Mr. Andrew Ameckson, Chief Accountant at the Ministry of Finance, stated that the government’s YouStart initiative was intended to produce 1 million employment, with 800,000 of those positions going to Ghanaian youth directly.
He went on to say that YouStart was a national program, and that eligible candidates would be given the chance and assistance they needed to contribute their fair share to the country’s progress.
The YouStart Secretariat at the Ministry of Finance met with a cross section of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Accra ahead of the official launch of the YouStart Programme, he added.
The purpose of the stakeholder conference was to walk CSOs through the YouStart policy structure, framework, and beneficiary group criteria, as well as to solicit their support and recommendations prior to the program’s formal debut.
Mr. Ameckson also provided some statistics on the country’s young population, stating that the total youth population in Ghana was 11.7 million between the ages of 15 and 35, with a 19.7 percentage youth unemployment rate estimated at 1,140,009.
Jobless ladies accounted for 22.3 percent of the total, or 605,451, while unemployed males accounted for 17.4 percent, or 534,558.
According to the presentation, there were 187,763 employees who had lost their employment and were looking for work.
He demonstrated that 50 percent of Ghana’s projected 5,872,229 young were categorized as underemployed, which he defined as working below one’s ability, and that the YouStart was critical in ensuring that adequate capacity building was done to get the best out of the teeming youth.
The advantages, benefits, and eligibility requirements of the YouStart program were also discussed by Ms. Patience Arko Boham, a Ministry representative.
To be eligible for the program, she added, candidates needed to have a verified digital address, a Ghana Card, and two weeks of training.
She said that the initiative was aimed at youngsters between the ages of 18 and 40, and that after a thorough review of the applications, individuals and organizations would be provided working capital in the amounts of GHC 50,000 and GHC 100,000, with a 4% interest rate payable over three years.
Network for Empowered Youth for Development, SEND GHANA, Ghana Chamber of Youth Entrepreneurs, STAR-Ghana Foundation, and Strategic Youth Network for Development were among the civil society organizations represented at the gathering.