Kosmos Energy Ghana has launched a new corporate social investment programme to help boost agriculture and enhance the interest of the youth in the agribusiness sector.
Dubbed Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC), the programme would use innovation and apply commercial solutions to Ghana’s existing social and economic challenges by using a market based approach that facilitates private sector enterprise and entrepreneurship.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Joe Mensah, Vice President and Country Manager, Kosmos Energy, said the initiative was a different approach to corporate social responsibility.
Under the theme: “Investing in Ghana’s future, one entrepreneur at a time” Mr Mensah said the initiative would through a coordinated programme affect each sector of the country’s economy.
He said KIC would in the process play a role to help solve some of Ghana’s most pressing developmental challenges.
Mr Mensah said the KIC would move into full operation to tackle its first development challenge in agriculture.
“The programme would encourage budding entrepreneurs to use information and communications technology to transform the agricultural sector.
“It will involve designing activities that target the entire value chain, from stimulating new ideas to funding expansion of existing commercial enterprises, and at every stage it will generate enthusiastic participation through communication and knowledge sharing,” he said.
Mr Mensah said KIC’s vision would be to bring about social change by stimulating young people’s interest in agriculture which is often regarded as a dull and unrewarding activity.
He said small agribusinesses would receive investment to execute business models that serve small-holder farmers.
“By fostering innovation, we will bring about market system change. Ultimately, we expect our intervention to lead to the establishment of agri-tech exchanges and other forums that would help bring new thinking and expertise to the sector,” Mr. Mensah said.
Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna, Minister of Agriculture, who launched the KIC, said the initiative would help accelerate the country’s quest to improve growth in the agricultural sector.
He said there was the need for the youth to consider agriculture as a serious business and take keen interest in it, adding that government had in place policies to attract the youth into the agricultural sector.
“Government supports this kind of programme which we believe will bring a positive turnaround for entrepreneurs and also have a socio-economic impact on the people and the economy,” he said.
Alhaji Limuna encouraged other corporate institutions to emulate the example of Kosmos and come out with initiatives that would benefit the agricultural sector.