Unemployment amongst the youth, has plagued the country for many years with successive governments promising to deal with it.
This despondent phenomenon led to the formation of the famous Graduates Unemployment Association of Ghana between 2012 to 2016.
Very little has been done to reduce graduates’ unemployment despite promises to do so.
It’s either there was little or no commitment or scarcity of ideas sound enough to tackle and defeat that canker.
On more occasions than not, financial support for businesses and start-ups have been the bane for those who have the passion to veer into businesses.
One thing which has bedeviled the graduates’ youth is their unwillingness to branch into agriculture as the notion has been that farming is the preserve of the uneducated.
The Akufo-Addo administration set out to unearth the hidden potentials within the youth in terms of entrepreneurship, and this led to the establishment of the National Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan (NEIP).
This vehicle has been used to train over 45,000 entrepreneurs since its establishment.
Out of the over 45,000 entrepreneurs trained, over 9,350 businesses have been funded.
So far, over 92,000 direct and indirect jobs have been created for the youth.
Apart from the success chalked so far as afore-highlighted, NEIP has also instituted measures aimed at attracting the youth into the agricultural sector.
NEIP under the Ministry of Business Development has established 75 domes (Greenhouse Estate Project) at Dawhenya and it is the largest of its kind in West Africa.
The plan is to build 1000 in all the 16 regions which can create an estimated number of 10,000 jobs for the youth.
Sixty-nine women entrepreneurs in the Greater Accra Region recently received GH¢533,000 to boost their business activities under the “Young Women Entrepreneurship Initiative”
Those in the trade and commerce sector received the highest amount of GH¢276,000, followed by those in agribusiness, who had GH¢77,000, while the beneficiaries in fashion and beauty and service received GH¢70,000 and GH¢65,000, respectively, with those in ICT receiving GH¢45,000.
The Young Women Entrepreneurship Initiative is a project being undertaken by the Ministry of Business Development and its implementing agency, the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), in collaboration with the Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Projects (SEHP).
It is aimed at helping to build the capacities of young women entrepreneurs and transition them from necessity-entrepreneurs to opportunity-driven entrepreneurs.
About 1,500 youth in the Upper East Region are to benefit from the government’s National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) by the close of the year.
Going forward, the Akufo-Addo administration is going to roll out a GHc50 million funding opportunity for additional 5,000 start-ups in the country.
This initiative forms part of the presidential business support program aimed at providing integrated national support for start-ups and small businesses.
The Presidential Pitch is a module initiated by NEIP which aims at rewarding deserving start-ups and existing businesses to expand and employ additional hands.
Judging from the above, one is left with no doubt that NEIP has lived up to expectations and if the Akufo-Addo administration is retained, unemployment would further reduce drastically.
P.K.Sarpong, Whispers from the Corridors of the Thinking Place.