Home Business Govt’s ‘1D1F Enable Youth Initiative’ to create over 16,000 jobs in Ghana

Govt’s ‘1D1F Enable Youth Initiative’ to create over 16,000 jobs in Ghana

Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen.
Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen.

About 1.74 million (13.4 per cent) of the total working population of 13 million in the age bracket of 15 years and above, in the first quarter of the 2022 were unemployed, a study conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) also revealed.

The Annual Household and Expenditure Survey (AHIES), under the Harmonising and Improving Statistics in West Africa Project, funded by the World Bank, revealed that unemployment rate rose from 13.4 per centto 13.9 per cent (1.8 million people) in the second quarter of the year.

To curb the unemployment rate in the country, government has launched the ‘1D1F Enable Youth Initiative’ to create about 16,000 jobs in the country.

The ‘1D1F Enable Youth Initiative’ is aimed to aid young graduates to establish agro-processing factories, along key value chains in selected districts across the country in line with the 1-District 1-Factory policy.

Through this initiative, successful applicants will be supported to form companies and provided with processing centres with interest-free loans.

Speaking at the official launch of the ‘1D1F Enable Youth Initiative’ on Friday 23rd December, 2022, at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, revealed that unemployment in the country will be drastically reduced through the introduction of the 1D1F Enable Youth Initiative.

He posted the initiative will directly create employment for 3,000 youth and over 16,000 indirect jobs for unemployed persons across the length and breadth of the country.

Hon. Kyerematen, indicated that the programme would help create sustainable jobs and also enhance agricultural production to boost the country’s economy.

Saying, “It is an uncontestable fact, that one of the problems confronting our country is how we deal with youth unemployment. This particular initiative will contribute to employing almost 3000 youth. It is also going to contribute indirectly to creating over 16, 000 jobs.”

“But it’s not only about agriculture, because agriculture without industrialization is not sustainable. That is why we have been struggling with our agricultural sector for many years. We are unable to process what we grow and produce. So in this case, the industrialization component of this program is going to further enhance and deepen a culture of production and productivity and that is very important for the industrial transformation of our country,” he reemphasized.

The sector Minister further explained that the ‘1D1F Enable Youth Initiative’ program is also seeking to unleash the entrepreneurial initiative in our youth. So the concept is not only about creating jobs for the youth it is also making sure that they become entrepreneurs.

Mr Hani Abdelkader Elsadani, Country Director and Representative of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Ghana, also noted IFAD cooperation with the Government of Ghana dates back well over four decades, since 1970.

Since then, he said IFAD has approved about US$397.0 million in loans and grants to support 20 projects and programs worth a total cost of over US$ one billion.

Mr. Hani, observed that Ghana’s partnership has been always to enable the poor rural people to improve and diversify their livelihoods sustainably. He said it is to this end that IFAD aligns its assistance to the government’s main development agenda in the agriculture and small and micro- enterprises sector.

Thus, according to him, IFAD financed projects and programmes had developed models that enable small rural entrepreneurs to overcome their constraints, enhancing their assets base and become more competitive and resilient to economic and climate shocks.

Mr Hani Abdelkader Elsadani, reiterated that, the ‘Enable Youth Initiative’ is quite instrumental to help provide entrepreneurial opportunities for the rural Youth. Adding that, “It is a key in helping them to provide them with livelihood opportunities, building their capacities to enable them access services and credit, provide them with the information and knowledge to make right decisions that promotes their economic activities, as well as integrate them into larger market.”

On his part, the National Director of Rural Enterprises Programme Mr Kwesi Attah-Antwi, pointed out that in 2017, the government of Ghana through the Minister of Trade and Industry made a very strong case and agreed with the representatives of the development partners including IFAD and African Development Bank for a realignment of the initiative to the ‘1D1F’ policy as part of the general realignment of REP to governments industrialization transformation agenda.

To him, the current structure that they have now implemented, has a youth own processing factory as a central unit, which promotes the enterprise and agribusiness activities in the entire value chain for a particular identified commodity.

“This is a clear innovation tax. As you are aware, you have been struggling to really get in place but we have come a long way with the implementation of this dream amidst some challenges, including the COVID-19 and the need to re-arranged some of our financial resources,” he noted.

“I want to appreciate the understanding between ADB and IFAD and also effort in providing resources to really carry through this programme.”

The beneficiary youth under the initiative is totaling about 406 in number, representing 3200 tertiary graduate. The main target is 3200 and all these people have been selected through very transparent means over the years.

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