The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori Atta has urged the youth to take advantage of the various entrepreneurship programmes rolled out by the government to create jobs for themselves and others in Ghana.
He mentioned specifically the National Entrepreneurship and Innovative Programme (NEIP) that was setup to provide financial and technical support to the youth who had various business ideas to enable them develop their businesses.
He therefore, urged Ghanaians especially, the youth to discard that notion that it was the government that could create jobs for everyone in the country of which they the youth are capable of creating through their set skills with financial and technical support from the governmental agencies.
Mr Ofori Atta said this at the Springboard Road Show Youth Dialogue on the theme "Repositioning - Bouncing Back from Covid-19 and Finding Opportunities" in Tamale on Thursday.
The Springboard Road Show brings together accomplished and seasoned Ghanaians to inspire the youth to take advantage of the various opportunities at their disposal to be financially independent and also to contribute their quota to the development of the country.
Entrepreneurship/ Skills training
According to the Finance Minister, about 16 million people come into the workforce yearly across Africa and 83 per cent of them are unable to find jobs.
He said as a result, the unemployed rate has kept increasing every year.
He however, stated that the solution to the unemployment situation in the country was entrepreneurship and other skills training programmes which could place the youth in the position to create jobs for themselves.
Mr Ofori Atta also used the occasion to encourage graduates from the various tertiary institutions to venture into skills training programmes that would expose them to entrepreneurship opportunities to make them self-reliant.
"We have been deliberate as a government on the issue of economic freedom, especially how to develop the skills of people and to build their capacities to take up opportunities," he said.
He used his life experiences to encourage the youth not to give up when they encountered difficulties in their careers but to rely on the power within themselves to move on.
"I must also say that we must do away with the poverty aspirations that turn to blind us from seeing opportunities," he stated.
Ghana Cares, Obaatanpa Programme
The Finance Minister said under the Ghana Cares Obaatanpa programme, a quarter of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP ) was going to be injected to turn Ghana into a regional hub in which industrialisation and value addition became key.
He added that the Ghana Cares Programme would also unlock the potentials of the youth especially those who were economically active in terms of access to capital and skills to engender business activities in the country.
He said that in the Northern part of the country, government was going to prioritize agriculture as part of the programme to open up opportunities for the youth.
The Director of Business Support and Policy, NEIP, Mr Franklin Owusu-Karikari stressed that the NEIP was one of the government's flagship programmes aimed at supporting the youth with business ideas to develop those ideas into fully fledged businesses.
He added that the first person who won the presidential pitch under the NEIP initiative was a female from the Northern Region. He further urged the youth to avail themselves to the opportunities and support under the initiative.
Springboard Road Show
According to the Executive Director of the Springboard Road Show Foundation, Mrs Comfort Ocran, the Springboard Road Show was a mentoring platform that generated conversations and interactions between achievers and young people about leadership, entrepreneurship, talent, investment and career development.
She said the changes the world had seen, especially with Covid-19 and the growth of technology and innovation meant that individuals, organizations and even nations had to radically rethink their ways of doing things and reposition themselves for the future.
"This generation of young people is facing challenges previous generations did not face, they are dealing with pressures their parents are unfamiliar with and they are asking questions someone needs to answer. Springboard will continue working with our young people and helping them to become the very best that they can be… leaders of this great continent of ours," she added.
Source: Daily Graphic