15.03.2005 Business & Finance

Middle-Income status requires entrepreneurial devt - Osagyefo

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Accra, March 15, GNA - Ghana can only achieve a middle-income status if domestic entrepreneurs were empowered to take their rightful position to the quest for economic progress.

Osagyefo Amotia Ofori-Panyin II, the Okyehene, said "We need to have confidence in the Ghanaian entrepreneur, offer local business the needed support to be strong domestically".

Speaking at the 38th J.B Danquah Memorial Annual Lecture in Accra, he said it was unfortunate that expatriates manned most local businesses.

"I have confidence in the Ghanaian and do not believe in the perception that they are victims of circumstances. We are capable of making fortunes for ourselves," he added.

Osagyefo Ofori-Panyin noted that Ghana's contemporary nations like Malaysia have made impressive gains in major areas of development yet "We are only boasting with 400 dollars per capita income". He indicated that policy and decisions makers have not managed the country well and after several years of independence there was nothing to show.

Osagyefo Ofori-Panyin said a country with great human resource capacity and tremendous natural resources was still wallowing in poverty and was dependent largely on external support, adding, "Even countries with less resources have made it better than us".

He said traditional institutions have the tenacity to complete the effort of government and that they must be empowered to contribute meaningfully to economic progress.

The Okyehene said he was making these statements not to generate political row but rather as an expression of freedom and the desire to see the nation move forward in her developmental goals.

"I am not against expatriates investment but there should be a conscious policy to protect domestic businesses. According to him, successive governments have neglected the active involvements of chiefs in planning and executing the national developmental agenda.

Earlier, five professors of various academic disciplines were inducted into the fellowship of the Academy of Arts and Sciences. The inductees included, Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Prof. Patrick Victor Yaw Gadzekpo, President Central University College, Prof Jonathan Narh Ayertey, an Entomologist, Prof. Yaa Ntiamoah Baidu, Assistant Professor at the School of Zoology, University of Ghana and Prof. Albert George Baidoe Amoah.

The calibre of individuals who are admitted in to the academy should excel in their chosen field of endeavour.

Nana Dr. S.K B. Asante, President of the Academy told the inductees that the medal given them was not for wall display, adding, " It represents commitments and challenges to utilise your expertise to advance the development of society.

"We are dynamic think-tanks mobilised to engage policy makers at various developmental dialogue to the benefit of the commonest," he said.

The lecture was instituted in 1968 in memory of the late J. B Danquah, who was a foundation member of the Arts and Sciences Academy. Its aim was to promote J.B Danquah's indomitable courage and relentless fight against tyranny and oppression to the very last day of his life.

The lecture has remained a shining example to all lovers of freedom.

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