The National Youth Authority (NYA) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports has launched the Ghana Youth Connekt in Accra.

The Youth Connekt is an initiative that aims to among other things train and build the skills of young people who seek either formal employment or want to be entrepreneurs, thereby creating a multiple opportunities for the youth to participate meaningfully in the socio-economic development of the country.

Speaking at the launch of the programme, the Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Perry Curtis Kwabla Okudzeto believes that the initiative, which has already been successfully implemented in Rwanda would present a significant platform for young people to be empowered and effectively play their role in the country’s transformation agenda.

The Deputy Minister observed that young people are faced with myriad of challenges such as limited access to education, mentorship, finance, employment opportunities among several others.

To this end, Perry Okudzeto disclosed that government has allocated $10m as seed money for the National Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan (NEIP) to provide business advisory services, access to market and most importantly access to funding for start-ups to sustain and expand their businesses.

“In 2018, 7000 entrepreneurs across the country received entrepreneurship training under this programme while 1,300 of the 7000 were given funding support”, adding that this year, a further 10,000 entrepreneurs will be supported with 2000 people receiving funding support.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports is mandated through the NYA to ensure the development of the skills and potential of the country’s youth population.

In view of this, the Deputy Minister recounted how the Ministry through the NYA trained 2000 young people in online digital marketing and entrepreneurship across the country with each trainee receiving a tablet and data credit as a start-up tool

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) John Kumah revealed that his outfit in partnership with the European Union (EU) secured €4.5 billion to assist young people who are interested in start-up businesses.

Mr Kumah also disclosed that NYEP in partnership with the National Service Secretariat (NSS) has made it possible for tertiary graduates to do the mandatory National Service at their start up businesses while being entitled to the stipends that come with doing a National service.

The UNDP resident representative commended government for the Youth development innovations and pledged the UNDP’s commitment towards the realization of these youth development oriented goals of the country.

Source: PR Unit, MOYS