Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, has advised the youth to develop practical entrepreneurial skills aimed at creating self-employment.
She said considering the rate of unemployment and the increasing levels of poverty, there was the need to teach the youth, especially girls’ skills at a youthful age by engaging them in extra curriculum programmes during their free time.
Madam Owusu-Banahene made the call when she was speaking at the Bono Change-Makers Community event held in Sunyani on the theme: ”Bridging the Gap between the Entrepreneurial World and the Mindset of the Young Girl.”
The Bono Change-Makers is an entrepreneurship and innovative mindset initiative spearheaded by InspiNest, a non-governmental organisation in collaboration with the Civil Connection Community Foundation (CCCF) and funded by the Civil Society in Development (CISU), Denmark.
The one-year project began in February 2022 to change the mindsets of young females towards being innovative and entrepreneurial with a focus on Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 5, which address gender equality and quality education.
The project trained 10 students each from three Senior and Junior High Schools (S/JHS) which comprised Our Lady of Providence Girls SHS, Notre Dame Girls SHS and Serwaa Kesse Girls SHS, Bishop Owusu Girls School Complex and Notre Dame Basic School.
To ensure the sustainability of the project, entrepreneurial hubs were created to allow the girls to impart the knowledge acquired and each school had successfully increased the total number of change-makers to 60 and more in their schools.
Madam Owusu-Banahene explained that entrepreneurship training promoted creativity, innovation, and collaboration, saying those attributes would support the girls to develop leadership skills, be competitive and learn to take more risks as they ascend the educational ladder.
She said the world today was filled with unprecedented global and technological transformation; hence students were faced with an uncertain future full of complex, social and environmental issues.
Madam Owusu-Banahene added that entrepreneurship-focused programmes teach students crucial life skills that would assist them to navigate this uncertain future.
Mr Emil Pearson, Co-Founder and Head of Operations InspiNest, said gender equality needed a push in the Bono region and through that the capacity of the girls would be developed to empower them holistically.
He explained that the project enabled the girls to look around their environments, identify problems and prescribe hands-on solutions to addressing those problems to create jobs through that.
Daisy Akyena Adofoaa Fenteng, a JHS two pupil of Bishop Owusu Girls School Complex sharing her experience with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said through the project
She had become articulate and could identify basic challenges around her and prescribe solutions to them unlike before when she felt timid and could not express her views on issues.
The participating schools as part of their project work during the one-year programme, processed raw food items into powder, used plastic waste materials to make products like bags, chairs, dustbin, raincoat, water tank indicator and a host of items.