Entrepreneurship & Journalism in Ghana

I have been living in Accra, Ghana for a year now, teaching high-tech entrepreneurship, and I have developed some thoughts and insights on entrepreneurship in Ghana. I plan to publish these thoughts over the next few months while I am home collecting my thoughts, but I wanted to start today with some basic statements.

I lost interest in Ghanaian journalism sometime in March due to the frequent use of platitudes, blatantly false statements that were published without source or citation, and obvious bias in many of the articles I read. Regardless, I am glad I glanced at the online version of the Graphic today to see these two articles:

  1. Private Sector Wants More From Gov’t
  2. Ghana to Get Russia-Lybia Joint-Venture Power Plant

While I don’t think these are the greatest articles on the subject I was happy to see the topics being addressed in the Ghanaian press, where it actually matters.

For business and entrepreneurship to take-off in Ghana there will need to be more local, as opposed to foreign, business to keep money in the country. As it stands, many of the countries most lucrative industries are controlled or strongly influenced by foreigners.

There will also need to be understanding, appreciation, and a concentrated effort on the part of the Ghanaian government to support new businesses in the country. Currently, it takes too long to get a simple sole-proprietor business license, taxes are too high, and it is almost impossible to get the proper paperwork to run a legitimate business without paying off bureaucrats.

Another element that must be addressed is the poor infrastructure; not only are the roads in many regions dilapidated, but even the power grid in Accra give out multiple times a week. Internet is more than a challenge and I think there needs to be a serious investment in fiber.

As poor as I think the journalism is in Ghana, I must admit that there is a considerable amount of freedom of speech in the country. I hope Ghanaian journalists continue to write on these topics and will call out the politicians who are standing in the way of necessary development. And I hope the the next President of the Republic of Ghana (Nana Akufo-Addo or Dr. John Atta Mills) will do their best to support such developments and criticism.

My two cents for now. More to come later.

-J. K. Wade

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