Many people in Africa are quick to travel outside the continent for a better future. The hope of a better future had led many to risk themselves to reach the European countries. Others also perished in their attempt. What most people haven’t realized is that economic freedom underpins prosperous growth in the countries that every young African aspires to be.
Economic freedom is the ability to prosper through the free exercise of economic activity while letting others do the same. Economic freedom and prosperity are closely linked. Once a country’s development policies do not advance economic freedom, such a country will breed poverty.
Africa dominates countries with less economic freedom. It is therefore not surprising to have five (5) African States constituting the bottom ten of the Index of Economic Freedom (2018) out of 190 countries.
Which country would you like to travel to to work and earn money? This was a question posed by Mr. Peter at the Opportunity Participants Summit in Ghana. Interestingly, participants mentioned European countries and the United States. Countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the UK still rank in the top ten in the Economic Freedom Index.
“You can easily build wealth in the countries you mentioned because they rank among the best in terms of economic freedom and protection of property rights,” he said. Prosperity follows economic freedom. Thus, without economic freedom, no political promise can reduce the poverty of young Africans.
Mr. Peter engaged the participants on the subject; The philosophy of job creation. During his presentation it was made clear that where there is economic freedom there are employment opportunities and the reverse is also true.
In Africa, job creation is not a problem, rather it is jobs that can create wealth that are the problem. “With the many jobs that people do, even in Ghana, if they cannot create wealth from them, then this is a serious challenge. Indeed, people tend to view jobs as ends rather than a means of creating wealth. Therefore, your jobs should be able to create wealth, ”he said.
In addition, Mr. Peter stressed that individuals must lead job creation, not government. “Government job creation programs only win votes and do not help individuals create wealth. It is important to know that the taxpayer is the employer, while the government is the employee. It is the sad reality of the world and Ghana is no different. Taxpayers employ the government through voting, therefore young people should not put their hopes on the employee (the government) to employ them.
According to Peter, “The private sector should drive the job creation agenda for wealth creation while the government plays the role of providing security by protecting private property and rights. The performance of government functions has created jobs for some people who tend to frustrate members of the private sector in their various businesses. Such an attitude is a bottleneck that hinders the development of job creators in Ghana. The government must limit itself to providing services, protecting rights and ensuring security ”
The Opportunity Summit event was organized by Young Africans for Opportunities in collaboration with the KNUST Student Parliament, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the International Association of Agricultural and Related Sciences Students with support from Atlas Network ( United States), Kingscel Technologies, Institute for Freedom and Political Innovation.