At the mid-year budget review on Thursday, July 29, the Finance Minister announced in parliament the establishment of a “Youth banc” with the aim to finance youth-led start-up businesses across the country.
According to the Finance Minister, the initiative is estimated to create over 100,000 jobs. It will be championed by the Enterprise and Youth Support Fund (EYSF) and managed by the Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF), which is being revamped to be better positioned to carry out the designated activities as a Fund Manager.
“Mr Speaker, the Enterprise and Youth Support Fund, which aligns with Government’s overall strategy of developing a competitive and viable private sector economy, will set up a “Youth banc” with the aim of financing youth-led start-up businesses across the country,” said the Finance Minister.
“As part of this initiative, an online investment hub will be established for youth across the country to access information for the purpose of establishing businesses,” he further added.
Mid-Year Budget Review- Government Initiatives
In his presentation of the mid-year budget review to parliament, the Finance Minister acknowledged the persistent problem of unemployment and lack of jobs for the youth, who constitute 71% of Ghana’s population. He said this is made worse by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The Minister, therefore, outlined other initiatives by the government to help remedy the situation.
Government’s remedy to youth unemployment
The Minister of Finance further stated that government plans to ease the constraints of the private sector to enable them to expand and provide jobs for the youth. One of the key obstacles that stood in the way of the private sectors’ growth and ability to absorb jobs, is “the persistent skills gap among our youth.” In response to the situation, the government plans to,
- strengthen the links between education and job market stakeholders.
- revitalize the skills development initiatives under Ghana Enterprises Agency, NEIP, YEA, and COTVET.
- Work on a scheme that enables the private sector to train new recruits/entrants at a subsidized rate by Government.
Also, the government is pursuing what it calls direct interventions (i.e “Obaatanpa” Youth Entrepreneurship Drive, Ghana Skills and Enterprise Development Project, Student Entrepreneurship Initiative, the Youth in Community Improvement Module, and the Alternative Employment and Livelihood programmes) to enable the youth to live “decent lives and contribute to nation-building.”
Message to the Youth
During his presentation, Ken Ofori-Atta relayed a message from His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to the youth. The message assured the youth of the government’s unrelenting effort in creating job opportunities.
“The last couple of years have not been easy for our young people. Your education has been disrupted; for many of you, your business plans are on hold because of a lack of funding or opportunities. You may have lost your job or are simply tired of joining long queues or filling job application forms for vacancies that are filled even before your ink is dry. But we have a message for you: big opportunities are coming, and the President wants you to be part of that. The President is determined to see as many of you having the opportunity to help shape our future. We value your input, and even as we roll out programmes to support you, we will continue to engage” a portion of the message read.