The Country Director-Mastercard Foundation, Nathalie Akon Gabala, has emphasised that two flagship programmes of the organisation and its partners, Youth Economic Forum (YEF) and the Young Africa Works (YAW), will unlock opportunities for young men and women in the agriculture sector to realise their entrepreneurship dreams.
She said Mastercard Foundation has over the years played a significant role in skillset development and youth empowerment programmes of the country, and has realised the deep passion, innovation and entrepreneurship potentials of the youth. However, lack of technical know-how and financial access, among others, has inhibited some potentials, especially in agriculture; hence, it will continue its partnerships with key institutions to support the youth.
“Young Ghanaians are innovative, entrepreneurial and deeply passionate about creating a better future for themselves, their families, peers and communities. Therefore, to enable that process to continue and to stimulate ripples of impact, Young Africa Works (YAW) in Ghana will work to unlock opportunities for young Ghanaian women and men over the next decade,” she said.
She added that YAW’s strategy is focused on deepening efforts in the agriculture sector, using the value chain development approach to address systemic barriers, enhance productivity and provide access to financial services for operators within the value chain.
The Mastercard Foundation’s ‘Young Africa Works’ strategy seeks to create sustainable direct and indirect job opportunitiesforo about three million young people in Ghana by 2023.
The Mastercard Foundation believes that using platforms like the YEF to bring the youth together and seek their first-hand input and expectations into policy decisions, will fine-tune the YAW programme and unlock the full potential of identified value chains to create work opportunities for young Ghanaians.
“We also see great value in joining forces with like-minded organisations to create platforms that allow young people to contribute to conversations that impact them, in areas of entrepreneurship, innovation, technology-adoption, access to finance and technical assistance,” stated the Mastercard country director.
Madam Gabala made these remarks in her address on the second day of the Ghana Economic Forum’s (GEF) 10th edition, organised by the Business and Financial Times (B&FT) and themed ‘Strengthening homegrown policies to underpin the national digitisation drive and share financial prosperity’.
The maiden edition of the Youth Economic Forum under the GEF, organised by the B&FT in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, is themed ‘Driving job creation through entrepreneurship, technology and innovation’. The forum brought together various youth groups and individuals to dialogue on the challenges of doing business in the country and opportunities that exist for them to explore.
“We are very careful in co-creating this platform with the team from the B&FT to ensure that there is balance; because we are aware that to ensure meaningful change, we need both young people and the decision-makers to sit together at the table to share ideas and frame solutions together,” she said.
In concluding, madam Gabala urged youth across the country and continent to see this new era as their moment and take the platform as their best opportunity to contribute in shaping the dialogues on national issues which truly matter to their wealth creation and financial