President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at a short ceremony at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday, presented cash prizes to winners of the third season of the Presidential Pitch Programme and used the occasion to drum home the need for Ghanaian businesses to ensure that the country does not rely on the global supply chain for survival under post coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
While commending the winners of the event, the President said the COVID-19 pandemic had taught the world a lesson that if a nation was over reliant on the global supply chain, unexpected circumstances like a pandemic could significantly hurt its economy.
He cited an example with Ghana where certain markets faced challenges due to China’s decision to close its borders as a result of the pandemic and stressed the need for Ghanaians to aggressively pursue the goal of becoming a self-reliant country.
The Presidential Pitch Programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Business Development aimed at mentoring young entrepreneurs. The overall winner of this year’s event, Doglas Akologo, who was to receive GH¢70,000, ended up with a colossal of GH¢100,000.
President Akufo-Addo was impressed with his presentation on how his business turns shea butter waste into coal for cooking at the event held about a month ago and, as a result, decided to add a personal donation of GH¢30,000 to the winner.
He said the outbreak of the COVID-19 meant that the world was being ushered into an era where the quality of ideas, dynamism, and drive would determine business survival and success and urged the young entrepreneurs to innovate and strive for global success.
The young entrepreneur will also get a fully funded work study programme outside the country. He will be attached to a company in Europe to experience good work practices, build networks and gain experience on how to access funding and markets for his business.
The first runner-up, Theophilus Dumenya, Chief Executive Officer of Anquito, a small enterprise that produces eco-friendly mosquito repellants, received an amount of GH¢60,000.
The second runner-up is the founder of Verdant Company which produces organic herbicides. Cornelius Nyobator, the owner of the company, received GH¢50,000 to expand his business. The remaining seven contestants received GH¢30,000 each from the government.
The Minister of Business Development, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, thanked the President for his commitment to develop entrepreneurship in the country, adding that about five countries in the sub-region had requested Ghana’s support to replicate the programme.
He said the Ministry would invite the countries to Ghana to study the programme when the country’s borders were opened.
BY YAW KYEI