News > Vision 2030 …the role of Industry, Business & Entrepreneurship.
Vision 2030 …the role of Industry, Business & Entrepreneurship.


Achimota 90th is in full swing with rapid succession of one engaging event after the other. It is safe to say that Achimota Speaks 1 (AS1) set a high bar of expectation with a scintillating cast and an astute audience. AS1 quickly pushed aside the cloud of uncertainty in what to make of "these Motown people", seeking to spark a year round national dialogue on “Black, White and Heart … That All May Be One”.

Achimota Speaks 2 (AS2) was equal to the task of assembling a high profile cast to lead the conversation on "Vision 2030 … the role of Industry, Business & Entrepreneurship." For this complex and broad conversation, we were eager to witness how the needs of the variety of stakeholders would be met. The backgrounds of the AS2 speaker and panelists certainly engendered confidence and mastery of the topic to be discussed.

When AS2 was over, one thing was clear to us. In the remaining short 13 years leading up to 2030, there is a lot to be done to influence realization of desired outcomes for the average Ghanaian business owner. In our interactions with local small business owners, they regularly lament inundation with regulatory bureaucracies, which mostly serve as an opportunity cost and a deterrent against unbridled creativity and efficient execution of their visions. Ultimately an under-performance of potential contribution to the national revenue pot.

A vast majority of local small business owners simply want a chance to grow beyond the start up phase, no different from how a young offspring is given every opportunity to succeed without expectations of adulthood obligations.



“Akora Chairman, fellow Akoras, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen... 
Let me state from the outset that I am not sure which of the ideas I will be presenting are my own. They are the product of numerous conversations with friends and foes, the wise and the foolish, the old and the young – they are the distillate from numerous books, blogs, WhatsApp messages, newspapers, the web, radio, television, emails and journals. Apparently, in today’s world, the average individual is exposed to 34 gigabytes of data each day from all these sources and so I hope that you would forgive me if I am no longer too certain which ideas are mine or which I have borrowed. 

I must say that it is a privilege to share the stage with people whom I stand in awe of and I wish to thank the organizers for placing me in such sterling company. I am reassured by the lineup of panelists because indeed we have a very weighty matter to consider. What role will Industry, Business and Entrepreneurship play in shaping the Ghana of 2030. A very perplexing issue when you consider the fate of just one subsector of our economy selected for your consideration because it is a fortunate amalgam of the characteristics of industry, business, commerce and entrepreneurship and I refer here to the textile industry. At its zenith, the textile sub‐sector dominated the manufacturing sector in Ghana. In 1970, the 16 textile manufacturers employed 25,000 people. Today there are only 4 players left, operating at different levels of activity and they currently employ a mere 2,900 Ghanaians; a 90% decline in its contribution to employment over a period of 50 years.”



Panel Discussion Moderated By Akora (1983) Carol Annang featured Akora Karen Akiwumi Tanoh, Akora Oko-Nikoi Dzani, Akora Ken Ofori-Atta, Akora Kofi Fynn, Akora Martyn Mensah (Keynote speaker) and Akora Kwame Pianim (Chairperson)


Ken Ofori-Atta is Ghana’s Finance Minister after having been sworn-in on January 27, 2017, by his Excellency the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Ken is also Co-Founder and former Executive Chairman of the Databank Group (an investment banking firm) in Ghana.

He was the Executive Chairman from 1990 until his retirement on February 14, 2012. Databank is a financial services firm that has over the last 25 years been influential in the development of Ghana’s Stock Exchange and capital market, award winning retail mutual fund investment products.

Prior to co-founding Databank in 1990, Ken was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and Salomon Brothers on Wall Street in New York. Ken has been Chairman and Board member of the following corporates: Family Ventures and Offices in Ghana; Chairman of Trust Bank Ltd in The Gambia; International Bank of Liberia, Bank of Kigali in Rwanda, Enterprise Life in Ghana, and pan-African Databank AgriFund for SME Agribusiness with investments in Madagascar, Cameroun, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Ethiopia. Ken has other business interests in Insurance, Retail Banking, Private Equity, Micro finance, Pharmaceuticals and Real Estate.

He went to Achimota School; received a BA in Economics from Columbia University in New York and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. Ken was the first African to be honoured as a Donaldson Fellow at Yale University in 2010, a John Jay Fellow at Columbia University in 2011 and also a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. He is a Co-Founder of the Aspen African Leadership Initiative. Ken was also the first African to testify at the US Congress Ways and Means Committee to support the AGOA law.

He was twice honoured by PriceWaterHouse Ghana as one of the Top 5 Most Respected CEOs in Ghana. In the past 8 years, Ken has led the fundraising efforts of the New Patriotic Party’s Presidential Election and the highly successful Adopt-A-Polling Station Program. Ken is married to Prof. Angela Ofori-Atta of the University of Ghana Medical School.


A memeber of the Order of Volta, Mr. Kwame Pianim, an economist and investment consultant of repute, has had a distinguished career both in Ghana and abroad.

He has worked as both a civil servant and a public servant in Ghana and also as an economic research officer of the United Nations in New York.

A former acting Principal Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Pianim also served as an advisor to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in devising a market-oriented development strategy and programmes.

He also helped to structure the Social Security Fund under the then State Insurance Corporation (SIC) into Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT). As a consultant, he designed and established the Teachers’ Fund for the Ghana National Association of Teachers.

A former Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board, Mr Pianim, an old Achimotan and former President of the Old Achimotan Association, holds a Master of Arts degree in Economics from Yale University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree (Double Honours) in Economics and Political Science from the University of New Brunswick, Canada, as a Commonwealth Scholar..

He has participated in a number of development and good governance related seminars both home and abroad and also served as a member of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Commission on Private Sector and Development

Ms. Akiwumi-Tanoh is a Chartered Accountant with a BSC Degree in Business Administration and a qualification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants, England and Wales (ICAEW).

Karen is an accomplished Ghanaian Banker with Audit, Consulting and Banking experience spanning 3 decades and has practiced in several countries including Ghana, Togo, Sierra Leone, Angola, UK and the USA.
Karen’s career in Banking spans 22 years, the last at Managing Director level.

Her core competencies include Strategy Formulation, Corporate Finance, Banking, Accounting & Auditing, and Networking.

She is currently Chairman of First Atlantic Bank and a Director of the Advisory Board at Spenser Stuart (SA).


Kofi is currently Managing Director of Petra Trust Ltd, a pension trustee and financial services provider.

He started his career with Blackrock Financial Management and then worked with Wellington Management, where he managed bond and currency portfolios for central banks and international organizations.

He has also had the privilege of spending two years working in Lagos, Nigeria.

Kofi holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in Engineering from MIT, and earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School. A proud Akora, Kofi belongs to the 89 year group and was Senior Prefect in his graduating year.

He is married to Naana and they have two sons.

Akora Oko-Nikoi Dzani is part of the 1970 Year Group. He was the House Prefect (1971/72 ) at Guggisberg House.

He is married with three children, and is an avid sports enthusiast which includes: Hockey, Swimming, Cricket, Cross Country & Athletics.                                  

He is a Chartered Accountant and Banker with articleship from Pannell Fitzpatrick & Co. (now Pannell Kerr Foster & Co)

He has an MBA ( Entrepreneurship) and DDF - Postgraduate Diploma, Development Finance. He attended University of Birmingham, England and the Ghana Institute of Management & Public Administration.

His career spans working at SSB (now SG-SSB)  and Ghana Cooperative Bank Limited as the Managing Director.

He is currently at NDK Financial Services, which he founded and also serves at the Managing Director.


“The private sector is the bedrock on which sustainable development of the nation must be built. A burgeoning Private Sector creates jobs, contributes to government revenue, reduces the social burden on government and enhances the diplomatic stature of the country on the global stage. All that government must do is provide the regulatory, legislative, policy and infrastructure environment to get the Ghanaian entrepreneur to step up to the plate. And then, government must strategically pick potential champions and transform them into, not only local but continental and global winners. Ghana must offer to the continent and to the world a new development paradigm – a new model of economic independence. Then, taking creative liberty with the words of Pliny the Elder, we can say “Ex Ghana, Semper Aliquid Novi”‐ “Out of Ghana, Always something New” ”

— Akora (1983) Martyn Mensah - Chief Executive Officer, UT Holdings

News Source : OAA
Last updated at : 28 April,2017
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