The 3-day forum was organized by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, African Union Commission and the United Nations Commission for Africa (UNECA).

The Conference dubbed “Harnessing the Benefits of African Continental Free Trade Area for a Ghana Beyond Aid” would basically serve as a foundation for unlocking Africa’s enormous economic potential as well as increasing the intra-African trade.

The Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Isaac Kwame Asiamah addressing the participants said his presentation was geared towards boosting employment opportunities for the outh in support of the AfCFTA, disclosing that initiatives rolled out by his outfit will enhance the participation of the youth in regional and cross border trade.

The sector Minister noted that the Ministry has established a Youth in Sports Programme under the Community Improvement Module of the Youth Employment Agency, where 5,000 outh are being trained and deployed in the areas of Pitch Management, Sports Coaching, Janitorial Services in sports facilities and Fitness and Wellness Instructors.

Hon. Asiamah further added that the National Youth Authority, one of the Ministry‘s agencies has signed an agreement with Ecobank Ghana to recruit 3,000 outh who have been trained in digital marketing and entrepreneurship.

He bemoaned the lack of job opportunities and avenues for the youth to channel their abundant energies and harness their creative abilities into productive ventures was a massive threat to national security and democracy.

Hon. Asiamah explained that with the African Continental Free Trade Area looking feasible, the opportunity is created for the youth to be gainfully employed, however, he advised that the forum formulates deliberate policies that favours their inclusion and development as well as build their capacities to increase their competitiveness in the AfCFTA.

He noted that for the youth to benefit from the African Free Trade Area deal, access to education is another significant factor including the training on how to take advantage of the opportunities on offer.