Ghana’s Minister for Business Development, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim Awal has challenged the business community in the country to support government’s national youth entrepreneurship agenda by the adopting and training young people.
Speaking to business owners at the opening of the 4th African SME Summit in Accra yesterday, the Minister urged them to adequately mentor young people attached to their businesses usually for brief periods.
The two-day summit on the theme ‘Micro-Multinationals: Growing SMEs Through Digital Technologies,’ is under the aegis of the Ministry for Business Development in collaboration with the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) and the African SME Organization. “Each business should take two young people who come to work with you either through national service or attachment and build them up, equip them because they do have talents,” the Minister charged businesses.
Mr Awal said majority of Ghana’ young graduates are full of ideas but needed to be given the necessary tools and opportunities to grow those ideas.
“They come from our technical universities and other institutions, they have the ideas, they need places espouse the ideas; adopt them, help and we from the Ministry for Business Development will be ready to support you, “he added.
Referring to the World Bank data which revealed that 48 per cent of Ghana’s youth are unemployed, one of the highest in the world, the Minister noted that youth entrepreneurship remained an important step towards solving the unemployment crisis in the country.The future, he indicated is for the young people, adding “young people between the ages of 18 and 36 are driving businesses in Ghana
Dialogue with MMDAs on youth entrepreneurship
The Minister announced that early 2018, his outfit in partnership with the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank will hold an stakeholder dialogue with Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to identify entrepreneurial opportunities for the youth.
“At that forum key sector ministers will be present together with young budding entrepreneurs to find out how our young people can leverage appropriately,” Mr Awal said.
National Entrepreneurship Policy in the offing.The policy according to the Minister will put young people at the centre of business in Ghana.
He urged the youth to take full advantage of the opportunities out there as government continues to create the space and show more commitment in making young people successful.
$50m allocated to NEIP in 2018
Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta pledged government’s unflinching support for entrepreneurship as he revealed that budgetary allocation made to the NEIP had been increased from $10million in 2017 to $50million in 2018.
“With this we are hopeful that the private sector will be able to leverage and increase the fund hopefully to the targeted $100million,” the Finance Minister said.