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Paying it Forward: Accounting Alumnus and Oil Company CEO Shares Good Fortune

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Kevin Okyere, BS Accounting ’05 and CEO of Ghana’s Springfield Group, has always had an affinity for numbers. He decided to pursue his degree at George Mason University’s School of Business because of the diversity the campus offered and its proximity to Washington, D.C.

Okyere returned to Ghana after graduation where he established Westland Alliance Ltd., a telecommunications company that provided international call routing. He ran the company for three years before moving on to the “budding downstream petroleum subsector.” He founded Springfield in March 2008 after seeing a gap in the industry, where there was little involvement from private Ghanaian companies in oil and gas.

“I began my entry into oil and gas by exploring the opportunity of constructing storage tanks for petroleum products. In the process, I realized that it would be more feasible and definitely more profitable to also import and distribute petroleum products, which would then be stored in our tank farms prior to distribution. This would give the opportunity to participate across the value chain of the oil and gas business,” he says.

From there, the company became licensed as a bulk distribution company for the import and distribution of petroleum products. Springfield is also involved with the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry, licensing their first asset (West Cape Three Points Block 2) from the government of Ghana in 2016. His new goal is to be the founder and CEO of the first wholly owned Ghanaian company to operate a producing oil block in Ghana.

Okyere also enjoys giving back, with a personal goal of positively impacting lives. “I view my entrepreneurship as a vehicle to enrich lives, as I believe a man’s purpose on earth is to make a difference in the lives of others,” Okyere says.

He launched the Kevin Okyere Foundation, which creates and invests in programs that make a positive impact on communities in the areas of education, particularly for girls, health care, and job creation through entrepreneurship. The foundation runs scholarship and mentorship programs with a community education project, provides health care for indigent individuals, and supports entrepreneurial programs that will “further develop Africa’s economy and eventually make the world a better place.”

“I came to the realization a long time ago that enriching the lives of others and paying it forward, to family and friends, but most importantly to people I don't know and have never met is important to me,” he says. “Being able to touch their lives and put a smile on their faces is what gives me lasting joy and a true sense of fulfillment.”

 

Written by Katherine Johnson Dias on .