Address by Govt Representative (NDPC) on the Occasion of the Launch of Kosmos Innovation Center at the Moevenpick Hotel on Wednesday 16TH March, 2016, in Accra.

Hon Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna – Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Joe Mensah – Vice President and Country Manager Kosmos Energy

Distinguished Invited Guests,

Our friends from the Media

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am honoured to have been invited to the formal launch of the Kosmos Innovation Center.

This is one event that I am sure will be remembered, as a key change of direction for corporate Ghana in its efforts to support the country’s growth and development.

Kosmos Energy is one of the most important companies in Ghana.  Its initial discovery of the Jubilee oilfield put Ghana on the map of African commercial oil and gas producing countries.  It is also a major partner of the consortium which is now on the brink of making Ghana a multi field oil and gas producer too, with the inception of the TEN cluster field. Over the past decade, Kosmos has proven its commitment to the growth and development of Ghana’s oil and gas industry.

Now with the Kosmos Innovation Center initiative, the company is showing similar commitment to the country as a whole and Government has always appreciated the efforts of corporate Ghana with regards to corporate social responsibility.

However, it should be noted that, this is a corporate social responsibility with a difference where it’s targeting the best of the best of our youth and investing in them from inception and creating the countries future entrepreneurs.

Ghana, with its infrastructural deficit and inadequate supply of social services, desperately needs such efforts and the private sector is contributing its quota to support government in providing such needs and to achieve this objective Kosmos Energy is using an innovative approach and applying commercial solutions to solve developmental challenges.

In most cases CSR has involved the provision of social and economic infrastructure, as well as social goods and services, although the mining industry in particular has devoted resources to establishing alternative livelihoods for members of its host communities.

But now, the Kosmos Innovation Center holds the promise of taking CSR to a whole new level by empowering entrepreneurship and by so doing, enabling the creation of wealth rather than just the transfer of resources.

There is no doubt that Ghana needs to harness the entrepreneurial capacity and encourage the use of technology to devise and advance innovative business solutions.  The absence of this has limited the ability of our economy to create more jobs, to generate economic growth and to have positive social impact.

To be sure, several companies have given entrepreneurial development support in the past and some continue to do so. But these are usually in the form of competitions rather than continuous corporate policy.  We can only hope that this will change with corporate Ghana learning from the example now being set by Kosmos Energy Ghana.

This is indeed the way forward. There is an age old adage which says that “it is better to teach a person to fish than just give him or her fish” and this is what Kosmos Energy’s new initiative sets out to do.

Importantly, we observe that this new initiative is not just about supporting the establishment of innovative enterprises; the sectors to be supported are selected on the basis of their potential positive social impact.

Hon Minister, ladies and gentlemen, the choice of agriculture as the first sector for intervention is an excellent one.

Not only is it still the sector that employs the most Ghanaians, it also has the best prospects for improving living standards since almost half of the average Ghanaian household’s expenditure is on food and beverages.   The sector also has the potential to provide Ghanaian industry with raw materials and also holds the best prospects for increasing the country’s exports, in raw and semi processed forms.  We indeed need to look for innovative ways of making agriculture and for that matter, all the development areas attractive to the youth.

Just as importantly, Kosmos’ plan to introduce entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector to innovative ICT driven processes and business solutions is crucial to modernizing the sector.

This holds the potential to have a dramatic impact on the shape and structure of the whole value chain. Ultimately, it can show the way forward in redesigning the sector for better efficiency and more benefit for all the players along the value chain.

The establishment of the Kosmos Innovation Center opens another chapter in the company’s relationship with this country, one full of promises of great impact on the development of Ghana’s private sector and at the same time the living standards of our people.

My role as a Commissioner of the National Development Planning Commission is to situate such initiatives within the context of devising the 40-year Long Term National Development Plan which will be a dynamic document with Parliament every 10 years having the opportunity to revise the plan and the objective is that by the 40th year  when Ghana has attained a century the country will have gone through a massive economic and infrastructural  transformation which will allow such entrepreneurs perform to the best of their ability and achieve the kind of prosperity and dynamism Ghana deserves. 

We are all including Government of the conviction that this initiative will impact positively on society and eventually provoke replication from other corporate organizations.

Ladies and Gentlemen thank you for listening.