By Maxwell Ofori
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, has presented to all ten winners of the 2019 Presidential Pitch their cash prizes, ranging from GH¢25,000 to GH¢100,000, as grants to set up their businesses.
The winners of this year’s Presidential Pitch included Emily Otoo-Quaryson and Matilda Sampong with their innovative idea of using banana fibre to produce sanitary pads. The two young ladies, who were the ultimate winners, went home with a GH¢60,000 grant and a personal contribution of GH¢40,000 from President Akufo-Addo, bringing their total award to GH¢100,000.
Akwasi Sarpong, who pitched in the food and nutrition category, won the second prize and took home GH¢40,000, and Kwaku Adjei placed third, winning a cash prize of GH¢35,000. The fourth to tenth placed contestants all received take-home cash prizes of GH¢25,000 each to support their various business ideas.
The 10 contestants, during the 2019 competition, pitched their rich ideas when they took turns to deliver a three-minute presentation each to catch the attention of a panel of four judges and the President of the Republic.
The panel comprised Dzigbordi Dosoo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Allure Africa; Gwen Gyimah Addo, CEO of Hair Senta; Alex Bram, CEO of Hubtel, and Christian Asante, CEO of Casantey Business Solutions Group.
Addressing the pitch winners at Jubilee House, on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, when they paid a courtesy call on him to receive their cheques, President Akufo-Addo advised them to be instruments of job creation in their various fields of endeavour.
He said the call to be instruments of job creation was the very essence of the entire Presidential Pitch initiative.
“The call that you should be instruments of job creation is at the heart, because that is what at the end of the day entrepreneurial ability should lead to; setting up new businesses, thinking of new ways of dealing with issues that allow other people also to be brought to the web of employment and of business,” the President said.
Recounting the number of jobs last year’s pitch produced, some 207 jobs, President Akufo-Addo noted that 207 jobs should be the minimum number of jobs the 2019 pitch winners should create.
“Every generation should advance on the previous. I am expecting that this year-round, you will do even better. We are expecting a lot from you. Not just next year, but in the years down the road,” President Akufo Addo added.
With the assistance of the Minister for Business Development, Mohammed Awal, the President presented to each winner their actual cashable cheques.
Emily Otoo-Quaryson, first-place winner of the 2019 pitch, on behalf of her colleagues, assured the President that they would use the seed capital received to build their businesses, employ people, and contribute positively to the development of the country.
Five few envoys present letters of credence to President Akufo-Addo
Earlier, the President had received five newly-accredited Ambassadors to Ghana by their respective countries. These envoys presented their letters of credence to President Akufo-Addo signifying the formal commencement of their tour of duty in Ghana.
The envoys are Bril Vyacheslav from the Eastern European State of Belarus; and Jyrki Juhani from the Northern European State of Finland. The three others who also presented their credentials are from The Gambia, Amadu Taal; from Morocco, Imaani Ouaadil, and Natasha Halfhuid from the Southern America State of Suriname.