Gov’t eyes YouStart Programme to deliver on jobs

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Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta says government will promote sustainable enterprises under the YouStart Programme.

This will serve as an avenue for the government to realise the Sustainable Development Goals and meet the country’s climate action commitments.

Speaking at the 2022 Virtual Accra SDGs Investment Fair, the finance minister said: “The YouStart Programme will also be another avenue for promoting sustainable enterprises through skills development and investments into enterprises that are demonstrably sustainable”.

“We are, therefore, committed to supporting the development of sustainable MSMEs and the transition of existing MSMEs to more sustainable business models, and the Accra SDGs Investment Fair is one of the ways we seek to do this,” he emphasised.

For the country to realise the Sustainable Development Goals and meet its climate action commitments, it is heavily dependent on the strength and health of the MSMEs sector, which employ more than 80 percent of the workforce and generate about 70 percent of the national output.

With less than eight years to realise the 2030 Agenda, the finance minister said it has become more imperative that partners intensify their exploitation of relationships which have the potential to redirect resources toward the areas of development which have far-reaching impacts in the sense of touching more lives and over a much longer time scale.

“This means re-engaging the private sector about developing and investing in interventions that not only are economically and commercially viable, but even more critically, those that are environmentally and socially transformational,” he explained.

According to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, the Emergency Event Database in 2021 recorded 432 disastrous events related to natural hazards worldwide. Overall, these accounted for 10,492 deaths, affected 101.8 million people and caused approximately US$252.1billion of economic losses.

The minister said the transition to a low carbon economy remains critical for two reasons: the first being to ensure the arrest of global warming, and restore balance while building resilience within economies and societies to physically withstand the effects of climate change impacts.

“We are also, through the establishment of the Article 6 office in Ghana, developing a regulatory framework that would enable us to bring together, in a safe space, private enterprises, investors and project developers to engage in commercially and economically viable projects that cause the Private Sector to earn additional revenue in the sale of credits generated via carbon emission reduction while helping government meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement.”

The 2022 Accra SDGs Investment Fair provides several avenues for learning more about the opportunities that exist for the private sector’s profitable engagement in the implementation of the SDGs in general and Climate Action in particular as Ghana transitions to a low carbon economy.

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