Trade and Industry Minister Alan Kyerematen says the flagship programmes being implemented by government – which include the Planting for Food and Jobs and One District One Factory (1D1F) initiatives – alone cannot create the millions of jobs needed to solve the country’s unemployment challenges.
The minister’s warning is coming as the country’s unemployment rate almost tripled in little more than a decade, according to the Ghana Statistical Service’s 2021 Population and Housing Census. More than 1.55 million people, or 13.4 percent of Ghana’s economically active population, are out of work – with 19.7 percent of unemployed persons being between the ages of 15 to 35 years.
Mr. Kyerematen says for the country to fix the yawning unemployment gap, there’s a need for deliberate policy to support the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to play a critical role in the creation of jobs for the teeming unemployed citizens.
He was speaking at a graduation and handing-over of start-up kits to beneficiaries of the apprenticeship to entrepreneurship (A2E) component under the Mastercard Young Africa Works project last Thursday in Accra.
According to him, successful implementation of the programmes being jointly implemented by GEA and Mastercard Foundation will improve the ecosystem and boost the productivity of government’s flagship programmes like 1D1F.
He said the delivery mechanisms used by GEA to implement the Young Africa Works Project took into account all the facets of youth entrepreneurship, which is focused on equipping 39,000 young men and women with dignified jobs and 70 percent being women.
“In this regard, we should be grateful to the Mastercard Foundation for complementing government’s efforts at training the youth in Ghana to obtain skills as well as equipping them with relevant tools to support the nation’s industrial transformation agenda,” he said.
The minister assured that government will work hard to ensure an enabling environment is created for MSMEs to be profitable and create opportunities for others in their communities.
“My ministry will continue to partner with both local and foreign organisations to create similar opportunities for MSMEs to enhance their productive capacities,” he stated.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey – who was also speaking at the event, said the flagship programmes being implemented by government are strategies to make Ghana an industrial hub for Africa.
“The long-term goal of government is to create jobs for the youth in Ghana. The successful implementation of these programmes will require the requisite human resources with relevant skill-sets,” he stated.