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On Friday, October 13, 2017, my attention was drawn to accusations of ‘rot and bankruptcy’ at the National Service Scheme (NSS) by the Ghana Palaver (a private newspaper), which was subsequently discussed in sections of the media. The inaccuracies contained in the reportage were addressed in a press statement signed by the Deputy Executive Director, (Nana Boakye) on the same day. In summary, the said allegations were palpably false.
On Monday, October 16, 2017, while attending an event aimed at restructuring the NSS as an avenue to equip national service personnel with entrepreneurial skills, allegations of mismanagement have been made against me in a publication by „The Herald? (a private newspaper), which has also received wide media attention and discussions.
Indeed, the NSS as the lead state agency, in collaboration with nominees from the private sector, academia, and other youth agencies in Ghana are attending a programme in the United States of America (USA) to restructure and harmonize the role of youth agencies to focus on encouraging entrepreneurship among the Ghanaian youth, particularly, the trained minds. Currently, on an annual basis, only 10% of the approximately 80,000 national service personnel leave the service and remain employed.
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The programme also seeks to provide a platform for these youth agencies to partner with like-minded foreign organizations to raise funds in support of the entrepreneurial ventures of the Ghanaian youth.
The MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP) provides opportunities for communities around the world to engage with MIT in an evidence-based, practical approach to strengthening Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurial (IDE) ecosystems.
The MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program has helped many countries like Mexico, Spain, Singapore, Japan, Morocco, Ireland, etc. to improve the local environment that fosters innovation-driven enterprises by leveraging each region?s unique comparative advantage. This is done by MIT?s faculty working with key regional stakeholders to understand its history, the key drivers of innovation and entrepreneurship, and opportunities to build unique comparative advantages.
The said newspaper, desperate for mischief, failed to verify the authenticity of its information to know the facts; but instead, took to „the streets?.
Notwithstanding the fact that the paper may have sighted an invitation letter to John Kumah indicating that the initial workshop would span a period October 13 to October 20, 2017, it proceeded to publish in a sensational manner that the NSS under my leadership has spent $150,000.00 on a three-day MIT workshop in the USA.
In truth, the partnership with the MIT is designed to last for a period of two years, starting with an initial workshop (presently underway), and three more at later dates within the period.
The paper also got it wrong when it suggested that I and or the team departed the shores of Ghana on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Truly, departure was on Friday, October 13, 2017.
Again, the delegation isn?t made up of “outsiders” as the paper alleged. Instead, the programme is being attended by carefully selected Ghanaians who stand the chance to impact the younger generation. Moreover, members of the team would bring to bear their expertise in areas of entrepreneurship, risk assessment, etc.
The paper once more got it all wrong when it alleged that the MIT Ghana team numbered eleven. In fact, in total, the delegation of Ghana?s MIT REAP TEAM numbered sixteen (16). They are: Mustapha Ussif – Acting Executive Director, NSS; Kosi Atwiwa Yankey – Acting Executive Director, NBSS; John Ampontuah Kumah – CEO, NEIP; Stephen Amoah – CEO, MASLOC; Emmanuel Asigri – CEO, NYA; Justin Kodua Frimpong – CEO, YEA; Kenneth Thompson – Rep. of Risk Capital & CEO of Dalex Finance; Morgan Asiedu – ECOBANK, Rep. of Corporate GH; Victor Agyeman – Director General, CSIR; Professor Kwaku Appiah Adu – Office of the Vice President; Patrick Awuah – President, Ashesi University; Kwabena Ampofo Appiah – MD, State Housing Company; Yaw Owusu – CEO, Venture Capital; Hene Aku Kwapong – Rep. of Entrepreneurs; Professor Samuel Nii Odai – Pro-Vice Chancellor, KNUST; Vincent Kwapong – Ghana MIT REAP Team Co-ordinator.
Bad journalism, to my mind, is when a person under the guise of being a journalist stumbles on information and hurriedly publishes it without recourse to the parties concerned.
I implore all concerned to disregard reports on this matter as they are full of untruths.
God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong.
Signed MUSTAPHA USSIF ACTING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR