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Business News of Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Source: B&FT

Academia, private sector partnership critical – GIPC

Mawuena Trebarh, CEO of GIPC Mawuena Trebarh, CEO of GIPC

The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Investment Promotions Centre (GIPC), Mawuena Trebarh, has stated that the centre will continue to push through partnerships with academia to ensure the country benefits from very knowledgeable professionals in the services sector.

“Interactions between the private sector and academic institutions is going to become more important as we target areas like agriculture, agro-processing and agri-business; ensuring that we have top scientists, food experts, standards experts to match the requirement for the buildup of services that are needed to support a sector like agriculture and agro-processing.

“As an investment promotion centre, we have been seeking to facilitate those conversations between the private sector and academic institutions,” she said.

According to Mrs. Trebarh, it is important the country concentrates on roping quality investors into the country.

“We have to prioritise the segments we target for investments; we have to improve the quality of the investors that come into the country not the quantity. Linking that to employment means we must take a look at the kinds of skill-sets that are required.”

Speaking at a roundtable event in Accra to present the findings of a report entitled ‘Job Creation in sub-Saharan Africa: Entreprenuers, Governments, Innovation’, authored by Djembe Communications and Forbes Insights, Mrs. Trebarh said: “It is important to instil the entrepreneurial spirit into minds of young Ghanaians who are going through their academic programmes; so they begin to think not just about many jobs but opportunities for innovation, opportunities to succeed; looking at their own business ideas, their own business projects”.

The GIPC boss also explained that young entrepreneurs “are aware of the support that YES, GIPC, EDAIF and various other institutions can offer them to execute their projects. Those are the sort of interventions we are trying to pursue so as to ensure we expand the scope and skills of job opportunities that are available to Ghanaians”.

She also acknowledged that “inevitably, it is entreprenuers that will drive the economy in the years to come.

“We need to expand our scope to engage more with what is coming our way. Tremendous amounts of work have to be put in place to support economies of scale” she added.

The report is the result of a study of 4,000 Africans aged 16 to 40 across Angola, Ghana, Mozambique and Nigeria.

The research found that 62% of Ghanaians believe that entrepreneurs have the capacity to create or offer jobs, while 37% agree that entrepreneurs can be counted on to introduce new products and services.

The survey also ranked economic growth and health and sanitation as the next big worries of the Ghanaian youth after jobs.