The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has called on the country’s youth to take advantage of government initiatives and programmes such as the ‘Ghana CARES Obaatanpa’ programme, the Ghana Enterprises Agency, (Formerly NBSSI) and the NIEP.
These initiatives are designed to provide the youth with access to finance and skills in entrepreneurship, agriculture, small scale industries, tourism, trade, etc. In addition, the government is also establishing the National Development Bank to provide funds for those in the manufacturing sector.
“These initiatives together with the technological advancement available, provide the youth with abundant opportunities to nurture and grow their businesses”, Mr. Ofori-Atta said, adding that, “The robust implementation of the aforementioned interventions, particularly the Ghana CARES programme will allow us to create a conducive, compelling and ultimately resilient economic environment fit for business, enterprise and innovation” Ken Ofori-Atta noted.
Ken Ofori-Atta was speaking as the Special Guest at the Springboard Youth Dialogues, an initiative of the springboard Road Show Foundation, a youth mentoring platform focused on entrepreneurship, investment, career and talent development for the young people across Ghana since 2007.
Participants at the event drawn from tertiary institutions included young entrepreneurs, start-up business owners and prominent youth in the Bono Region. The programme was simultaneously broadcast across radio stations in the middle belt, with the Minister and resource persons responding to questions sent digitally from all these locations.
On the Ghana CARES programme, the Minister said it has been designed to stimulate economic growth through increased investment in selected sectors, including agriculture, trade and industry, tourism, housing, science and technology and the financial sector.
He said specific efforts will be made towards providing the youth with access to finance and skills in these areas to expand the production and capacity.
Ken Ofori-Atta also underscored the need for the youth to grab the opportunities in technology as the world has now become more advanced technologically.
He mentioned the rise of Mobile Money and other efficient payment systems which has made life a lot easier as it allows for easy payment for goods and services.
“And to crown it all, with digital address systems and the multiplicity of delivery services, the product can be delivered to a client you may never meet in your entire life”.
Resource persons for the various sessions include officials from the Ministry of Finance, Ghana Enterprises Agency, formerly NBSSI, the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) and the Springboard Road Show Foundation.
Telling them about how he and his friends started Databank, he asked them not to despise small beginnings but he persistent and have faith and confidence in themselves to do what they have to do.
“Again, if you’ve failed in an exam or business venture, you’re not alone. I know how it feels. The lesson here is clearly to have a deep belief in oneself that it is possible. You just have to have faith in yourself and the confidence to do what you want to do” he concluded.
The Minister implored them to reflect on the dialogue which he believes should lead to positive disruption and inspiration to reposition them for the future.He challenged them to reposition themselves for available opportunities in the coming decades as the future belong to them.