The government has targeted the creation of one million jobs within the next three years through entrepreneurial initiatives to advance the country’s development, Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T Hammond, has stated.
To this end, he said, the government was focused on providing the requisite training to build the entrepreneurial capacity of Ghanaians to enable them to seize income generating opportunities and help address unemployment.
He was speaking in Accra yesterday during a working visit to three training centres providing skills training to entrepreneurs under the Ghana Jobs and Skills Project.
Being implemented by the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), the project formed part of the Youstart Programme introduced last year by the government to build an entrepreneurial population by providing some of the key enablers that make entrepreneurship a success.
The enablers include access to finance and markets, mentorship, strategic partnership and digital linkages, technical assistance and business advisory support service.
About 7,420 participants are being trained in 212 training centres across the country.
In all, the project is expected to train 5,000 Ghanaians in various entrepreneurship levels in 188 districts.
Mr Hammond explained that, Ghana’s unemployment situation had been exacerbated by a growing population, hence the need for entrepreneurial initiatives to create jobs.
He said the government considered the training as necessary to upgrade the skills of the country’s population, to create more and better-quality jobs, and improve job outcomes for the youth.
“The government and for that matter my Ministry of Trade and Industry, believe that entrepreneurship plays an important role in the economic, social and environmental transformation of Ghana, as this will enable young people to seize income generating opportunities and help address unemployment.
“The Ghana Jobs and Skills Project which is under the Youstart flagship programme is therefore considered a major stepping stone and an avenue to upgrading skills among the country’s population, creating more and better-quality jobs, and improving job outcomes for the youth,” Mr Hammond added.
The Ministry, he noted, was committed to supporting the GEA to create a vibrant entrepreneurial economy by fostering the growth and development of small and medium-scale enterprises.
The Minister said small and medium-scale enterprises were critical for increased export and that business take full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Chief Executive Officer of GEA, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said, the YouStart project was part of government’s interventions to tackle the youth unemployment situation in Ghana.
She said the World Bank was providing financing and technical support towards the implementation of the Ghana Jobs and Skills Project which had the objective of supporting skills development and job creation.
She noted that, the training would be done at three stages saying that participants who reach the advance stage and show promise in creating viable businesses would be allowed to apply for competitive business grants.
The grants, Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said, would be in the form of capital, equipment, including startup kit, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions and business formalisation, among others.