A project dubbed “Young Africa Works”, which aims at empowering young people with entrepreneurship skills to develop their potentials and contribute to national development has been launched in Bolgatanga, Upper East Region.
The three-year initiative, on the theme, “Creating dignified and sustainable work for Ghana’s young people,” is being piloted by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation in some selected Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts across the country.
Speaking at the launch of the project, which brought together youth entrepreneurs, Mr Bukari Mohammed, the Upper East Regional Manager, NBSSI, stated the project would train and support about 39,000 youth nationwide with entrepreneurship knowledge and skills for employment avenues and income opportunities.
The inclusive project, which would have more women, about 70 per cent, benefiting, would accelerate business growth for women-led enterprises in Ghana and create opportunities for existing businesses, particularly skilled crafts people, and business development consultants to partner NBSSI as services providers, he added.
The project has three focused implementing components and is geared towards contributing to bridging the gender gap and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly goal five.
The intervention would focus on transforming and supporting young individuals to be innovative, creative and entrepreneurship minded to transition their ideas to growing successful businesses.
Mr Mohammed said apart from creating apprenticeship on entrepreneurship opportunities, the intervention would further equip the youth with technical and vocational skills that would provide them with income opportunities either through gainful self-established businesses or salaried employment.
It would accelerate the sustainable growth and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises by addressing barriers such as access to market, access to finance and increase productivity to meet demand, he added.
The Regional Manager said apart from the 39,000 youth who would receive the initial support, it was expected that at least 12,000 youth in the country would be given vocational skills training that would link them to jobs.
The project would also train and support about 60,000 youth to start their own businesses and support 2,500 MSMEs to accelerate growth.
The Regional Manager said the intervention would be scaled up to other districts and urged the youth within the age range of 16 to 35 years to take interest in the project and apply to be supported with the fund especially in this era of outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic .
The project is being piloted in three districts in the Upper East Region, the Bolgatanga and Kassena-Nankana Municipals, and the Bongo Districts.
Madam Tangoba Abayage, the Upper East Regional Minister, in a speech read on her behalf, applauded the NBSSI and Mastercard Foundation for the initiative and said the project was in line with the government’s vision of building a ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ through youth empowerment.
While encouraging the youth to apply for the support, the Regional Minister urged all stakeholders and traditional, religious and community leaders to support the implementation of the project to benefit the teeming youth.