Some civil society organisations (CSOs) have lauded the government for the yet-to-be-launched YouStart programme which is intended to address the unemployment situation in the country.
Addressing the media after a one-day sensitisation workshop in Accra last Wednesday for CSOs on the YouStart programme, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs, Sherif Ghali, said the programme was timely and was needed at a time when the nation’s unemployment numbers were seeing an increase after several interventions by the government.
“The Government must be commended for deciding to embark on this bold initiative. Investing GH¢10 million in entrepreneurship for the next three years is huge and good news for the numerous Ghanaian youth looking for sustainable jobs.
“The unemployment numbers can only be reduced when the private sector is supported to expand and create jobs. The YouStart programme, per the design and structure we have seen, will have a huge impact on the Ghanaian youth,” he said.
Mr Ghali, however, added that the government must be transparent in how it managed the programme, and must not allow it to become another political tool that favoured a few people.
“We want the government to be transparent in how the programme is run; we need to know and identify all the beneficiaries of the programme.
Unemployment in this country is a serious issue, and programmes like this that help to create jobs for the youth must be accessible to all,” he added.
The sensitisation workshop was addressed by the Deputy Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament (MP) for Ejisu, Dr John Ampontuah Kumah; the Chief Executive Officer of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme, Kofi Ofosu Nkansah, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Enterprises Agency, Kosi Yankey Ayeh; the President of the Ghana Association of Bankers, John Awuah, and officials from the YouStart secretariat.
CSOs at the sensitisation workshop were Star Ghana, SEND Ghana, Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs, Centre for Community Livelihood Development, Network of Empowered Youth for Development, Ghana Federation of Disability, African Centre for Economic Transformation, Centre for Active Learning and Integrated Development, OXFAM and the Institute for Democratic Governance.
YouStart is being funded by the Electronic Transfer Levy and is expected to be launched by the President in the coming weeks.