ENTREPRENEURSHIP, YOUNG PEOPLE AND GHANA’S DEVELOPMENT: A CASE STUDY OF THE ICT SECTOR

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ABSTRACT

The underdevelopment of the Ghanaian economy can conceivably account for the socio-economic and other challenges confronting Ghana’s youthful population. Ghana hopes to use the ICT4AD policy to create a conducive environment to take advantage of enormous benefits that come from the usage of Information and Communications Technology. Using the ICT sector as a case study, this paper discusses how entrepreneurial traits were promoted and or undermined as Ghana’s young entrepreneurs’ setup and run their businesses. The central finding for this work was that entrepreneurial capacity was undermined by the general corporate and cultural environment in Ghana.

For economic development to take place there is the need to put in place institutions and mechanisms to cater for the entrepreneurial potentials of young people within the country. In other words, institutions must be created and an enabling environment constructed to nurture, support and develop the entrepreneurial capacity of the youth.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

  1. BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY………………………………………………… 1
    1. OBJECTIVES……………………………………………………………………. 6
    1. PROBLEM STATEMENT………………………………………………………… 7
    1. MODE OF DATA COLLECTION………………………………………………… 8
    1. SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS…………………………………………………….. 8
    1. ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY……………………………………………… 9

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND DEVELOPMENT………………………………… 11
    • CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK…………………………………………………. 22

CHAPTER 3: ANALYSIS OF PROJECT RESEARCH METHODS

  • TYPES AND SOURCES OF DATA…………………………………………….. 24
    • SAMPLING METHOD………………………………………………………….. 25
    • SELECTION OF ENTREPRENEURS…………………………………………… 25
    • DATA COLLECTION…………………………………………………………… 26
    • DATA ANALYSIS………………………………………………………………. 27

CHAPTER 4: SUMMARY ANALYSES AND BROAD DISCUSSION OF RESULTS

  • DATA ANALYSIS………………………………………………………………. 28
    • THE SITUATION ON GROUND………………………………………………. 28
    • ENTREPRENEURSHIP…………………………………………………………. 30
    • ENTREPRENUERIAL TRAITS………………………………………………….. 31
    • FACTORS THAT AFFECT ENTREPRENEURSHIP……………………………. 37
    • EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM AND INFRASTRUCTURE INADEQUATE TO PROMOTE ENTREPRENEURSHIP………………………………………………………………. 41
  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP, YOUNG PEOPLE AND GHANA’S

DEVELOPMENT……………………………………………………………………. 42

  • WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR GHANA’S ICT SECTOR…………………… 43

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  • FINDINGS…………………………………………………………………….. 44
    • RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION………………………………… 45

REFERENCES……………………………………………………………………… 50

APPENDICES………………………………………………………………………. 53

GLOSSARY………………………………………………………………………… 58

LIST OF TABLES

TABLE 1: AGE DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION…………………………………. 4

TABLE 2: ENTREPRENEURS’ PROFILE- DEMOGRAPHICS………………………. 55

TABLE  3:  CODING:  GRADE  POINTS  SCALE  AND  ENTREPRENEURIAL

TRAITS……………………………………………………………………………… 56

TABLE 4: FACTORS THAT AFFECT ENTREPRENEURIAL TRAITS………………. 56

LIST OF FIGURES

FIGURE 1: COGNITIVE MAP SHOWING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOUTH, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND DEVELOPMENT………………………………………………………………. 22

FIGURE 2: DIAGRAM OF KEY ENTREPRENEURIAL TRAITS…………………….. 31

FIGURE 3: DIAGRAM OF A CONCISE PLAN ON HOW TO PRODUCE MORE

ENTREPRENEURS IN GHANA……………………………………………………… 46

FIGURE 4.5.1: GRAPH OF HOW LEGAL AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

AFFECTS ENTREPRENEURIAL TRAITS……………………………………………. 56

FIGURE 4.5.2: GRAPH OF HOW INFRASTRUCTURE AFFECTS

ENTREPRENEURIAL TRAITS………………………………………………………. 57

FIGURE 4.5.3: GRAPH OF HOW FINANCIAL SUPPORT AFFECTS

ENTREPRENEUR TRAITS…………………………………………………………… 57

FIGURE 4.5.4: GRAPH OF HOW SOCIAL PERCEPTION AFFECTS

ENTREPRENEURIAL TRAITS………………………………………………………. 57

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………… 1

  1. BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY………………………………………………… 1
    1. ICT FOR ACCELERATED DEVELOPMENT (ICT4AD) POLICY………………. 3
    1. GHANA’S YOUTHFUL POPULATION…………………………………………. 4
    1. OBJECTIVES…………………………………………………………………….. 6
    1. PROBLEM STATEMENT…………………………………………………………. 7
    1. MODE OF DATA COLLECTION…………………………………………………. 8
    1. SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS…………………………………………………….. 8
    1. ORGANIZATION OF STUDY………………………………………………….. 10

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW…………………………………………… 11

  • USAGE AND ROLE OF ICT IN DEVELOPMENT………………………………. 11
    • THE VULNERABILITY OF A YOUTHFUL POPULATION…………………….. 13
    • 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE: CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS OF GHANA’S ICT SECTOR.        15
    • USING ICT TO ACHIEVE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS…………. 16
    • ROLE OF THE ENTREPRENUER AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN DEVELOPMENT   17
    • ENTREPRENEURIAL TRAITS…………………………………………….. 19
    • CREATING A CONDUSIVE ENVIRONMENT TO UNEARTH TALENTS. 20
    • CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK………………………………………………….. 22

CHAPTER 3: ANALYSIS OF PROJECT RESEARCH METHODS……………… 23

  • TYPE AND SOURCES OF DATA………………………………………………. 24
    • SAMPLING METHOD………………………………………………………….. 25
    • SELECTION OF ENTREPRENUERS…………………………………………… 25
      • POPULATION AND SAMPLE SIZE………………………………………….. 26
    • DATA COLLECTION…………………………………………………………… 26
      • QUESTIONNAIRE…………………………………………………………… 27
    • DATA ANALYSIS………………………………………………………………. 27

CHAPTER 4: SUMMARY ANALYSIS AND BROAD DISCUSSION OF

RESULTS………………………………………………………………………….. 28

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS…………………… 44

REFERENCES………………………………………………………………………. 50

APPENDICES……………………………………………………………………….. 53

GLOSSARY…………………………………………………………………………. 58

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION

The youth of Africa can be described as one of the most unproductive portion of their population compared to their fellow counterparts in advanced economies. This is because they have been denied the means to develop their capacities such as quality basic education, healthcare and a condusive social environment in which to nurture their abilities. If foreign aid has not assisted the continent in achieving its potential, is there a viable alternative path to development? Perhaps the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector may be such an alternative. This paper discusses how entrepreneurial traits were promoted and or undermined as Ghana’s young entrepreneurs’ setup and run their businesses. It also looks at how condusive Ghana’s environment fosters its desire to use ICT as a means to attain development focusing on the Information and Communication Technology for Accelerated Development (ICT4AD) policy.

1.1  BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The emergence of the term “global village” can be attributed to the ICT revolution of the last half of the 20th century. Information and Communications Technology is a term that includes all technologies critical for the manipulation and communication of information. The world thrives on access to information communicated mainly through technology. And one can say individuals, organizations and even countries that are privileged

to have had access to and taking advantage of ICT are the ones that have achieved significant growth and development. It is important to note that the ICT revolution was led by curious and adventurous young men: the likes of Bill Gates of Microsoft, Steve Jobs of Apple and Mo Ibrahim among others. Their entrepreneurial spirits drove them to explore and invent information technology tools for solving some of the world’s most profound problems and drove development in almost every sector of their countries.

However, this cannot be said about African countries of which Ghana is no exception. The weakness of indigenous entrepreneurship has stifled development because it rests in unskilled hands. Creative imagination, innovation, maintenance and management of existing enterprises are therefore undermined.

The African continent of which Ghana is part is made up of mainly third world countries overwhelmed by poverty, disease, poor leadership, political instability, civil wars among others. These have greatly impeded the development process in most countries on the continent. Ghana is faced with some of these problems. It currently hopes to make amends to cause a significant improvement in the standard of living of her citizens. The ten regions of Ghana reflect very high variation in the level of development which is visible across these regions. Generally, the southern sector of Ghana is quite developed compared to the northern sector. The southern

sector boasts of the country’s most proactive business, educational and governmental institutions. Most importantly, it plays host to the best of the country’s social and economic infrastructure with relative improvements in the standard of living of the people. Ghana has a relatively low literacy rate of 76% (UNICEF, 2004) plus inadequate infrastructure coupled with other developmental issues such as ownership and management of her own natural resources and businesses. The need to ensure the discharge of developmental policies by all stakeholders becomes a matter of concern to policy makers.