KE: I think it is very important for young people to engage in matters and discussion bordering on socio-political and economic issues. It is easy for young people to be disinterested in such matters; perhaps because we are usually under the impression that those matters are either for the older and very accomplished people in society or are abstract to young people. That is a worrying approach because those issues actually affect young people. When young people ignore issues such as reckless government spending and consistent borrowing without any development to show for, the country would be left a huge debt, which the same young people would have to pay off. I believe young people today are the future leaders of tomorrow, and with that in mind, young people ought to be engaged in the very issues that affect the future they hope to be leaders of. FOG: In what ways can youth contribute and be a part of the development of Ghana? KE: The youth can contribute to the development of Ghana in many ways. Currently, there are quite a number of young people who have been hit by the winds of entrepreneurship blowing across the African continent. These brilliant young people are creating jobs for other young people through their businesses and are contributing to the economy of Ghana. Other young people are engaged in social enterprises and are giving back to the community that raised them through teaching and other volunteer works. Young people should also participate in the democratic process and ensure that politicians address problems facing the young generation with practical solutions. They should suggest more creative ways of solving the problems facing Ghana and the youth in Ghana. FOG: What inspired you to set up K.A. Essuman Consultancy? KE: I set up K.A. Essuman Consultancy when I was moving back to Ghana. I needed something to keep me busy whilst I figured out whether or not to practise law in Ghana, and which firm to join. The Consultancy was a vehicle to continue what I was doing in London, which was representing Ghanaian nationals living in the U.K. with immigration and other related problems. Since I was going to be based in Ghana, my focus was on the application process because that was where many of the problems arose. I therefore assisted persons who wished to apply for entry clearance visas to prepare a strong application and include strong supporting documents. I also assisted those who had been refused to appeal the Entry Clearance Officer’s decision.
Another aspect of the Consultancy was to prepare students who were taking the University of London’s External LL.B. course as well as candidates from all over the world preparing for the New York Bar Exam. FOG : How do you envision Ghana’s legal system operating in 25 years? KE: The Ghanaian legal system is growing and very fast too. We have quite a number of lawyers who have been exposed to very big international transactions and corporate related matters. As an emerging economy, I expect this exposure to continue. In my practice area, which is commercial litigation and dispute resolution, I expect there to be more disputes. There have been quite a few interesting cases in recent years that have ended in the Supreme Court of Ghana, and I expect that there would be more commercial litigation and particularly, arbitration. This is because international transactions are getting complex by the day and with many people understanding the rights they have under such transactions, they are likely to resort to the courts than to take matters into their own hands. This would be good for the development of our legal jurisprudence and business practices. FOG: What is your message of advice to all the aspiring young Ghanaians? KE: My message to aspiring young Ghanaians is simple – there is nothing in this world that you cannot do. Everything is possible with determination, commitment and a lot of hard work. Since I am Christian, and believe that the grace of God, which is free for all who believe, is a key factor in being able to doing everything you put your mind to. I will also add that, you should seek and listen to advice, even if you do not act on that advice. People would always want to advise you and usually out of the one hour of advice, only one minute will be useful. You will not get that one-minute if you do not listen to the one-hour. And, all the best in whatever you aspire to do or become.