Report of Liberty & Entrepreneurship Camp 2013 (Winter Session)
Through the kind support of the Global Liberty family, the Winter Session of the Liberty & Entrepreneurship Camp 2013 came on as scheduled from 6-12 January, 2013, at the Wood Industry Training Centre in Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa. We hosted the most brilliant students ever since the camps started in 2008. Initially we targeted 50 students but could only raised funds for 40. Out of that 40, 38 made it to the camp.
We are happy to say that our teachers for this session were some of the brightest minds in the Liberty movement. Prof. Ken Schoolland, President of the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL) and a board member of Africa Youth Peace Call, presented an excellent lecture on Libertarianism 101 (The Philosophy of Liberty). It was intended to introduce participants to our cherished philosophy of Libertarianism and the Non-Aggression Principle.
Prof. Noel Berge did two sessions on Business Plan Writing. The first session took students through the fundamentals and the second session was a critique of their groups’ assignment to write a Business Plan. This was to strengthen the immersion process to ensure they understand the skills they were learning.
Fundamentals of Bead Making was handled by Ruddy Nartey of the Youth In Action Team. This was intended to assist participants with job creation skills to enable them to earn a living on their own. Later, students learned how to sell beads on Web Shop & Bitmit.net, a BTC associate that operates like e-bay.
Our country’s Higher Institutions of Learning are awash with Keynesian Economics Principles which damage young minds. It was therefore very refreshing when Clyde Macalister, an author and a passionate Voluntarist from Kettering, Ohio, gave a thought provoking lecture on ‘Why Africa Should Reject Keynesian Economics’.
Through the Curriculum Vitae & Interviewing Skills presentation, Mrs. Rita Oppong of the Kumasi Polytechnic lucidly brought to light why many graduates lose job opportunities in the private sector, where productivity is taken seriously.
Eighty per cent of Ghanaian businesses are in the informal sector. To discover why so many of our economic activities are not registered, our student went on a fact finding mission known as Researching Realities, adopted from the Liberty & Society Seminars (LSS) of the Centre for Civil Society in India. Students were divided into 5 groups to undertake the research. Each group presented their findings on the last full day of the camp.
Fish farming is a lucrative venture in Ghana, as the country’s fish consumption is, so far, not met by local industry even though we have a comparative advantage. It was in line with this that we invited Mr. Samuel Dzube of Safeway Investment, an Investment Company with Portfolios in Estate & Aquaculture, to speak on Investment Opportunities in Fish Farming. It was a bolt from the blue to all of us when he revealed that imports of fish are not allowed by the government. He also explained how one can invest $100 with his company in their fish farming & get $500 in five months.
Participants were introduced to Principles of Economics by the young and dynamic Austrian Scholar, Lode Cossaer. He is a Professor of Economics at the European School of Business and Academic Director at the Belgian Murray Rothbard Institute.
AYPC Board Member and Senior Editor at Casey Research, good old Lobo Trigre, and the man who makes an invisible hand visible, was at his usual best when he lucidly explained ‘The Coming Global Financial Turmoil. He gave students tips on how to survive and urged them to prepare.
Mr. Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, of the Kumasi Centre for Lifelong Learning, presented two sessions in the Week on Business Model Generation and Asset Based Community Development (ABCD).
The author Dr. Ken West gave a life enhancing Lecture based on his book ‘Get What You Want: How to Live Free’. He was inspirational and I guess participants were going to escape from their ‘Crab Buckets’.
We appreciate the insight freedom stalwart Max Borders, Editor of the FEE’s Freeman Magazine, espoused when he gave his Lecture on ‘The Genesis of the Global Financial Crunch.’ Almost everyone here has been made to believe that the crisis was created by the Markets. With empirical evidence, he exposed how it was government interference.
Environmental Management has been a prerogative of the state in Ghana, ensuing degradation and extinction of flora and fauna. Dr. Carlo Stagnaro, of the Bruno Leoni Institute, gave an essential presentation on Free Market Environmentalism. The lecture offered a sustainable alternative in Environmental Management through Private Ownership and Stewardship.
The firebrand Classical Liberal Anarchist Sauvik Charkraverti, an author and activist, broke Lenin & Karl Max’s neck when he took his turn with Socialism Vs. Free Market Capitalism. He was blunt as he is well known to be.
Participants had a 1-hour forum that was dubbed ‘How Do You See the Future of Your Country’. Most students were of the view that endemic corruption is the greatest threat to the country. AYPC President Afrikanus kofi Akosah, acknowledged the fact that corruption is a threat, but emphasized that the expansion of the state cannot be underestimated and that this expansion is the root cause of pervasive corruption.
It was very significant that students explored the Austrian School of Economics and Tsvetelin M. Tsonevski, Director of Academic at FEE wasted no time getting to that.
Yuri Safranov of Target Signals taught Forex Trading in two sessions. In fact, students were glad to explore that field as they see it as a source of livelihood opportunity.
Bitcoins continue to gain popularity as an alternative to government fiat money. We took advantage of the camp to introduce students to BTC. Afrikanus Kofi Akosah gave a powerpoint presentation on ‘The World of Bitcoins and It’s Business side. With a little bit of Monetary History and Policy, the lecture took participates through monetary principles. Bitcoin’s business opportunities, like online markets, BTC as a store of value and webshop were surveyed. Mr. Christopher Rico of the USA donated 0.25 BTC to every participant.
Mr. Dennis Sarkodie, a Lecturer at the Christian Service University College, brought to light the vitality of Freedom of Speech in a Lecture with the theme ‘Freedom of Expression & National Development.‘ He asserted that society risks stagnation if its members cannot make suggestions, and stressed that its denial has always been the tool of tyrants.
The AYPC President handled another talk on the Link Between Property Rights and Prosperity. It exposed how the absence of codified property system stifles wealth creation and economic prosperity.
Dr. Tom G. Palmer, Vice President of Atlas Foundation for Economic Education, removed all the doubts surrounding free markets with his ‘How Markets Works’. He reiterated how markets work far better than government.
Zachery Caceres coherently explained the economic prudence of the Free City Project in one session. The lecture highlighted the economic gains such projects offer and gave Hong Kong as an example.
The various groups also did a presentation on their findings of Researching Realities. They were overwhelmed with the weighty regulations Ghanaians have to go through to eke out a living and acquire properties. AYPC Associate Chris Kuranchie, critiqued the presentations and offered research advice and suggestions.
The last evening we had a cocktail Dance, giving participants the opportunity to eat, drink and dance off the week long hard work. It was so much fun.
The following documentaries were screened and discussed at the Camp: The Philosophy of Liberty; Call of an Entrepreneur; The Devil’s Footpath, The Ultimate Resources; Africa Resources and Conflict; Globalization Is Good and four of the Stossel Videos
OUR SINCERE APPRECIATION
Many thanks to the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL), our main sponsor, which has been matching raised funds for the camps since 2008. We are also thankful to the Atlas Foundation for Economic Education for support the the Camp, not forgetting the Foundation for Economic Education, Mrs. Cristiana Anderson author of The Winning Helix and Ibella, Finland for books and postage. We salute our Board Members for their continue support and guidance. The following individuals deserve mentioning for their immense role in ensuring the success of the camp: Ben Israel, Benjamin Richards, Cary Nunally, Sarah Skwire, Tom G. Palmer and all of you liberty warriors out there who contributed to the chip-in for them camp. We are very grateful for you kind support. Last but not the least the AYPC Team and Volunteers.
I am proud to announce the date of the summer session of the camp is 2-7th June, 2013.