‘Innovation key to achieving Ghana beyond aid’

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The Senior Vice-President and Head of the Ghana Business Unit of Kosmos Energy, Mr Joe Mensah, has said innovation can propel the country to achieve the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.

He said being innovative gave a broader perspective to how things were done and provided an avenue to think through policies and initiatives before implementing them to get good results.

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“Without innovation, Ghana beyond aid will not succeed.

That is a fact because innovation will bring about change for good, make us approach things differently and think differently,” he said.

Mr Mensah was sharing his perspectives with the Daily Graphic after the company won a number of awards at the Ghana Club 100 awards organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), as well as the Nobel International Business School (NIBS) Ghana Innovation Awards.

He said innovation basically meant change for good and making sure that ideas and policies brought value to improve people’s lives.

“It is stepping back and really thinking through what you want to do and see how it can effect a change for good,” he said.

 Innovation at the core

Commenting on the feat by Kosmos Energy in Ghana, he said the awards were a testament of the company’s consistent efforts to bring innovation and value in its operations in the country.

He added that the evidence of Kosmos Energy pushing to get value out of its operations in Ghana was resonating in the country, as well as the successes of the Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC), which was elevating the brand.

“I think it has a lot to do with the way we are trying to do our business here.

We sit around the table with our partners — Tullow, Anadarko, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Petro SA — to ensure that we do the right things for the country,” he said.

Mr Mensah also explained that the company did not accept mediocrity and ensured that everything it did had innovation at the core of it.

“One of the reasons why we have been successful in that area is that as a company, we do not accept mediocrity and we tend to question everything. That is key”.

“When you question everything, it forces you to think broadly and as you think, you can get something better,” he said.

 KIC

KIC is a flagship social investment programme by Kosmos Energy focused on supporting innovative and tech-savvy young entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Through the KIC, it was nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs and encouraging innovation in sectors beyond oil and gas, with the goal of contributing to a healthier and more diverse economy.

Explaining the rationale for focusing on agriculture, he said although agriculture contributed to the growth of the economy, it had over time lost its shine, hence the need to focus on making it attractive to get the youth to venture into that.

The KIC, unlike other programmes, did not only run competitions or provide seed funding but also gave the necessary mentorship required for start-ups to succeed.

“It goes back to the definition of innovation and change.

We need to change something in this equation to make it better.

Once we settled on that, we said we didn’t want to just give people money and let them do their own thing,” he said.

Through the KIC, he said, the young entrepreneurs were given the necessary mentoring and coaching to ensure that they did not fall out of line.

The KIC, he said, had interacted with over 400 entrepreneurs, created 14 companies and more recently more entrepreneurs that had graduated from the centre.

“We have generated over 200 jobs and we have hundreds of innovators which is quite significant within a short period of time,” he said.

 Kosmos, here for good

He said his elevation to Senior Vice-President and Head of the Ghana Business Unit of Kosmos Energy was a demonstration that the company remained committed to Ghana, although it had business units in other areas.

“Years ago, 100 per cent of our revenues was coming from Ghana, but now we have Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Mauritania, Sao Tome, Ivory Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

We have created business units and we need to align.

The second reason, he said, was the fact that “Kosmos is here to stay so this is the demonstration that we are here to stay and we want to do more.”





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