President Akufo-Addo has appointed Kofi Ofosu Nkansah as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP).
In a letter dated 11 January 2022, and signed by the Chief of Staff at the office of the President, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, Mr Ofosu Nkansah, is required to accept the appointment in writing within 14 days of receipt of the appointment letter.
Until his new appointment, Ofosu Nkansah, served as the managing director of the Accra Digital Centre (Ghana Digital Centres Ltd). A position he held from February 2017.
Mr Ofosu Nkansah, takes over from John Kumah, who currently serves as one of two deputy ministers for finance and member of Parliament for Ejisu constituency in the Ashanti region.
The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) previously known as the Youth Enterprise Support (YES) under the previous Administration (NDC) was launched in August 2014 to provide support to the youth who are in business.
The NPP government under President Akufo-Addo took over YES and relaunched it with a new outlook on the 13 July, 2017 to be known as the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) with five (5) clear key mandates.
The first is to provide Technical Support and Business Advisory Services for Start-ups, Micro and Small businesses. Second, to provide training, Incubation and Mentorship for early stage businesses.
The three other mandates of the NEIP are to Provide Access to funding, provide access to Market and Market linkages as well as provide policy direction to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem of Ghana.
Some modules executed under NEIP include; the presidential pitch, presidential empowerment for women entrepreneurs with disability (PEWED), presidential empowerment for male entrepreneurs with disability (PEMED), student entrepreneurship initiative, NEIP Greenhouse estate among others.
Under the programme so far, over 45,000 businesses have received Training and incubation services in various business support areas, while about 10,000 businesses have been provided funding ranging from Ghc 10,000.00 to Ghc 100,000.00.
The task ahead
Kofi Ofosu Nkansah, is expected to build on the achievements from the programme and to introduce new modules which will help reduce Youth unemployment including leading the implementation of the YouStart Programme with the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) and partner financial institutions.
The YouStart initiative was announced by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government.
The initiative forms part of the “ObaatanPa” programme launched in November 2020 to spearhead the revitalisation and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
YouStart is a vehicle for supporting young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to enable them launch and operate their own businesses.
The YouStart initiative is a key vehicle expected to create 1 million jobs in 3 years under the Ghana CARES Obantanpa programme.
Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for support through a dedicated YouStart online portal. NEIP will engage Faith-Based Organisations as partners for the delivery of essential artisanal skills.
Profile of Ofosu Nkansah
Kofi Ofosu Nkansah is a Technology and Innovation professional with 16 years of experience across various industries. His work experience spans the Telecommunications, Free zones, Utilities and Entrepreneurship/Innovation Industries.
In February 2017, he was appointed as the Managing Director of the Accra Digital Centre (Ghana Digital Centres Ltd.) where he was tasked to lead and drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the Tech Ecosystem to help harness the digital Innovation potential of Ghana.
Under the Leadership of the Minister for Communications and Digitalization, He operationalized the Digital Centre and achieved 100% occupancy in two years.
Over Fifteen thousand (15, 000) youth were trained in Digital skills, four thousand (4,000) digital and ancillary jobs created at the Centre and Innovation support given to 1000s of start-ups under his stewardship.
In 2019, Kofi won the Africa Public Sector Conference’s Young Public Sector CEO of the Year award, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Global Ecosystem Best Practice Award and was listed among the 30 Most Eminent STEM CEOs in Ghana in 2020.
He holds a Computer Science degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, MA in Marketing Strategy from the University of Ghana, A professional Diploma in Marketing from CIM – UK plus other Professional qualifications. He had his Senior Secondary Education at Opoku Ware School, Kumasi.
His Political activism started from his days as a KNUST Tescon Member and executive in the early 2000s. Kofi is one of the pioneers of the NPP’s Social media team and a vociferous online communicator for the NPP Government.
He has recruited and mentored 1000s of online party activists for the NPP. He is a Co-founder and Coordinator of the following 2020 and 2016 Volunteer groups: Professionals for change (Now P4C), Loyal Ladies, Alpha Patriots and Zongo Ladies for Nana.
He is a member of the NPP National Communications Committee and was part of 2016 and 2020 National Campaign teams (Social media).