Sustain Ghana’s peace as a strategic investment incentive – Artist

A globally renowned and celebrated American artist Richard Rapaport Jr. has called on Ghanaians to sustain the country’s peace as an attraction for investors.

Richard Rapaport Jr made the call during a speech read on his behalf by the Founding President of Youth Icons Ghana, Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa at the 1st New Multicultural Art Language for Global Peace and Friendship Schools contest in commemoration of the World Peace Day celebrations at the Holiday Inn Hotel Airport city in Accra.

The art contest was to engage school pupils of Junior high school to paint works of peace as a way of embedding peace on their minds.

He opined that what Ghana needed was to concentrate on maintaining the peace of Ghana which remained a major consideration for any investor. He stressed that “financial capital has choice and therefore decides where to go, but of course one key consideration in deciding where to invest was whether or not there was sustainable and relative peace at the destination of choice for investment which makes it a major determinant for attracting Foreign Direct Investments. I would like to make a humble appeal to the leadership of Ghanato continuously do whatever it could within its powers to ensure Ghana consolidates its peace”.

He expressed the need for corporate institutions in Ghana to go out of their way to develop keen interest in helping consolidate the peace of Ghana as corporate citizens. He intimated that “during the past decade the forces of political transformation and economic globalization have created a world of opportunities and hope for some, but increased instability and insecurity for others. Violent con¬flict continues to affect the lives of millions of people thereby undermining human progress and economic development and Ghana was no exception. This has important implications for the private sector which has become an influential player in many conflictprone countries”.

He opined that the potential and reality of violent conflict is becoming an unavoidable business issue, and that is why businesses must take active interest in peace and nonviolence education campaigns.

He hinted that with only 4% of the world’s Gross National Product being military related and 96% of the international business community being providers of civilian products and services, the business sector must have a vested interest in stability and peace.

“The private sector, ranging from large to multinationals to informal micro-enterprises has a vital role to play in creating wealth and promoting so¬cio-economic development. They also have a role in contributing both directly and indirectly to the prevention and resolution of violent conflict”.

Mr. Rapaport Jr said the case for corporate engagement in conflict prevention and resolution was compelling, in his estimation. He said in situations of existing conflict, most businesses other than those that directly benefit from war economics pay heavy costs and struggle to carry out their operations under unstable conditions where their employees, assets and routes to markets are under constant risk. This he said over a long term, was clear that the private sector has as much to lose as other sectors of society if economic and social development is seriously jeopardized by violent conflict.

The art mogul said, apart from the costs and benefits and growing “bottom-line” imperatives for business to play a more proactive role in conflict prevention and resolution, there was also a strong moral case for greater corporate leadership in today’s world where the private sector was an increasingly prominent actor.

He therefore urged corporate institutions and organizations in Ghana not to shy away from supporting peace and nonviolent education programs like what Youth Icons Ghana have been doing over the years.

Source: Youth Icons Ghana


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