Government has expressed its intention in establishing a youth banc to finance businesses of the youth across the country.
Presenting the 2021 Mid-year budget review to Parliament on Thursday, July 29, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta opined that the project will be catered for by the Enterprise and Youth Support Fund.
As part of this initiative, Mr Ofori Atta explained that an “online investment hub” will be established for the youth across the country. This, he explained, will be for the youth to access information for the purpose of establishing businesses.
“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”.Ken Ofori Atta
The Finance Minister further noted that under the initiative, it is estimated that over 100,000 jobs will be created. As such, the EYSF will be managed by the Venture Capital Trust Fund.
Mincing no words, Mr Ofori Atta revealed that the fund is being revamped to be better positioned to carry out the “designated activities as a Fund Manager”.
Challenges of private sector
Touching on the challenges encountered in private sector growth, Mr Ofori Atta highlighted the “persistent skills gap among our youth”.
A recent survey, according to the Finance Minister revealed that about 50 percent of local employers report misalignment of or inadequacy of skills in the market.
It also reports that at least 50 percent of new tertiary institution entrants are enrolling in programmes in sectors with no or little growth in labour market.
“In response to this, we are strengthening the links between education and job market stakeholders. We are also revitalizing the skills development initiatives under Ghana Enterprises Agency, NEIP, YEA and COTVET. We are also feverishly working on a scheme that enables the private sector to train new recruits at a subsidized rate by Government”.Ken Ofori Atta
Building an entrepreneurial nation
Expounding on the plans of government, Mr Ofori Atta highlighted the intention of building an “entrepreneurial nation is already known”. With this, government aims to empower the youth to be at ease and venture into business.
Furthermore, he averred that the clean-up of the financial sector and the “invigoration of the entrepreneurial eco-system” is expected to help remove the binding constraints of financing for the youth. To achieve this, he espoused on government’s intent to establish a one million job initiative.
“Our focus will remain on establishing a strong value system for entrepreneurship to flourish. Recognizing that more needs to be done, Government is today announcing a ‘One Million jobs initiative‘ to aggressively respond to the need of the country”.Ken Ofori Atta
These interventions, the finance minister emphasized, are clearly designed to bring us closer to confronting the jobs and employment challenges of our Youth.
“To ensure dedicated resources, the Ministry of Finance and all participating institutions will, next month, sign an implementation Compact on youth employment which will tie release of resources to delivery of results. This Compact will also track youth focused initiatives across the value chain of interventions under the Ghana CARES programme”.Ken Ofori Atta