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"My vision is to help firms to capitalize on remarkable opportunities that now exist in Ghana due to the promotion of free enterprise."
Eric Otoo remembers cutting classes in Ghana to queue for bread for his family. A crop failure had tripled food prices and led to rationing, and the military government was bungling economic recovery. With his parents working long hours to make ends meet, Eric was put in charge of three younger siblings. It was a first step on the management ladder. In 1997, five years after the Ghanian military gave up power, Eric came to Grinnell to study economics. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and went to work as an actuary and financial consultant for Chicago and Los Angeles firms with Fortune 500 clients.
Today, Eric has his sights set on returning to Ghana with a Harvard M.B.A. and building up his managerial, entrepreneurial, and marketing skills before starting a financial consulting firm there. He wants to help Ghanaian companies raise and manage capital. He believes this will improve the quality and quantity of their goods and services, increase company profits, and improve living standards in the country.
Outside of work, Eric plans to form business clubs on college campuses and teach finance part-time at the University of Ghana. Down the road, he'd like to be finance minister. That is within his reach, says Analysis Group Vice President Russ Mangum, who observes that Eric's "strong leadership, intellectual abilities, exceptional team skills, and high moral standards" mark him not only as a key figure in Ghana's future "but also in the global business community."
Sam Houston State University