President Nana Akufo-Addo has entreated the public to ensure that they are directed by the principles prescribed by God in all their endeavours, especially in business.
“Indeed, the very mission of our host church, Action Chapel International, is focused on ‘the end-time harvest’. It should, thus, be our desire that the principles of God’s Kingdom become the driving force in our lives and in our businesses. God rules in the affairs of men, and, in all of our dealings, we must recognise the presence of the Almighty, the Omniscient, the Omnipotent and the Omnipresent,” he said.
He made the comments at the opening of the Africa Business Leadership and Kingdom Summit in Accra.
The programme was organised by Action Chapel International with its General Overseer, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, and US-based Bishop T.D. Jakes, as one of the lead speakers.
Archbishop Duncan-Williams and his wife Rosa Whitaker, who are two pioneering leaders in both Christian ministry and business, are the brains behind the Summit.
The programme brings together the finest African and global leaders in business and ministry to connect and collaborate around strategies and solutions to deepen their personal and collective impact in ushering Africa into a new era of inclusive growth, global leadership, Christ-like compassion and sustainable security.
Mr Akufo-Addo said the decision to accept the invitation to speak at the event was not a difficult one, “especially as it came from the famous Archbishop himself and his wife, my good and valued friend, Rosa, and also as it borders on one of the key sectors of any country’s economy – the private sector”.
“Chairperson, Eminent Clergy, ladies and gentlemen, the New Patriotic Party and I won, by the Grace of God, last year’s elections with clear marching orders from the Ghanaian people. We were tasked to establish a strong economy, which would generate jobs and improve the living standards for our people. Our success or failure will be judged by the capacity of the economy under our watch to provide opportunities, to inspire people to start new businesses, to encourage businesses to invest, grow and expand, and, above all, to create jobs. We all know in Ghana that widespread unemployment is the greatest threat to our future stability and social coherence,” he noted.
He continued: “Our preoccupation, over the last seven months, has been to put in place programmes and policies geared towards building the most business-friendly economy in Africa, to be a magnet for investment. We have begun establishing the relevant policy framework that will help businesses to expand and create jobs, with the view, also, to promoting the growth and development of entrepreneurship. We are doing this, by keeping firmly in our minds, in particular, the needs of our young people.
“During the past few decades, the countries that have made rapid economic strides have been the ones that have encouraged high levels of investment in entrepreneur development, which has led to the acceleration of economic growth and the creation of jobs.
“We can learn a lot from this global trend and promote a conducive and business-friendly environment in our country. It should not really be a difficult thing for us to do. The wealth of this nation was built on the private sector and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Ghanaian people. Ghanaians are renowned for their sense of enterprise, creativity and innovation, and the moment has come to reinvigorate that culture.”
In view that, Mr Akufo-Addo said government has set about putting in place the measures needed to reduce the cost of doing business and improve the business environment.
“We have begun to act on the fundamentals of our economy. This has resulted in the growing stability of the macro-economy and the cedi, reduction in inflation, and an abolition of nuisance taxes whose aim is to shift the focus of the economy from taxation to production.
All these measures are being undertaken to stimulate enterprise activity and growth. Very soon, we shall reap the benefits of more jobs and an expanding economy,” he stressed.
For him, “small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up over 90% of businesses worldwide, and account for the majority of private-sector activity in both advanced and emerging market economies. Ours is predominantly an SME economy, and the economic growth and development of our country depend on how well we nurture and support start-ups and the micro, small and medium-scale enterprises to enhance their contribution to GDP, job creation and exports”.
Mr Akufo-Addo said he is determined in ensuring that “we change the economic conditions in our country for the better, to ensure that young people see it as a place of opportunities, instead of the place from which they flee at the peril of their lives. We need to do all within our power to create an entrepreneurial climate, to enable our young people come up with creative ideas that can be developed into businesses”.