First lady of the Republic H.E. Mrs. Rebecca Naa Okaikor Akufo-Addo today launched the ‘Young Africa Works’ Project.
An initiative of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and MasterCard Foundation the project seeks to increase opportunities for the youth by creating fulfilling and dignified jobs.
This project will over a three-year period, create 39,000 jobs, 70 per cent of which will be women. It will target graduate youth, out of school youth, school dropouts, and women-owned led micro, small and medium enterprises.
Speaking at the launch, Mrs. Akufo-Addo said she was very pleased with the initiative as it aligned with President Akufo-Addo’s Ghana Beyond Aid agendum which integrally seeks to provide the youth with fulfilling and dignified jobs.
She said since his assumption of Office, President Akufo-Addo has launched a number of initiatives including the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) and the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme to create the platform for training and work experience acquisition by the youth as well as provide integrated support including funding, for start-ups and young businesses.
Despite these initiatives by government Mrs. Akufo-Addo said youth unemployment still persists hovering around 13:69 percent by end of 2019, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), a situation which calls for strategic measures and policies that take into consideration youth development and integration.
She said youth unemployment has the potential to create serious social consequences and can lead to social exclusion and unrest.
The situation, she said calls for the private sector and other bodies to partner government to support youth employment and entrepreneurship.
To this end, Mrs. Akufo-Addo said as part of the Rebecca Foundation’s women’s empowerment initiative, Terema, her foundation partnered with NBSSI to train some young women in various skills and used the occasion to present sewing machines to a batch of young women who recently completed their training while promising her Foundation’s determination to train and provide more women with start-up kits and other equipment to start their own businesses.
The First Lady also called on traditional, religious and community leaders to rally behind the NBSSI/Mastercard Foundation initiative, to enable the youth boldly step into the new future, where their individual and collective contribution will transform Ghana.