Nyarko Emmanuel of Casaflour has won this year’s edition of the ‘McDan Youth Connect Programme’ held in Sunyani.
The McDan Entrepreneurship Challenge, seeks to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship among the youth through the development of ideas.
Addressing the gathering, Chairman of McDan Group, Dr Daniel McKorley indicated that the incredible welcome, warm reception and amazing hospitality that the people of Sunyani accorded him and his team has been tremendous and it showed truly, a unique trademark of their values and a reflection of the kind-hearted people they are.
To the students, he thanked them for the insightful questions and the kind compliments.
He said: “I love being in a place where I can challenge and inspire young adults to realize and tap into their potential, and yesterday was an example of that. I’m grateful for the opportunity and platform to share learning points from my journey with the next generation.”
Daniel McKorley also congratulated the start-ups that pitched their amazing business ideas to the panel to win the GHc10,000 funding pot, saying they “all did an amazing job articulating your enterprise ideas to our audience and judges, and you blew the crowd away with your creativity and innovation. It’s safe to say that our future is in good hands!”
He also congratulated the winner, Nyarko Emmanuel – Casaflour, and said he is looking forward to his business creating jobs, providing livelihoods, changing the narrative from a youth of ‘job seekers’ to ‘job creators’ and creating a genuine impact in his community.
The Chairman of the McDan Group, Dr. Daniel McKorley and the Head of the McDan Foundation has cut sod for the construction of an ultra-modern school block for Catholic University students in Fiapre in the Bono Region.
The gesture came when the businessman stormed the Region to connect with some Universities in the Region with ‘McDan Youth Connect Programme’.
The construction project which will take about months for completion will serve the University in various ways.
Chief Executive of the McDan Group of Companies, Daniel McKorley, has urged students to be ready for challenges in their bid to venture into entrepreneurship.
According to him, “life comes with turbulence, every stage of your life is turbulence as a student. As a young entrepreneur, every minute of your life you face turbulence but the question is, how do you navigate around the turbulence that you face? That makes you thick, that makes you where you are” he said.
Addressing the students, he averred that students have the responsibility
To shape their own future, and the world around them, adding that “Responsibility comes in many forms but the word responsibility is what can make and unmake you. Responsibility doesn’t have age, you can have the best Parent in the world, you can have the best Teachers or Lecturers in the world, you can attend the best school like KNUST, but if you are not responsible. There are so many opportunities out there, there are so many things the youth can do but they need to push themselves one step higher and also know that manna will not come from heaven. You need to take a step before you can make it,” he said.
He said the many opportunities to make money required hard work and therefore urged the youth to go the extra mile.
On his part, Prof. Daniel Obeng Ofori. Vice Chancellor of the University and some Board members thanked the humble businessman man for stretching his hands towards them and believe the construction of the block would go a long way to help the school in achieving academic excellence.
Chief Executive Officer of McDan Group of Companies, Daniel Mckorley, has urged entrepreneurs in the country to be resilient and take advantage of the current macro-economic conditions to build a solid foundation that can propel their businesses to transcend the country’s borders, by leveraging on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
According to him, just as businesses were able to innovate and adopt technology to survive the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, similar tenacity is required from entrepreneurs in these trying times to survive but, this time around, the ability to look beyond the borders of this country should be their target.
He added that the hardship being experienced now does not spell all doom or gloom, but rather key attention must be paid to the significant level of ease of mobility that has been restored through technology.
“As I always say, in adversities like these real leaders emerge; stronger and more resilient countries are seen; and able countries take advantage to become the new economic force. And similarly, it is in times of adversities like this that innovative entrepreneurs emerge and become the world’s new game-changers.
It is not all doom and gloom; this is the time when Ghanaian entrepreneurs must take advantage of what is happening and launch products that will penetrate the AfCFTA. This is because it is in times like these that we see stronger businesses, and I believe this is the opportunity for vibrant, strong, young entrepreneurs to get ready and lead the fourth industrial revolution,” he said.
Dr. Mckorley further mentioned that his organisation is committed to promoting trade in the sub-region and has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the AfCFTA secretariat to provide logistics support for easy mobility of goods and services.
“My company’s partnership with AfCFTA will be a critical contributor to the transformation we want to see on the African continent. The agreement will spearhead industrial transformation and economic development, boost intra-Africa trade, and create employment.
“All businesses looking at exporting cargo should note the McDan Group of companies is here to facilitate that trade and bring growth to the economies of Africa,” he said.
He mentioned that unless the goods are able to move from one country to another, all the boardroom discussions and MoUs signed will be meaningless; hence, entrepreneurs must take advantage of the transportation logistics that his outfit is providing to ensure their goods reach all countries on the continent.
He made these remarks at the Ghana Economic Forum (GEF) 2022 – an annual event organised by the B&FT – on the theme ‘Building a robust and resilient economy through technology, finance, investment, trade and entrepreneurship’.
The AfCFTA secretariat has adopted a special instrument described as the Guided Trade Initiative (GTI), which has set the ball rolling for commercial trading to commence for the first seven countries to have met all requirements and expressed strong readiness.
Ghana is one of the first seven countries to start trading under this arrangement, and the McDan CEO believes that if entrepreneurs are able to think beyond the borders and take advantage of available logistical support they could be lead beneficiaries of the continental trade area.
The UPSA Africa Trade Roundtable VI will come off on Monday October 24, 2022.
The event which is on the topic “Infrastructure, Supply Chain systems and AfCFTA” is a collaboration between UPSA Law and ACCA with media support from Joy Business.
The speakers for the event are Dr. Daniel McKorley, Chairman and Group CEO, McDan Group of Companies; Bernadette-Nchimunya Muzeta Malilwe, a Procurement Specialist and State Advocate, Attorney General’s Chambers in the Ministry of Justice, Zambia and Johnson Kilangi, CEO, Lean Africa Consulting Limited, Kenya.
They will discuss the state of infrastructural supply on the continent relative to trade and the adjustments that need to be made to the infrastructural deficits in the short to medium-term, the actual potential impact of supply chain challenges to be encountered in the wake of these deficits and whether it is time for African governments to intensify the participation of private sector entities in the provision of public infrastructure and how can this prospect be leveraged as a tool of scalability for trade actors on the continent.
Proponents of AfCFTA argues that the existence of an adequate infrastructural base is vital for the effective operationalization of a free trade zone, adding, infrastructure provides the needed facilitation for the free movement of goods and services and underpins compliance with obligations under a trade deal.
On the other hand, the lack of a sound infrastructural base distorts supply chain dynamics and undermines market fluidity under any nascent trade regime.
Consequently, Africa and for that matter the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has been said to suffer significant historical deficits in infrastructure and this could potentially undermine the smooth implementation of the AfCFTA at the micro level.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen has lauded a leading Ghanaian logistics company, McDan Group, for successfully signing an agreement with African Continental Free Trade Area secretariat to facilitate the haulage of goods under the African Continental Free Trade Area.
The agreement which was signed on Friday, 7th October, 2022 was announced at the launch of the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative at the McDan Private Jet lounge at the Kotoka International airport in Accra.
Speaking at the event, the Trade Minister commended the efforts of the Chief Executive of McDan Group, Daniel McKorley for his initiative to facilitate the transportation of goods under AfCFTA and also called on other entrepreneurs to follow suit.
“I want to end on this note by celebrating one entrepreneur in Ghana, McDan who is signing an agreement with AfCFTA to invest in cargo planes and sea freight vessel to support trading under AfCFTA. Without sea freight, air cargo, this is not going to work”.
“I think this should be a call to other entrepreneurs across the continent to start looking at investing in the logistics services”, he added.
The launch of AfCFTA marks the beginning of commercial trade between eight countries and is operating on a pilot basis. The countries include, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tunisia, Tanzania, Egypt and Mauritius.
Already, Ghana has issued a certificate of trading to Keda Ceramics Company Limited, a tiles manufacturing company located at Shama in the Western Region to export products to Cameroun.
Also, Benso oil Palm Plantation (BOPP), a palm kernel oil production company in the Western Region is expected to export palm kernel oil to Kenya.
On the other hand, Ghana has received a consignment of coffee products from Rwanda all under the AfCFTA guided trade initiative.
Dr. Daniel Mckorley, CEO of McDan Group of Companies, has stressed that strong personalities do not build businesses; rather, systems and well-placed structures are the keys to sustainable business growth and development.
Delivering the keynote address at the International Advertising Association’s (IAA) Annual Conference – Africa Rising 5 – Dr. Mckorley said: “Learn and teach your team to be adaptable and responsive to the tiniest level of change; strong personalities do not build a business; rather, systems, structures and good governance do; and finally, discipline is not just a keyword but also a watch-word”.
Speaking on the theme ‘Building and Sustaining Brands through Tough Economic Seasons’, he stated that the theme is very aligned to his recent experience, as he started two major businesses at the pandemic’s peak and in the face of all challenges.
According to him, the first business was in the mining sector. Arguably the largest salt-mining company in the whole of West Africa, Electrochem Ghana Limited farms and produces industrial salt – a natural resource that has the potential to transform industry in Ghana and the continent as a whole.
The second Business is McDan Aviation, which is the first private jet terminal in the country and a local Fixed Base Operator in Ghana. These two businesses are large ones which are in two growth sectors of the country, and running them requires immense drive and a clear sense of direction and purpose.
He maintained that at the pandemic’s peak and beyond borders, he rallied a team of professionals to help bring these ideas into reality. Although it was daunting, he believed it was a possible task. The astute industrialist mentioned that in running his conglomerate he has lived by certain principles which have served as his cardinal point in the business terrain; and he has christened them ‘lessons in maintaining brands so they can be sustained through tough seasons’,
Fourth industrial revolution
Dr. Daniel Mckorley stated that from his perspective the fourth industrial revolution is here, and for him the way forward for African Brands in terms of growth, sustainability and robust capacity is being able to break down all barriers to trade. He took the opportunity to mention his partnership with the African Continental Free Trade Area project (AFCFTA) as it begins to open up the doors of trade in various countries.
In his closing remarks, the chairman and CEO of McDan Group of Companies quoted the famous Charles Darwin: ‘It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change’. And he has a strong belief that African business brands with purpose will respond to change and sustain their growth, thus leaving lasting legacies.
The International Advertising Association (IAA) is the world’s most influential network of marketing and marketing communication professionals. It is the only global association that represents all spheres of the marketing and marketing communications industry with presence in most markets, and education affiliates reaching across 56 countries where collective interest of the entire marketing communication profession is shared.
On the ground, IAA has over 4,000 individual and corporate members spanning marketing, advertising, media, IT Communications and academic sectors – all involved in the wide range of brand marketing and marketing communications disciplines.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of McDan Group, Daniel McKorley has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Secretary General of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Secretariat, H.E. Wamkele Mene, to signify the beginning of a partnership which will facilitate trade among African Countries.
The Agreement which was signed during the launch of the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative which was also the celebration of the 2nd anniversary of the AfCFTA Agreement on Friday, October 7, 2022, at the McDan Private Jet Terminal in Accra, will grant McDan Shipping the opportunity to load and transport goods across AfCFTA member countries.
In light of this, McDan Aviation has acquired cargo planes and sea trade vessels to support the AfCFTA.
The Minister for Trades and Industry, Hon. Allan Kyerematen lauded the efforts of Dr. Daniel McKorley and indicated that the initiative that McDan has taken would go a long way to help the success of AfCFTA.
Hon. Alan Kyerematen encouraged Africans to celebrate McDan Group and charged other African businessmen to follow suit.
The Minister mentioned that the event signifies that AfCFTA is not only on paper but in action and averred that the launch of the initiative signifies that governments of Africa are giving way to the private sector to make it a reality in terms of implementation and institutions in Africa are up to the task.
Delivering his Speech, Secretary General of AfCFTA H.E. Wamkele Mene mentioned that in 15 years, AfCFTA would succeed in lifting many Africans out of poverty and hence, he encouraged Africans to support small businesses.
Most of the stakeholders thanked Dr McKorley for stepping up and thinking about a way to support AfCFTA. They emphasized on how AfCFTAhonoured and made a reality the vision of those who liberate Africa.
Trades Under AfCFTA
On the 1st of January, the AfCFTA Secretariat formally started trading under the AfCFTA agreement.
Since then, the Secretariat and State Parties have been working to put in place structures, procedures, processes, protocols, and documentation needed to enable the commencement of commercially viable trade among State Parties.
The Secretariat in collaboration with the National AfCFTA Coordination Office under the Ministry of Trade and Industry launched the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative which symbolise the commencement of commercially meaningful trade on a pilot basis between Ghana, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Tunisia.
These countries were selected to represent the five African Union regions, including Western, Central, Eastern, Southern and Northern Africa respectively.
The Guided Trade Initiative aims to test the readiness of participating state parties under the AfCFTA, demonstrate that the AfCFTA trading documentations are operational and viable, and confirm that the Customs and Revenue Authorities of the participating countries under the AfCFTA agreement are ready to process imports and exports.
Under the Guided Trade Initiative, Keda Ceramics of Ghana will export ceramic tiles to Cameroon.
Benso Oil Palm Plantation is also slated to export palm kernel oil to Kenya and Ghana will also receive approved goods from participating State Parties.
The Guided Trade Initiative is a very significant step towards realising the African dream of boosting trade with each other and developing closer economic ties among State Parties.
Following the official launch of the commercially meaningful trade, the National AfCFTA Coordination Office in collaboration with other Ghanaian agencies will be undertaking market expeditions to lead Ghanaian businesses to explore selected African markets to trade under AfCFTA.
On Farmer’S Day December 7, Accra Great Olympics will confirm an official sponsor’s relationship with logistics giants McDan Group for the next three years.
The deal is also performance-based as there will be substantial increases in the package if certain key achievements are made in Ghana and on the continent.
McDan Group’s interest in supporting the club in a big way was shown some months ago when Olympics played Hearts of Oak in the Accra derby, during the second round of the 2020/2021 season.
Its Executive Chairman, Dr Daniel McKorley together with some notable supporters and board members of the club, Mr Humphrey Williams, Lawyer Frank Davies and Lawyer Gabby Asare Okyere-Darko put together a winning bonus package of GHC 90,000. However the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Mechanics of the deal
The Accra based club can make up to top $270,000 every football year based on key conditions.
The club is to earn a package of $100,000 from McDan Group every contract year with an amount of $50,000 being advanced immediately after signing.
Also a second installment of $30,000 will be paid to the ‘Wonder Club’ on or before February 1, 2022. The remaining $20,000 will cover the cost of using the training pitch at the McDan La Town Park.
Olympics, who are currently fifth on the league log, will also receive $100,000 from McDan if they manage to win the Ghana Premier League (GPL) this season.
Another $50,000 will hit their account if they lift the FA Cup, while $20,000 will go to the club if they record a top four finish.
Joy Sports also understands that the package will be cancelled if the Accra based-club slump into relegation.
Added to all these is the clause to build a $10 million-worth stadium facility for the club if they are able to win the CAF Champions League.
McDan’s Sponsorship history
Dr Daniel McKorley and his outfit has been a known supporter supporter of sports for years and have also made some major strides.
First of them is the organization of the McDan Open Tennis Tournaments which have now been certified by the International Tennis Federation.
At about three occasions, the McDan Group Executive Chairman, Dr McKorley also bailed out the Ghana Tennis Federations from bans from membership of the ITF following arrears of yearly membership’s dues. He supported the federation with various amounts in excess of $30,000.
The McDan Group has also supported the National Junior Tennis team with a mini bus and monetary sponsorship for various tournaments which has also earned results. Ghana is now a dominant force in the African Junior Tennis championship as well as the West African Circuit.
Dr McKorley also constructed the McDan La Town Park which is also the nation’s biggest Astro Turf, in 2017. The McDan La Town Park is the training ground for Accra Great Olympics and is also one of the most vibrant match centers in the Women’s Premier League.
Another sports franchise established by the Group is the McDan Amateur Boxing Series which has been staged in communities to mark festivals and key national milestones.
They include the Independence Edition held in Tamale after the first Independence Parade in Ghana history to be held there and the Special Asafotufiam Festival in Ada, the town from where Ghana’s first boxing world champion D.K. Poison (David Kotei) hails.
The McDan Group also puts together one of the biggest competitive community football tournaments which include the McDan Gadangme Cup for coastal communities in the Greater Accra Region and the McDan Peace Cup.
The signing ceremony is expected to take place at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.
The Chairman of McDan Group of Companies, Daniel McKorley has promised to give every student in Northern Ghana, three to five acres of land to plant soya beans. The land, the business nogul says the beneficiaries can also used to cultivate any other produce of their choice apart from soya.
According to him, the decision to give out this land to students will give them the opportunity to cultivate one or two products for the states. This he noted will go a long way to boost agriculture and promote food sufficiency in the country.
Daniel McKorley’s decision was welcomed by all the paramount chiefs who attended the third edition of the #McDanYouthConnect series in Tamale under the theme “Impacting Youth Development with Entrepreneurship,” and have all agreed to release 100 acres land each for the project of block farming.
During the pitch series which was held at Tamale UDS, Daniel McKorley challenged students not to stop engaging people on what they don’t know, trying something new, and discovering their potentials to grow.
According to him, humility is a key that leads people to success, hence as students, they must learn to be humble and engage people who have made it in life to guide them through the right path to success.
When students asked him how he manage all his businesses and how he stays fully aware of everything happening in them, he commended them for the questions and indicated that “I’m hands-on about everything so it wasn’t wrong to assume that I know everything. I don’t know everything.
He explained that regardless of one’s background and experience, it’s simply not possible to know everything there is about their business or even their specialty.
“…And by thinking you know everything and acting on that feeling, you’re likely to make more mistakes than you otherwise might. And the reason you don’t know everything isn’t that you’re not smart or don’t have enough experience. It’s because the world and the realities of business are simply more complicated and rapidly shifting than anybody can keep up with,” he said.
He noted that, businesses hire smart people with the right attitude to work with and that even the most senior people at some of the largest companies employ consultants and advisors externally as well as relying on and listening to their staff.
He advised them not to worry in deferring to people who are smarter and/or more knowledgeable than they are.
Meanwhile, at the end of the Pitching, Eco-Clean Ghana, an initiative of students in UDS Wa Campus, emerged winner. Eco-Clean Ghana received Ten Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC10,000.00) for emerging the winner from McDan Group of Companies.
Eco-Clean Ghana is a new organization that seeks to recycle waste into useful products. It trains and empowers youth, farmers and women on how they can recycle and reuse both degradable and non-degradable materials into useful products that benefit the environment and the people around.
McDan Group, Daniel McKorley congratulated the winners and looks forward to the growth of their business to create jobs, provide livelihoods, change the narrative from a youth of ‘job seekers’ to ‘job creators’ and creating a genuine impact in their community.
He thanked management of UDS-Tamale for hosting the entire #McDanYouthConnect team, saying that “The welcome, warm reception and hospitality you gave us are truly a unique trademark of your cultural values and a reflection of the kind-hearted people that you are!”
“I’m grateful for the opportunity and platform to share learning points from my journey to the next generation. To the start-ups that pitched their amazing business ideas to our panel to win the GHc10,000 funding pot, you all did an amazing job articulating your enterprise ideas to our audience and judges, and you really blew the crowd away with your creativity and innovation. It’s safe to say that our future is in good hands,” he said.