The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation is set to create some 39,000 jobs for the youth in three years, the acting Director in-charge of Women Entrepreneurship at the agency, Philomena Norman, has said.
Of the total, 70 percent of the beneficiaries will be females and supported with dignified and fulfilling jobs, Ms. Norman said.
The jobs will be created during implementation of the partnership, which is currently ongoing in three components: Innovative, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE); Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship (A2E); and the Micro Small Medium Scale Enterprise (MSME) Business Acceleration components.
Speaking at the Springboard-Ghana Cares Youth Dialogue programme at the University of Professional Studies-Accra (UPSA), the acting Director in-charge of Women Entrepreneurship at GEA stated that the agency is mandated to provide financial and non-financial support services to small businesses or young entrepreneurs.
She said under the non-financial services the agency is partnering with Mastercard Foundation to support 39,000 youth be able to access dignified and fulfilling jobs.
“We have it in three components including Innovative, Creativity and Entrepreneurship, Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship and the Micro Small Medium Scale Enterprise Business Acceleration components.
“We have other programmes which focus on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). And so, those in vocational training are not left out and they are provided with the skills needed; and when they are done, they are provided with startup kits to start their own business,” she said.
According to her, this project enables the youth to enter into employment by providing links to job opportunities. “Once you have the idea to start your business, we take you through what we call incubation, prototype and boot-camp programmes wherein you are supported to nurture your business idea and make it a reality; and then you are supported with seed funds as well,” she stated.
The provision of decent jobs for young people is a major component enshrined in the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to assist and guide member-states as they deliver on their respective mandates.
The programme, which was on the theme ‘Opportunities for Ghana’s youth under the Ghana-CARES Programme’, brought together hundreds of tertiary students, graduates and youth groups from the formal and informal sectors.
The list of participating youth groups and institutions included the University of Ghana Business School, Pentecost University College, UPSA, Methodist University College, Wisconsin University and Academic City University.
Others are the National Service Personnel Association (NASPA), Design & Technology Institute (DTI), Tema Technical Institute, YIEDIE Youth Association and the Opportunities Industrialisation Centre-Ghana (OICG). The rest are the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Artisans Association of Ghana (AAG) and the Mastercard Foundation.