As part of efforts to help address the high rate of youth unemployment in the country, National Youth Authority (NYA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has taken another giant step by launching an innovative initiative dubbed: “YouthConnekt Ghana”.
The platform is aimed at empowering young people through the acquisition of relevant up-to-date skills and training that will promote employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
And also, connect them with leaders, role models, resources, businesses and opportunities.
It is envisaged that, YouthConnekt Ghana will also serve as a catalyst for spiking innovations, inspire and involve the youth of Ghana to serve and develop the country.
Speaking at the launching ceremony in Accra, the Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports Hon. Curtis Perry K. Okudzeto, noted that the youth are faced with numerous challenges such as limited access to education, mentorship, finance, employment opportunities, healthcare and others.
According to him, these challenges hinder the capacity of young people to engage in the socio-economic transformation of Ghana and Africa.
This he said, these challenges also stifles efforts aimed at achieving core objectives of Agenda 2063 of the African Union and the 2030 Global Development Agenda.
“YouthConnekt is therefore a crucial platform in contributing towards empowering young people to play their role in our nation’s socio-economic transformation,” he explained.
According to him, already the government of Ghana has established the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP).
The NEIP primarily focuses on providing businesses advisory services, access to market and most importantly access to funding for young businesses to sustain and expand their businesses.
Government announced a US$ 10 Million seed money for this plan. In 2018, 7,000 entrepreneurs across the country received entrepreneurship training under this programme while 1,350 0f the 7,000 were given funding support by Government after pitched their businesses to panel of judges. This year, Government under this programme will support 10,000 entrepreneurs and provide funding to 2,000.
Acting Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ghana, Rokya Ye Dieng, noted that over the years UNDP has been in forefront of supporting government to overcome myriads of development challenges on issues of poverty alleviation, inequality, democratic governance, peace building, climate change and disaster risk.
“In 2015, only 60 percent of the youth age 15 and 35 years old were formally employed ,while the remaining 40 percent remained unemployed or outside the labour force,” she hinted.
According to her, young people are deeply embedded within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which recognizes the need to empower the youth and engage their participation in the implementation of the SDGs
This she said, to ensure that Ghana’s youth fully benefit from YouthConnekt Ghana, UNDP will support Ghana to become a member of YouthConnekt Africa hub.
Adding that, UNDP Ghana Country Office will facilitate Ghana’s access to the bouquet of programs and partnerships that are available from YouthConnekt Africa hub.
The Chief Executive of National Youth Authority Mr. Emmanuel Sin-Nyet Asigri, said, establishing YouthConnekt in Ghana will create the much needed and harmonized platform for knowledge sharing.
Adding that, it will enable the youth to integrate relevant best practices in youth economic and civic empowerment to their existing initiatives.
It will also create the opportunity for youth –led ventures to scale up. He therefore, commended UNDP for providing the needed partnership and support towards the launch of this laudable initiative in Ghana
About YouthConnekt Ghana
YouthConnekt Ghana is a platform based on the interest of Ghanaian youth between the ages of 15 and 35 years. This platform seeks to empower these young people through the acquisition of relevant up-to-date skills and training that will promote employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, connecting them with leaders and role models, resources, businesses and opportunities, and facilitating peer exchange of ideas.
The platform works to create a conducive environment for integrated youth engagement and empowerment through advocacy for support systems such as business registrations online within a day; waivers and bursaries for start-ups and young businesses; provision of ICT infrastructure; provision of youth-friendly and resourceful youth spaces and centers.
YouthConnekt Ghana will serve as a catalyst for spiking innovation, inspire and involve the youth of Ghana to serve and develop the country. The platform has a great potential to visibly transform the lives of the youth and the economy of the country.