Poverty is something nobody wishes to go through but even some of the world’s billionaires had their low points.
Knowing how it feels, most of them have made it a point to help others in the same or rather similar situations to ease their burden and make the world better.
Others, well, had a relatively good enough background but still scout through to see how, in their little ways, they can contribute to help others in society, thereby dealing with the canker of poverty in their own ways.
As the world marks International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, www.ghanaweb.com puts the spotlight on some of Ghana’s richest persons helping to eradicate poverty in society.
With a poor background, the son of a blacksmith and a housewife grew up and with perseverance, is today admittedly, the country’s richest personality.
With a networth of $1.46 billion, Charles Ampofo, is changing the world with his entrepreneurial mindset and a goal to speak for the ‘poor’ local entrepreneur anywhere in Africa.
Ampofo is the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai, UAE based conglomerate, Kampac group.
His goal to get a functioning Western Railway line for Ghana in the mid-2000s was short-lived after some US $11 million of his private money used to do feasibility studies and engineering design went waste because, as he said in an interview with Business World Ghana, “people in government thought otherwise”.
The business mogul whose Kampac International PLC was founded in UAE in 1988 has several companies including Kampac Oil, Telecom, Flora, Properties, Travels, Resources with branches in Ghana, Venezuela, UK, South Africa, Senegal, Greece, Canada, Jordan, and Ivory Coast.
Mr. Ampofo has uplifted Ghana’s international reputation with his incredible success story and today, is an entrepreneurial crusader on the continent of Africa who speaks for the “poor” local entrepreneur anywhere in Africa.
He proclaimed that, “My hope and wish is that our governments will start seriously considering supporting the local entrepreneurs in Africa, instead of having the mind that such people just want to make money.”
Sir Sam Jonah
Samuel Esson Jonah, KBE (born 19 November 1949) is a Ghanaian businessman, the Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital, equity fund based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Jonah was previously President of AngloGold Ashanti and shared the strategic leadership of the company with its CEO, Bobby Godsell.
He reached the prime of his career when he led the $1.48 billion merger between Ashanti Goldfields and AngloGold in 2004.
Sam’s equity fund, Jonah Capital owns 14 mineral resource assets across 10 countries in Africa.
With a networth of $1.2 billion, he acquired most of his fortune through Jonah Capital, a holding company and private equity firm that makes investments in the mining sector, real estate, agriculture, construction materials, financial services, oil and gas services.
Jonah became the first Ghanaian to be knighted in the 21st century when he was presented with an honorary knighthood by the Prince of Wales. , in recognition of his achievements as an African businessman, a leading business executive from the Commonwealth, and an international public figure.
Several mining companies have benefited from Sam Jonah’s expertise in the mining industry, aside this, his business employs several Ghanaians.
He also, is a mentor for many others, championing the cause of entrepreneurship and on many platforms, he has advocated for starting small, fighting to excel and ‘breaking the rules’ in some cases.
Joseph Siaw Agyepong
One of the richest men in Ghana, employing about 250,000 Ghanaians. Knowing how hard he had it, it is his focus to create job and eliminate poverty as much as he can.
One of 17 children and with little money from his father’s dwindling business as a photographer, Mr. Agyepong had to rely on his brains for survival. With no money at home, he had to help hawk on the streets to support his mother pay his school fees.
After stumbling on an opportunity in construction at 23, life became better.
Mr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong is the founder of the Jospong Group. It is one of the largest conglomerates in Ghana with over 32 subsidiaries. The Jospong Group currently operates in eleven industries in Ghana.
The Jospong Group of Companies currently has 8 companies in other parts of Africa and the Middle East and represents 16 Chinese companies, 8 Indian companies and 5 European companies in Ghana. Its trade volume with these companies was worth $4.36 billion as at 2013.
His companies include; C A Nzema Oil, Great Consolidated Diamond, J. A. Quarry, J A Plant Pool Limited, J A Vehicle Assembly Plant, Jubilee Tractors, J A Spare parts, J S A Logistics, Royal Heritage, Contrago Trans, J W Transport Company Limited, Accra Compost Limited, Zoil Services, and Zoomlion Domestic Services Limited.
Joseph Siaw Agyepong constructed a steel plant in Ghana at a cost of more than $40 million.
Creating jobs has always been key for Agyepong. So far, the Jospong Group of Companies has generated over 200,000 jobs under various innovative collaborations with governments and the private sector in Africa.
His was relatively different, he may probably qualify for a ‘Ghanaian’ consisdering how many years he has spent in Ghana. Born in Italy in 1948, he came to Ghana in 1968 with his father and two brothers when he was still in his teens.
Ernesto Taricone is an industrial investor, civil engineer, and Executive Chairman and CEO of Trasacco Group which employs several Ghanaians and expatriates.
Majority of his businesses focus on Ghana, covering various key sections in the Ghanaian Economy including Agriculture, Mining, Forestry, Construction and Real Estate development.
In the nineties, Taricone, after working with construction developers and raising funds decided to use that experience to develop a land his late father, Baron Fiore Taricone had acquired.
He started the township which he had envisaged and called it Trasacco Valley (after a town in Italy where his family came from).
Ernesto acquired his wealth from his construction and real estate development firm, Trasacco Estate Development Company (TEDC), the developers of Trasacco Valley and today has a worth net of $1.3 billion.
His Trasacco Estate Development Company developed and owns the Villaggio Vista Condominium which is now a landmark in Accra for being the tallest building in Ghana.
His real estates business serves as a source of employment to over 4,000 Ghanaians and expatriates.