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Opinions of Sunday, 2 April 2017

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

Kennedy Agyapong must find creative ways to get private-sector jobs

Kennedy Agyapong, MP  for Assini Central Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assini Central

Is the Hon Kennedy Agyapong, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Assin Central, a creative thinker at all, one wonders?

One has to ask that question for the simple reason that at a time when terrorist organisations are active in our sub-region and Ghana requires well-trained and professional personnel for its security agencies, no creative thinker would ever dream of demanding that members of the NPP 's private militias, the so-called Invincible Forces and Delta Force, should be recruited into any of the entities in the national security apparatus.

On the contrary, would the mind of a responsible and wealthy man, who thinks creatively, today, not rather be exercised by how he could help turn all of those mostly thuggish semi-literates into successful entrepreneurs - or security contractors for big private-sector companies?

Since his party is now in power the question is: Why does the verbose and uncouth Hon Kennedy Adjapong simply not ask the managements of all the big gold mining companies in Ghana to outsource the task of protecting their concessions to the Invincible Forces and Delta Force?

Our gallant men and women of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) would then not have to prostitute the honour of the GAF - by being exploited by gold mining companies: to help them get away with with ripping Mother Ghana off so ruthlessly over the years.

One doubts very much whether those soldiers detailed to guard the concessions of perfidious gold mining companies don't actually even resent being forced to suppress and oppress rural communities - who are right to feel outraged that their natural heritage is being destroyed for private profit by ruthless gold mining companies: to enrich their already wealthy Western shareholders yet further.

Could that project not begin with AngloGoldAshanti - which apparently wants Ghana's military to protect its Obuasi concession from illegal gold miners: but might be happy to outsource that task to (and pay) those two NPP private militias to do so for them, for all we know?

And could those Invincible Forces and Delta Force members who would rather prefer to establish their own small-scale businesses not be trained to grow mushrooms, for example, by the Food Research Institute (FRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) - and contracts found for them to supply leading supermarket chains, such as Shoprite, with fresh mushrooms regularly, I ask? Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o.

Would that not help resolve a huge problem now confronting the governing party: finding gainful employment for the ruthless thugs it caused to be recruited and had hoped to rely on, were the results of the 2106 presidential election to have ever been disputed?

Is the creative private-sector approach to tackling the problem, outlined above, not a simple and neat solution to what should never have become a problem - if the NPP's verbally-aggressive and boorish Kennedy Adjapongs had put their sodden thinking caps on after winning power, in the first place? Haaba.

Finally, as our widow's might contribution to the training and conversion of those myrmidon-types, from lawless and brutish thugs into productive citizens, all contributing their fair share of taxes for the nation-building effort, this blog is posting a culled article by's Nina Zipkin, which gives good advice for entrepreneurs that we believe would be extremely useful for such Invincible Forces and Delta Force members keen to become business people and make money through their own sweat and through honest means.

Please read on:

"Nina Zipkin

Staff Writer. Covers media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

March 29, 2017

The life of an entrepreneur is often beset with obstacles. Every founder, no matter how successful they are now had a moment when they weren't sure that they were heading in the right direction. During these times, they focus on the well-intentioned pieces of advice from people they look up to, have found success or are just a supportive figure in their life.

We asked 10 entrepreneurs to share with us the advice they have received that means the most to them. Read on for the words that helped them pursue their goals and focus on what is important to them.

1. Don't give in to the doubts of others. Image credit: Brit + Co

Name: Brit Morin Company: Brit + Co

Advice: Make your passion into a career and don't let anyone bring you down for trying to do something good for the world.

Read more about Morin: This Founder Shares the Secret to How to Make Your Business Last

2. Focus your time on the activities that energize you. Image credit: Duolingo

Name: Luis von Ahn Company: Duolingo

Advice: I was complaining that I didn't want to give a talk that I had promised to do. They said to me, with things like talks, you usually get asked to do them a year in advance. The advice was, if you are ever invited to do something six months or more in advance, ask yourself if you would want to do this if it was next week. If it's no, you should just decline.

Read more about von Ahn: Why This Founder Says the Worst Advice He Ever Got Was to Listen to His Users

3. Don't be afraid to follow your dreams. Image credit: Food52

Name: Merrill Stubbs Company: Food52

Advice: I was in a job with horrible boss, and one of my best friends sat me down and said, You don't want to be doing this, you need to go to cooking school, that's what you want to do, you just need to do it. Once she said that, I made the decision to do it.

Read more about Stubbs: The Life-Changing Book That Helps This Entrepreneur Think Big

4. It's okay to be uncomfortable. Image credit: ThirdLove

Name: Heidi Zak Company: ThirdLove

Advice: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. When you start your own company you have to get used to learning how to do things that you don't know how to do. You also need to learn how to take risks and be okay with not knowing what the next stage is going to bring.

Read more about Zak: This Founder's Best Advice for Entrepreneurs: To Succeed, Entrepreneurs Need to Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

5. Own your accomplishments. Image credit: Nerdwallet

Name: Tim Chen Company: Nerdwallet

Influence: One CEO told me that your opportunity is set up like a graph. On one axis, it's what you do, and the other axis who you tell. If I think about some of the career mistakes I made at my last company, it was really not doing enough telling about my accomplishments.

Read more about Chen: Nerdwallet's Founder Shares the Worst Advice He Ever Got

6. Don't waste time on people who don't support you. Image credit: Harper Reed

Name: Harper Reed Company: Modest (now PayPal)

Advice: Manage politics by your outbox. Look at your outbox and see who you are emailing. Usually who you are emailing is related to who is supporting you. If you're not emailing people, then they are probably not supporting you.

Read more about Reed: This Entrepreneur Shares the Most Important Factor of His Success Find a mentor who will help you question everything. Image credit: Nicole Franzen

Name: Jennie Ripps Company: Owls Brew

Advice: Seek out mentors and advisors. I found in building a business that relationships are so important. By having mentors and advisors, you have the ability to ask questions of people who know more than you. By asking questions you can avoid time-consuming and expensive errors. And sometimes mentors and advisors surprise you by opening your mind up to things that are completely unexpected.

Read more about Ripps: The One Thing This Entrepreneur Does Each Day to Stay Productive

8. Put your mission and values first. Image credit: Charity: Water

Name: Scott Harrison Company: Charity: Water

Advice: Put integrity at the core of everything you do. So much more important than what you do is how you do it. For Charity: Water, that means sticking to our promise of radical transparency and using 100 percent of public donations to directly fund water projects in the field.

Read more about Harrison: Everyone Can Adopt This Founder's One-Step Productivity Advice

9. Make sure everyone has the same goal in mind Image credit: GitHub

Name: Chris Wanstrath Company: GitHub Advice: Someone once told me that usually when people are arguing, they argue about the what and the why.

For example, if there is a team that wants to make a website blue and a team that wants to make it green, they might argue forever about which one is better, but they are never going to agree on the color if they don't agree on the goal.

Read more about Wanstrath: This Founder Believes He Found the Answer for Burnout

10. You're in control when you're accountable for your actions Image credit: BloomThat

Name: David Bladow Company: BloomThat Advice: There was a period of time where I didn't have control over things, and I felt bad about the things that were happening. I was talking to one of our investors, and she said when you stop acting like an asshole, you'll stop feeling like an asshole. Basically when you are ready to take full accountability of things that are going on, you're going to stop feeling like you're in a position to feel like an asshole all the time. It stuck with me because it was basically control the things that you can control.

Read more about Bladow: This Founder Has 3 Simple Tips to Achieve Maximum Productivity

End of culled article by Nina Zipkin Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at She frequently covers media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

© 2017 Entrepreneur Media, Inc.

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