA, Germany, Britain, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and Netherlands, attended the conference.

Mr. Boatin explained that the concept of entrepreneurship is not a new subject to the people of Kwahu, a small tribe in the Eastern region of Ghana, who are predominantly in the trading sector of the economy, but the idea is being re-emphasized to stress among others, reinvestment of profits, expansion and diversification of businesses, backed-up with marketing strategy applications and computerized mechanisms.

“Unlike the old times, when our forefathers and fathers were unlettered to operate in the trading sector, their descendants are now well equipped to take-over; and we are on the move”, he declared.

He revealed that some members of the organization who have returned home to resettle have gone into businesses, some into plantation farming, helping to improve the saturated unemployment situation in the country.

Mr. Boatin re-emphasized the need for a serious look at Ghana’s school curriculums, to infuse job creation consciousness, adding “with a back-up finance programs as being practiced in so called developed countries, will go a long way to improve the employment climate.

“The system of turning-up graduates with papers in hand begging for white color jobs etc must change; our salvation lies in job creation and this must be taught in schools”.

Improve business regulations:

He also called for improved business regulations, tax restructuring, quick licensing regulations, financial sector reforms and effective bank supervision to help accelerate the pace of both entrepreneurship and micro-enterprises development.

Mr. Boatin explained that lack of access to financial institutions, resulting from barriers and obstacles, hinders the ability for entrepreneurs to engage in new business ventures, thus retarding entrepreneur’s activities and inhibiting economic growth.

On “rural-urban development”, Mr. Boatin, stressed the need for counter-urbanization programs to check influx to the cities, while serious efforts be made to improve road and telecommunication services backed with flexible investment policies, to attract also foreign investors.

He said the present alarming population increase in the cities is undermining the provisions of utility services, like supplies of good drinking water and electricity, and encouraging erection of unauthorized structures even in residential areas, squatting, increase crime rate, and traffic congestion with its related hazards of pollution.

Mr. Boatin pointed out that Ghana has to take advantage of the growth of information technology and increase in car ownership, to enable people move out of the cities, while also encouraging rich regional centers to develop by citing private industries, to take some of the over-load.

He said the red tape inherit in the rural development policies since Ghana’s independence 1957, must be cut with ‘Caesar’s blade’ now, to make these areas more economic viable and habitable, equipping them with quality health, educational facilities, and provision of needed utility services.

Mr. Boatin also noted that the possibility of moving the capital to the north, around Yendi, should be examined by Parliament, to help open up the country, “attracting investment to these regions.”.

Security in the streets:

Speaking on the insecurity in the streets, Mr. Boatin said the police system to combat such crimes, should be back-up with economic-social structures, which would help improve living standards, adding “gangs should not be allowed to reign supreme”.

He told the interviewer that he was distressed about the slow-pace approach by successive governments to improve public transportation system, including complete overhaul of Ghana’s railway system, adding “the present gigantic rise in cost of oil has proved critics right”.

Mr. Boatin pointed out that developing countries like Switzerland, Germany, France and Italy, who rely heavily on electrical railway system and electrical public buses are feeling the pinch over rising cost of oil, and called for urgent measures to improve the systems without delay.

“Our railway system which should also go electrical, will not only reduce road maintenance cost, but road accidents, while providing enough impetus for bulk haulage of goods and other items, like highly inflammable products, to various parts of Ghana; our reliance on road system is dangerous and disastrous to the economy”, he added.

At the conference, delegates overwhelmingly voted unanimously to elect Dr. Adjepong as President of a three-member Interim Committee of the Kwahu European union, with Mr. Kwaku Asante, of Britain as vice- President and Mr. Kwabena Asante of Italy, as Secretary.

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