UNICEF signs MoU with KOICA to accelerate entrepreneurship in Ghana

Social Koica Mou
Social Koica Mou

The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and UNICEF have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement a project to accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation in Ghana.

The partnership will complement the Government of Ghana’s efforts to support young entrepreneurs and make further progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals agenda.

The project seeks to support the UNICEF StartUp Lab, which was established in 2019 to give opportunities to several cohorts of young people to gain entrepreneurships skills and start innovative businesses.

Through this partnership UNICEF and KOICA, will resource and empower startups that address social and economic deprivations and improve efficiencies in the social sectors, especially in the areas affecting the youth.
The ‘Accelerating Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Ghana’ project will be implemented from 2022 to 2026 with funding support of USD 2.2 million from KOICA, to support the UNICEF StartUp Lab programme.

The project is expected to increase the knowledge and capacity of social impact startups to develop tech-driven solutions that can succeed in the marketplace.

Mr. Mooheon Kong, the Country Director for KOICA Ghana, speaking at the event said the youth had demonstrated a strong drive to start their own businesses, a testament to strong entrepreneurial attitudes as well as a need to secure a livelihood.

Through the project, opportunities will be given to young social impact innovators and entrepreneurs to receive the needed support to thrive and to contribute to the socio-economic development agenda of Ghana.

Mr Moohen said KOICA Ghana signed the Record of Discussion with the University of Ghana to commence the 9 million USD project to establish the Ghana-Korea Centre of Excellence for ICT-based startups and Asian Research (GK-IMPACT).
Thus, the signing of the MoU between KOICA and UNICEF Ghana today cemented the partnership arrangement between the three institutions and showed the commitment of both organizations to support the transformative GK-IMPACT project, he stated.

“KOICA believes that the partnership with UNICEF in Ghana and its linkages with the Ghana-Korea Centre of Excellence for ICT-based Startups and Asian Research (GK-IMPACT) will be pivotal in building up future ICT entrepreneurs to lead the socio-economic development for Ghana,” Mr Moohen said.

He, thus, pledged KOICA’s unwavering support to UNICEF in Ghana and all stakeholders involved in the project.
UNICEF cooperates with the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), an Africa-wide technology entrepreneur training program, seed fund, and incubator headquartered in Accra, Ghana.

In the coming years, there are plans to host the Start-Up Lab at the University of Ghana, to reach many more students and sustain these efforts.

The initiative will support entrepreneurship and innovation in Ghana, especially for ICT-enabled solutions with significant societal impact potential in line with the digitalization efforts of the Government of Ghana.
This will contribute to achieving multiple SDGs, including Goal 8, which focuses on promoting sustained and inclusive economic growth and productive employment for all.

Ms. Anne-Claire Dufay, the UNICEF Representative in Ghana, expressing excitement over the partnership, emphasized UNICEF’s commitment to supporting young people across Ghana to generate entrepreneurial and innovative ideas, especially to provide solutions to core development issues, such as health, education, climate, and employability.
She thanked KOICA for the strategic partnership and support and looked forward to more alliances to empower young people in Ghana.

As the world prepares to mark International Youth Day on August 12th, Mrs. Dufay reiterated the need to invest in young people, who were inspiring agents of change in Ghana and beyond, she added.

Present at the signing ceremony were Senior Deputy Country Director of KOICA Ghana, Mr. Seungmin Oh, Project Manager for KOICA-Ghana, Mr. YongTae Kim, the Director of the Centre for Asian studies of the University of Ghana, Dr. Llyod Amoah, the Programs Director from MEST Africa, Mr. Femi Adewumi, among others.

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